Election of Bishops.
- ELECTION OF BISHOPS AND ELECTION PROCEEDURES..
I fully agree with Rev P. S. Samuel Corepiscopa's suggestions. Further to
his comments, I should add that our Bava Thirumeni should stop going around
collecting money for his pet projects. I have not heard any head of church
doing such things. It is a disgrace to all the members to see the head of
the Indian Orthodox Church going round begging.
Regarding Mr Joseph Alexander, suggestions on election procedures, the
scrutiny committee should wet and rank the candidates publishing the merits
and demerits. The synod or the managing committee should recommend any
candidates. The members of the association are intelligent enough to elect
the rightful candidates. The best method, I fell is that the association
elect double the required number and after prayers, cast lot and select the
number of bishops we need.
--- In IndianOrthodox@yahoogroups.com, Thomas Daniel wrote:
Perhaps one of our
> historians can explain what exactly this so called "excommunication
> imposed in 1975" is all about. I believe it's time to move on and
I do hope we can give this subject a rest. Thank you all for your
> In Christ,
> Dr. Sally Nelson.
According to historian Dr. David Daniel, Patriarch of Antioch issued
a letter to Catholicos Mar Augen 1 which says that Catholicos Mar
Augen 1 and the bishops in the Malankara Holy Synod are 'apostates'
(Letter No. 303/75, dated 23-6-1975). This is the excommunication
mentioned by the new Jacobite bishop of Syriac Orthodox church in
As Orthodox Christians, we should not judge the Malankara Orthodox
Syrian Church just based on Letter No. 303/75. We need to examine the
sequence of events just before that. A close examination proves that
Catholicos Augen 1 and the Synod was perfectly Orthodox. Orthodoxy is
not based on few letters of Catholicoi or Patriarchs, but based on
the continuity of faith, which we call Apostolic tradition. St. John
Chrysostom was excommunicated and departed while taken away to a
remote place, St. Severios was excommunicated and departed in exile,
St. Melitius of Anthioc was excommuicated thrice. But they are all
honored as Orthodox fathers, because they all kept the Orthodox
faith. Any local Synod can issue a letter of excommunication, after
convening only interested parties and writing a letter. But validity
of such letters depends on the faith of the accused. Catholicos
Augen 1 kept the Orthodox faith, hence accusations by local Syrian
Synods are not considered valid by people keeping the Orthodox faith
of above said fathers.
1. In a letter issued by Patriarch Yakub 111 in 1970, the Patriarch
questions the Apostolicity of St. Thomas the Apostle. In this letter
the Patriarch wrote, "As it is clear from the Gospel of St. John
(20:21-24), he (Apostle Thomas) had not become a priest. How did he
become a High Priest, not being even a priest?".
(Formal Letter No. 203 of 27-6-1970).
Greatest problem for the Patriarch was the usage 'throne of St.
Thomas'. In order to prove that the usage is wrong, the Patriarch had
no option, but to prove that St. Thomas was not a 'High Priest' (i.e.
an Episcopa, and an Episcopa by tradition is seated on a throne). In
order to prove that St. Thomas is not a High Priest, the Patriarch
uses the Gospel of St. John to prove that St. Thomas is not even
a 'priest' (hence not a high priest). Here the Patriarch was
attacking the core faith of the Church, traditionally kept by people
that we are St. Thomas Christians (not only us, even the Syrians of
Iraq, Persia etc. are St. Thomas Christians).
If we believe that an Episcopa is seated on a throne
(Sun'throniso, 'thronos' means throne), there is nothing wrong in
denoting the Apostolicity of St. Thomas using the term 'throne of St.
Thomas'. So, the Patriarch had no option left, but to prove that St.
Thomas is not an Episcopa. i.e. if Apostle Thomas was a valid
Episcopa (which is true according to tradition), then the
usage 'throne of the Apostle' is valid.
2. We had only one Holy Synod in Malankara at that time. The Holy
Synod met and repudiated the allegations made by the Patriarch. A
formal letter dated 21st August 1970 was sent to the Patriarch as a
reply. In this letter Catholicos Mar Augen 1 wrote that the claims of
Patriarch Yakub 111 is unacceptable, based on Canons, the History of
the Church and the Orthodox faith.
3. There was no positive response from the Patriarch. On the
contrary, the Patriarch proceeded to interfere in internal
administrative matters of the Church violating the agreement of 1958.
Single aim of the Patriarch was to make the Indian church a sub-
ordinate Church. We know that some of the previous Patriarchs also
tried this, but Pulikkottil Mar Dionysius and Vattasheril Mar
Dionysius resisted the move all along their life. Patriarch Yakub 111
was trying where his predecessors failed.
4. The Malankara Holy Synod (only one Synod at this time)
unofficially learned about the intention of the Patriarch to appoint
a new Patriarchal Delegate in Malankara. The Synod met on January 13,
1972 to consider this issue. The Synod unanimously decided that a
Patriarchal delegate is unnecessary and harmful for the existing
peace in the Malankara Church. This decision was conveyed to the
Patriarch in a cable message.
5. The Patriarch ignored the cable and sent Mar Aboodi (present SOC
bishop of Canada) with the title 'Patriarchal Delegate'. Such
a 'Patriarchal delegate' was not defined in canon or constitution
(even in SOC constitution), hence not traditional.
6. According to the constitution of the Malankara Church and the
Hudaya Canon, the Patriarch CANNOT appoint a bishop in the
jurisdiction of the Catholicos of the East with out the agreement of
the Synod headed by the Catholicos. On February 16, 1972, the Synod
again sent a message to the Patriarch to withdraw the Delegate.
7. But the delegate continued to stay in Malankara. It is against
canon to give ordination in a diocese with out the permission of the
existing bishop. But the delegate freely entered the Dioceses of
existing bishops, without seeking permission, in total violation of
Ecumenical canons, and gave ordination to ineligible candidates (only
criteria was blindly accepting him and the Patriarch's teachings). He
organized people to revolt against the Catholicos and the Malankara
Synod. Thus he created a new hierarchy blindly loyal to the
Patriarch, with fanaticism as the driving force. This is how the
Jacobite faction was formed after splitting the united Synod headed
by Catholicos Augen 1.
Some of the leading Bishops of current Jacobite faction were ordained
through this movement of the Patriarchal delegate, hence they are
blindly loyal to the throne of Damascus, considering 'throne' as the
most important aspect of faith. It is a mix of fanaticism, emotions,
lack of proper theological training in Orthodoxy and more than
anything lack of monastic foundation based on Orthodox faith.
8. The Patriarchal delegate had to leave India on July 8, 1973 as the
Government refused his stay in India (there is also another story
popular in Manjinikkara region regarding why the delegate left). But
we can ignore such stories, and focus more on faith and attitude
9. The Patriarchal delegate was able to organize a group of people to
revolt against the Catholicos and organize a parallel Jacobite
Association in 1973. The Patriarvch also issued a letter, No. 245/73
dated 16.6.1973, calling the people of Malankara to revolt against
the Catholicos and the Malankara Episcopal Synod. Core issue being
Apostle Thomas - his priesthood and Apostolic status, throne etc.
10. The Patriarch ordained a group of rival bishops which included
H.G. Thomas Mar Dionysius (now H.B. Thomas 1), H.G. Gheevarghese Mar
Gregorios (of Perumpally), etc. These Metropolitans were ordained in
violation of the constitution.
Now we need to examine the canonical basis of the teachings and
actions of the Patriarch.
1. Hudaya Canon states that the Patriarch of Antioch shall not
interfere in the administrative matters of the See of the Catholicos
unless invited. (Chapter 7)
2. The Synod of the Catholicos shall examine the Episcopa, before
consecration. (chapter 7:3)
3. The Episcopa should not receive consecration except in the
presence of the Synod and Diocesan Metropolitan (chapter 7:3).
The Patriarch and the deleate violated these canons followed by all
Orthodox churches. Also ancient canons prohibits a bishop to do
ordination to the Diocese of another bishop, without permission.
Canons work in both directions, it is not said in canon that the
Patriarch is beyond the Canons. In Syrian Orthodox Constitution, the
Patriarch is defined as 'the bishop of Antioch' and his jurisdiction
is also clearly defined, giving a list of dioceses in his charge.
Now regarding the issue of the throne of St. Thomas.
1. The usage 'throne of St. Thomas' is ancient. Catholicos Augen 1
was not the first one to use it, but H.H. revived the usage.
2. It is recorded in canonical works of Orthodox fathers that St.
Thomas ordained bishops in the East. This proves the high-priesthood
of Apostle Thomas. A good example is the Coptic Synaxarium which
records that Apostle Thomas ordained bishop. The song "Yohannan
Karthavinnum, Kartha than slihenmarkkum" proves that all Apostles are
received ordination. Both, the usage 'throne of St. Thomas' and the
faith in Episcopacy of the Apostle is according to the traditions and
canons of Orthodox churches.
The Jacobite church failed to maintain the unity of the Malankara
Synod. Knanaya is now seperated with a new constitution. Simhasana
churches are seperate, American Archdiocese is directly ruled by
Damascus, there is a recent attempt to seperate the Jacobite Diocese
of outside Kerala. This proves that the concept of unity in the
Jacobite perspective is uncanonical, as they are trying to intriduce
the ROman Catholic uniate model, where different uniate churches are
loosely connected to a supreme rule of 'universal throne' of Rome.
If their ambition is to help the Orthodox faith to grow, then they
have to disregard some of the teachings introduced by moderm
Patriarchs, especially those after Patriarch Abdulla (who was the
Roman Catholic bishop of Homs Diocese for 9 years). Roman Catholic
influence in present Jacobite church is very evident, many of their
lay people, including some top people are already going to RC
We are not against a future unity with RCC, but it should happen in
an Ecumenical way, so that our existing communion in the Oriental
Orthodox churches is not affected. Canonical approach is to have a
consensus before making changes to existing traditions. But SOC
violated canon when they approved communion with RCC, the
Chalcedonian Church, and the Thozhiyoor church (which is in union
with a Protestant church, which does not accept the term 'Yeldas-
Aloho' or 'theotokos').
Visit this website to see pictures of Nestorian Bishop and Syrian
Orthodox Bishop conducting the sacrament of Marriage 'together'.
and also an open letter by a Syrian priest Malfono (Malpan) V. Rev.
Chor-Episcopa Joseph Tarzi:
Biography of Malpan Fr. Tarzi:
The justification of SOC and Jacobites that they are perfect in
everything is not accurate. Common man in Kerala do not have a lot of
information, but they blindly believe in perfection. No one gave SOC,
the exclusive right to change traditions. So, BOTH factions can
accept that we are not perfect and work towards helping the present
and future generations in the Orthodox Christian way, setting aside
pride, fanaticism, superiority feelings etc.
Apostles are united, hence the bishops should be able to work in a
united way for the Church, showing an example to people.
- Popular Myths Regarding Women In The Church (In response to IOIC No. 1220(6)
Despite we know that Jesus wont find faith on earth at His second coming (Lk.18; 8), we shouldnt try to be the proponents for dynamiting the virgin faith handed down by the Holy Fathers who shed their blood and tears for propagating it till the consummation of the world. I would like to add some more observations on this topic, in addition to an article on Womens participation in the decision making venues, the first ingredient for the ordination of women posted last month and another note posted in this connection in this site (IOIC No.1218) before.
The books listed in IOIC No.1220 (6) apparently look like from their titles a demand set by the feminists and the militant theologians who die for the dissemination of the theology of sex, paving the way for the equal participation of women in all the realms of church life, is a flagrant violation of Biblical messages and doctrines of the church. There has been a spate of such books, violently demanding the equal status for women in all the arenas of work, family and social life from the onset of the Womens Liberation Movement, and the legalization of Equal Opportunity Act, Privacy Act, etc.in the secular fields gave them enough strength to encroach their secular rebellions into the religious fields as well by coaxing and waxing an unfaithful minority in the church. They also got the impetus from the black money, the language of modernity, and a superficial materialistic lifestyle triggered by the blessings of scientific and technological inventions that made a conducive background to gather momentum for spreading a liberal, vibrant and new theology of organized chaos. Educational and theological institutions have been converted as the nurseries for preaching the validity of every unnatural sexual deviation, universal equal status for every live creature and animal liberation dogmas. This is an unnatural culture that is brewed by the unions, politicians and mass media for propagating the religion of sex and pornography. Actually, women are made as pawns for the global evangelization of an irreligious culture that is made ripe for the descent of the Saviour. The devil is victorious when the family life becomes a poisoned chalice. Yes, the demons are exhilarated by the advent of a life of apostasy and moral turpitude that is already achieved by legitimizing all forms of filth and amorousness.
Most of the major Protestant churches have embraced the dogma of feminism and ordination of female celebrants. The majority of the Roman church adherents, notably the clergy, are waiting for a fertile season of women celebrants soon, despite the present Pope and some other ecclesiastical minority dont espouse the new religion of sex. This flagrant tornado is blasting upon the destitute Orthodox churches everywhere; we also may be inevitably succumbed to it without much delay. My heartbeat is this. While numberless churches and cults embrace the dogma of female ordination, why should not the Orthodox believers who advocate such dogma embrace such churches, instead of poisoning the sanctity of the Bride and the sanity of the faithful believers in Orthodox churches? They have been suckled, nurtured and caressed by this mother church; the church doesnt owe anything to her acrimonious children, while the children owe their entire life to the mother. Those who are disenchanted by the dogma of male clergy, for Gods sake, leave the church without desecrating it by their rebellion and mud throwing. They who desire to choose a cafeteria Christianity let them do so by taking into account that they are like the Israelites who worshipped and followed the pagan gods like Bal, Asher...by disdaining the living God.
We welcome opinions and criticisms for making conducive environment for the enhancement of our spirituality and timely changes of the administrative infrastructure, but not the radical dissidents, inclusive of priests and bishops, to torpedo the sacrosanct cardinal creed, dogmas and doctrines formulated by the Fathers who made their orientation in the celestial websites. As the church is a copy and a shadow of Heavenly Sanctuary (Heb.8: 5-6; 9: 23), we have to have nursery lessons here on earth in the same celestial tune to acclimatize in the luminosity of New Jerusalem. But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven,..... and to the spirits of just men who made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel (Heb.12: 18-24). Who are these first- born? The Son of Man is the begotten Son of God. Adam who was formed in the image and likeness of God is the first-born, secondly only the moulding of Eve from Adam; hence the males are the first-born. All the martyrs starting with Abel in the chronological order apparently may be rearranged, beginning with the Lamb as the first first-born and all other martyrs in order of their sacrificial merits. There is great and small in the Kingdom of God (Lk.7; 28). Then there is a throng of righteous men (Rev.7&14), not women, in that assembly. It affirms 100% sure that there is only recycled men in Heaven, and women will have to get that celestial, recycled manhood either by association with the celestials or by suckling children by the bond of having wedlock with fidelity (1.Tim.2: 15). The single church of St. Thomas has multiplied into various denominations by inhaling the breath of different dogmas and heretical elements since 16th century, yet the Bride of the Bridegroom is struggling to survive as a minority church in such inhospitable climate of uncongenial background. Those who cherish an alien viewpoint or dogma can say goodbye to their mother church without shattering the Body of Christ into multiple fragments for the sake of the idiosyncrasies of some uncommitted members. Let them form an Orthodox church, possibly under the name of Female Orthodox church by keeping all other faith factors on sentimental reasons. There will be a chaste and nuclear apostolic church here in the east to receive the Lord at His second coming by safeguarding the sterling faith of the Fathers. In its struggles for existence, the Orthodox churches have beaten all the odds against the tides of time so far. However, any division, unlike heretical, on the basis of sex is a nuclear bomb for the extermination of faith and family life, the last straw to break the camels back.
Not only that the feminists have written number of books for the propagation of their profligacy, but also they have made new translations of the Bible and made loose alterations in their liturgical books to discredit their stand altogether. The pronoun (He) that stands for God is replaced with the pronoun she. For them masculine gender is an aversion or anathema. In place of our Father who art in Heaven, they changed it to Our mother who art in heaven. Thy Kingdom come, is replaced with thy commonwealth come because the word king is in masculine gender. They adore St.mary, the first feminist in their version, because she had the guts to conceive a child without having any partnership with a man. Incredible, isnt it? Such changes were made about 15 years ago; I dont know the status quo after snatching the equal status myths. They might even go to the extent of saying that IVF technology and cloning were known to them but was likely suppressed or obliterated by the influence of male chauvinists like St.Paul and St.Peter. What else the followers of Lucifer who believe in, It is better to reign in hell than serve in Heaven attitude can coax with? Do these fanatic members translate this church as a firebrand one that implodes by itself by mixing its faith with heterogeneous elements and heretical teachings? Barring women from ordination is not discrimination but exemplifies the Glory of God who was temporally defeated by the nakedness that budded by disobedience in the Garden of Eden. God is not happy to give the same chances for the modern Eves and their supporters to defile the church, the second heaven. Barring woman from priesthood is to be treated as the silent, like so many other enigmas, commandment of the New Testament period, silently a covenant blessed and practiced by Jesus, like one that was given to Adam.
Capital punishment is the penalty for the betrayal of ones country. The ecclesiastical hierarchy makes pledges with the H. Trinity, in presence of apostles, martyrs and saints, at the time of their ordination and consecration that they will abide by the chaste faith of the church in practicing and teaching, but what is happening is that they go in different directions according to their whims and fancies for their own gains. There is no one to check them and direct because the hedge itself is eating the vegetable patches. One bishop wrote in the church magazine that there is no devil in spite of Jesus taught that there is devil with whom we have entered into an unending fight. The bishops explanation is that Jesus taught like because the contemporary Jews was not aware of the science of psychiatry during the time of the Lord. His Grace didnt stop there. He continued with the statement that unless the church accepts the science of psychiatry, its progress and spiritual growth would be in jeopardy. I wasted so much of my time in writing a long reply, citing all the scriptural evidence, to that magazine against the irreligious and agnostic attitude of that bishop. Neither they published my article, nor did they give an acknowledgement letter to me. Nothing happened, everything goes quietly as the universe work silently and incessantly. Why should we try to lead an austere religious life if there is no devil that we have to fight with? Why shouldnt we drink and enjoy because tomorrow is not ours. Such teachings are weapons of mass destruction for any religious faith. Nobody other than me came forward to challenge such impious teachings and attitudes. When there is nobody to challenge them from the higher hierarchy, such people will parasite upon the illiterate and ignorant believers. Womens ordination is also another such topic by which some clerics predate upon the ignorant and wealthy members. Theological institutions and venues, like Pilates courtyard, are the training grounds where we learn how to crucify Christ in our parish and public lives in modern versions. A minority of professional priests and few other shepherds are the products of an alien theology and alien theologians who brainwash the teenage theological students. Theology has become a subject alienated from the study of God; B.Th is a degree like a degree in Maths, Chemistry, Biology, philosophy, computer studies and so on. Such salvation- bashing churches and perverted theologies are the true signs of Christs second coming (1.Tim.3: 1-7).
The theology of nakedness (Gen.3: 7) that rooted out the first parents from the bliss of Paradise is again showing its vehemence through the god beloved by women (Dan.11; 37) at the fag end of time by taking women as a remote controlled medium. The nakedness that budded in Eden took its first toll by the slaughter of Abel on account of the altar sacrifice he offered to God. This sacrifice and the covenant that God made with Adam (Gen.3: 21) are meant to be a perpetual one. The earth lies polluted under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant (Is.24: 5). This everlasting covenant of the blood signed again and renewed by Jesus cannot be mixed with polluted alien blood (Mt.26: 28). The final distress call for the evacuation of this planet will be accomplished when the Orthodox or Roman churches, the churches that believe in the transformation of bread and wine as the Body and Blood of Christ, ordain the females. This is the reason for the vehement opposition of all the Orthodox and Roman churches against female ordination. The church, for any reason, should not be a venue for the display of sensual appetite; hence no room for equal participation or ordination of women.
A number of articles, delineating the complementing roles of man and woman, are posted over a couple years in The Light of Light website. Those who approach this issue with an open heart can visit this site. http//www.lightoflife.com.
- THE TWO SAINTS PETER & PAUL (ON THE FEAST'S DAY OF THE APOSTLES
WHICH IS THEIR FEAST), BY HIS HOLINESS AMBA SHENOUDA III, POPE AND
PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA.
- Bible Study, Church (Building), June 27.
�Church� means both assembly of faithful and building in which
they assemble. Syriac �Eetho�= bring together. Greek
�Ecclesia�=call and separate (Mat 16). Hebrew �Quhal�=an
The Church is beyond definition. So various images are implied
to explain such as, bride of Christ, 2 C 11:2, Eph 5:25, Body of
Christ, 1C 12:27, Rom 12:4-5, Vineyard of God, Jn 15, Assembly
of faithful in the unity of Godhead, Rom 10:12.
Church Building: Earliest form of Church is Tabernacle, also
called the tent of meeting, which was built according to the
pattern God showed to Moses, Ex 25:9, Heb 9: 1-5.
In the second phase there is no mention of tabernacle or
permanent place. People used to offer sacrifices in high places
(Poojagiri). Solomon sacrificed in Gibeon, 1K 3:2-4.
David wanted to construct a permanent place of worship. He made
all arrangements but God forbid him because he was a man of war
and blood, 1 Chr 28:3. The task of building the temple was
entrusted to Solomon and he did it. Plan, measurement and
quality of materials were exactly as Lord revealed to David.
�The Lord made me, understand in writing, by his hand upon me,
even all the works of this pattern, 1Chr 28:19. Jerusalem Temple
is center of Jewish worship.
Church faces east, Holy of Holies at the eastern end. We
pray/worship facing East because the Second Coming, our Lord
said, will be from the east, Mat 24:27. Importance to east is
seen throughout Bible. Sun rises in the east, Num 21:11. Rising
luminaries gave the standard of direction for the ancient
people. They called it front, east (Kdom). Garden of Eden was in
the east, Gen 2:8. God placed Cherubim to guard the Tree of Life
at the east side of the garden, Gen 3:24. Noah�s arc floated to
the east. When Moses stretched out his staff, east-wind blew and
filled the land with locusts, Ex 10:13. Glory of God came from
the east, Ezk 43:2. The way to the gate outward to sanctuary
towards east is called the gate of the Prince. It should be shut
and shall not be opened for the God of Israel has entered
through it, Ezk 44:1-3. This symbolizes ever-virginity of St
Mary, �Poottia vathil ithennevam Haskielothi: Poottiyathotta
madachoruutennevam Slemoon,� Lilio 1 Kaumo. The forefront of the
house stood towards the east, 47:2.
The building has 4 parts: Church is visible symbol of Noah�s arc
and Mount Sinai where Lord descended and gave His Commandments
to Israelites, Ex 19. Partition and prohibition of faithful to
enter the azhikakam and Holy of Hollies is based on this
concept. Yahweh told Moses that He would come down to the Mount
Sinai, Ex 19:9-12 and give the Law. People were to assemble in
the plains of Sinai, cleansing their clothes and bodies and not
going to their wives for three days. They were forbidden to step
on the mountain or to touch its border, v12.
1, Narthex, Mandolam is the western side of the building where
catechumens used to assemble. They were not allowed to
participate in the Anaphora. Women after conception and delivery
underwent purification rites here. This is one step lower than
the rest of the church. Now this has lost traditional meaning
and commonly known as porch to hang coats and keeping shoes.
2, Nave or Haiklo is the largest portion where faithful stand
and worship. Men stand on north, women on south side and the
center is blank. Olden days women stood behind men. It is the
most important place reserved for the departed and the unseen
hosts for we believe the church includes not only the living
members but also the departed faithful and those yet to be born
and that they are also participating in the holly worship along
with us. �Levi who receives tithe paid tithe through Abraham for
he was in the loins of Abraham,� says Heb 7:9. How Abraham gave
on behalf of Levi who is the great grandson if children yet to
be born not accounted as members? We unite in our worship with
the unceasing heavenly worship covering past, present and
3, Kesthurno (literal meaning is, not risen from earth). This is
one step above the Haiklo and two-steps below the Kdooskudisin
and separated by wooden rail. Only those with kaivapu
(imposition of hands from prelates to perform altar service) are
allowed to enter here. Faithful is confined to the Haiklo.
Baptismal fond, if no separate baptistery, is situated in this
4, Sanctuary: Madbaho or Kduskudisin or Holy of hollies: This is
high and exalted throne of God which Isaiah saw, Ch 6. This is
Holy altar, which is throne of God. This is the paradise where
Tree of life situated, mount Golgotha and Tomb of Christ. This
we will separately deal.
- Idol Thoughts on a Summer Day
by Rev. Fr. John-Brian Paprock
Holy Transfiguration Mission, Madison, Wisconsin USA
June 29, 2004
In Holy Orthodoxy, salvation (theosis) is a process. It is not automatic. It
is not magical. It is something we work out in cooperation with God through
our free will. By choosing the process, we enter into a struggle.
According to the Fathers of the Church, there are two aspects to the process
- Cleansing of passions putting off the old (lower) man
- Winning of virtues putting on the new (higher) man
- St. Paul talks of dying to self, that Christ may live in us. (Also
Colossians 3:9-10; Ephesians 4:22-24)
So then, what is the main obstacle in our way of spiritual progress?
Sin! Not just the big moral stuff, but all of it; anything that takes us
from being with God, from working out of our salvation with fear and
In the ten commandments, the very first is: Thou shalt have no other gods
before me. It is the first because the most prevalent sins come from
breaking this commandment. This is the travesty of idolatry. Most assume it
is the worshipping false gods or idols, particularly those of statues, made
from the materials of the earth. It is this, but much more than this.
Anything we place in front of God, before our worship of Him, must be seen
as an idol. Our maintenance of these "priorities" "distractions"
"pleasures" (or whatever we wish to call them) above the maintenance of a
Godward life is the same as idolatry. Idolatry is a distortion of the proper
relationship with the Triune Godhead.
The prevalent list of "seven deadly" sins can be seen in this light:
1. Pride idolatry of self, distortion of self-esteem
2. Envy idolatry of others, distortion of discernment and admiration
3. Coveting idolatry of things, distortion of temporal ownership
4. Greed idolatry of wealth/money, distortion of generosity
5. Lust idolatry of sexual expression/passion, distortion of fruitfulness
6. Gluttony idolatry of food, distortion of healthy consumption,
7. Sloth Idolatry of leisure - distortion of needful rest
We need to get things into proper perspective. We need to be actively
honest, searching for the truth, proving all things. We need to dispense
with the works of evil in our lives - and then put off the old again until
it stays off. We need to keep putting on the new given us from Holy Baptism
until it stays on. Christ will be our guide and guardian. If we ask for His
help and angels will rush to our side.
It may be helpful to examine the proper nature of self so that we do not
bear the sin of pride; the proper manner of admiration so that do not envy.
We need to examine our property, our wealth, and our attachment to it,
realizing from whence it came and where it will end. We need to understand
the fullness of healthy relations and family fruitfulness. We need to care
for our bodies properly with healthy foods, exercise and rest.
We need to know the proper ways of being in this world so that we do not
withhold the love that Christ has already been given to us. Often we think
that sin is related to harming others and when we sin we withhold God's love
from them - this is Truth! But the greatest commandment testifies that we
must love God with all our minds, heart and souls and our neighbor as
ourselves. So, when we sin, we withhold God's love from ourselves and then
we cannot love others in the true way - this is how we truly harm others by
Let us move from sinful ways continually. Let us embrace holy, virtuous and
loving acts instead. We know that cannot do this without divine
intervention. So, we must ask Christ for His love and mercy through
confession and repentance. In this action of request, this humility of
honest reflection and intention, we defeat the devil and we embark upon the
journey of salvation, the process of theosis, the way of Christ.
And when we fall again, let us ask again for His love and mercy and let us
rise from the dead, putting off the lower man and putting on the higher -
until that day when we have not only worked out our own purification, but
have saved thousands around us by our example along the way. We do not need
to know how we may be reaching them or who among those that we encounter
will be touched by our efforts - only that God will recognize their inner
movement toward Him because of us
Without this two-fold effort of putting off sin and embracing Godliness, we
are left in the quagmire and whirlpools of earthly life that will lead to
only one conclusion - death. Too dramatic for your case? If you believe it
is not that bad - do you wish to be in such dire straits at a later date?
How much further do you think you can go before you are stuck? How far from
God does one have to be in order to be separated from Him?
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
If you wish to leave the idols of your life and embrace the True Way of the
New Life in Christ, contact your local Orthodox priest. Have courage, for
Christ has overcome the world and, once we have begun the process, started
on the Way, He will never leave nor forsake us - no matter how many times we
turn our backs on Him. We need only turn back again (repent) to live!
Holy Transfiguration Malankara Orthodox Syrian Mission
Madison, Wisconsin (608) 236-9622
+ HEAL YOUR LIFE + DEEPEN YOUR FAITH +
+ ENRICH YOUR PRACTICE + REFRESH YOUR SPIRIT +
"We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power
may be of God, and not us." IICor4:7
- Is there a prayer group or study group of our Church in the Minneapolis
area? If not, are there members in the Minneapolis who would like gather
for prayer when Kochamma and I visit July 23-25, 2004?
Please contact us soon to make arrangements.
Holy Transfiguration Malankara Orthodox Syrian Mission
6205 University Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin 53705 ~ (608) 236-9622
+ HEAL YOUR LIFE + DEEPEN YOUR FAITH +
+ ENRICH YOUR PRACTICE + REFRESH YOUR SPIRIT +
- Dear moderators,
A. Publication of a malayalam Bible without mistakes was very
The one we usually use is that of Bible society of India published
from Bangalore or so.Two evident mistakes I have noticed in this are:
1.Genesis4:23----I have slain is translated as '....Kollum( will kill)
2.John 2:4 what have I to do with thee is translated
The above I compare with the KJV of english Bible.
I wish MGOCSM in general and Rev.Dr.M.C.Cherian Achan,Prof.Joseph K
Alexander and all the other officials of this event ,all the very
best and pray ,God Almighty,make this attempt a great success.
B.Preliminery estimate indicates that a copy can cost nothing less
than Rs.300/-Time is money.If the project period extends there can be
a cost escalation ,an average member may find it difficult to buy.
C. I have my family Bible printed in 1904.This is published by the
Madras Auxiliary to the British and foreign Bible society.
Here each chapter has a synopsis at the beginning referring to the
key verses.Moreover there are cross references too.It would be very
useful to the Bible student if there are synopsis, sub titles, and
cross references given in the new Bible.
Once again I wish all success in this venture.May God Bless.
- July 3: Dukhrono of Mar Thoma Sleeha (St. Thomas day, Holy Remains
transferred to the Church in Edessa in AD 394)
July 4: Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
July 5: Commemoration of the Seventy-two Apostles
Memory of Malankara Metropolitan Mar Thoma V11 (195 memory,
July 7: Memory of Metropolitan Zacharia Mar Dionysius (Metropolitan
of Chennai, 7 th memory, Mount Tabor Dayara)
July 10: Memory of Metropolitan Yuhanon Mar Gregorios (231 memory,
July 11: Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
July 12: Memory of Malankara Metropolitan Pulikottil Joseph Mar
Dionysius V (Founder of M.D. Seminary, Kottayam,
95 memory, Old Seminary)
July 15: Mar Kuriakose Sahada and his mother Marth Yulithi (Martyrs)
Mar Abahai of Nicea.
July 18: Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
July 20: Prophet Mar Elia
July 22: St. Mary Magdalene.
July 23: Memory of Metropolitan Gheevarghese Mar Dioscoros
(Metropolitan of Trivandrum, 5th memory, Holy Trinity Ashram, Ranni)
July 25: Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
Memory of St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis in Cyprus
July 27: Memory of Mar Shemaun d'esthuni (St. Simeon the Stylite)
July 31: Mar Gregorios Bar Ebraya (719 memory)
- Dear Moderators
Please be informed that Prof. M.Y. Yohanan Sir, (Former Principal of Kolenchery College) is on short visit to U.K and US on 23.07.04. Incase anybody is interested to listen the word of God please contact
Mrs. Alice George - London Orthodox Church - UK.
Dr. Kurian Philip Blackburn - ppkurian@...
Mr. V. Varghest - 845 268 4436 - US
Mr. Baby - 845 268 0338 - US
- I have seen several postings in recent times about an MGOCSM project on
'Orthodox Study Bible' and digest No. 1227 gives the magnitude of the
work and cost involved. I would appreciate if someone could clarify the
1. Are we translating in to Malayalam the current 'Orthodox Study Bible'
(New Testament & Psalms) published by Conciliar Press, USA. Tel:(800)
2. I understand the publishers of the above Bible are in the process of
bringing out the Old Testament version of the 'Orthodox Study Bible'.
Are we working with the above group to have a unified Orthodox Bible or
the project of MGOCSM is a complete translation from the original text.
- We, the St.Thomas Community Services has a new venture. Our next goal is to
establish a computer training Center near Vazhoor NSS college. Vazhoor is a
small village of mixed population in Kottayam district. Our vision is to help
others help themselves.
With fast computerization in India, computer training might help poor village
kids to get jobs and help their families. I know most of us live in the US
because we have decent education. There are talents in our villages. Many
youth enter into traditional jobs (unemployment) because they cannot afford
technical and professional education. Opportunities make men great. I hope to help such youth through this training center. Can you join me to make
opportunities for less fortunate ones. May I expect your, prayers technical support, advise and other contributions to make this dream a reality?
Let me tell you what we have done in the past. We have been supporting
professional education of scores of children-Nursing, BPT, MSW etc. Two years ago we helped 20 girls with their marriage assistance (up to IRs15,000) We helped at least 7 in people to establish their own small businesses (support ranged from 10,000-25,000) Our latest effort was to partially support the housing needs of 25 families (up to 25,000).
Computer training center is our new project. We have a building near the NSS
college to house the project. We have volunteer staff to look after the
day-to-day affairs of the center. WE need to put the project in place. We need computers, printers, and a professional staff to run the project. My goal is to establish the program no later than November 2nd, 2004. Your valuable suggestions and contributions are earnestly requested. Our Mailing Address is:St.
Thomas Community Services, 805 Glenn Park way, Hollywood, FL 33021. My e-mail address is pyngolilj @ aol.com
(I thank you IOF for all your support)
- This is to bring to the notice of one of all who believe in the strength of prayers.
Mrs. Lissy Raju is a member of our parish at Ras Al Khaimah, UAE.
She is a wife and mother of 3 children, our Sunday School students, with the eldest having just completed 12th standard.
Lissy, in her early forties, had been working as a staff nurse in the medical service for more than ten years and is presently under treatment and hospitalised for pancreatic cancer which is developing to precarious levels and it has now reached the stage of count down.
The medical science is contributing to the limits of it's possibilities in order to keep Lissy getting along. Her status has not shown any positive developments and with her health deteriorating, everyone is concerned.
I felt helpless after having visited Lissy at the hospital with her eldest daughter, my sunday school student, attending to the sinking mother as a mute witness. I don't know if the Life provider is going to give time to Lissy, till this letter is read by everyone and we all start praying together. But still this is The only thing that I am capable of doing and I believe in it. May I request everyone to pray for Lissy.
Let us hope and expect that Lissy herself will witness for the strength of our prayers through this columns.
Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
- Dear Believers in Christ,
The IOIF, Indian Orthodox Internet Forum, is truly a global network
of orthodox believers who share similar interests and conviction. We
started to use this name from our inception to identify ourselves.
While we are a Network of people of common Indian Christian culture
and believe Orthodox worship, let us call us ourselves as Indian
Orthodox Christian Network, IOCN. This name change will reflect our
We will be following the same open, unbiased, and faithful exchanges
of ideas and other activities to benefit our Church and its members.
In addition we will explore other avenues where our members can
benefit from this network and our community at large.
Please propagate this new name, and identify yourselves as an IOCN
member while meeting a fellow Indian Orthodox Christian believer.
As always, your ideas and suggestions are most appreciated and
recommended to make this network as useful tool of our Church to do
-Moderators, Indian Orthodox Christian Network (IOCN)
- What is a Church ? and Why do we goes to Church ?
It will be highly appreciable if any clergy reads this posting and
kindly explain to thier parish members in U.S.A. What is the
importance of a church and how we have to enter to the Church. What
can we do in the Church.
The Church is not a place for fashion show, it is not a place for
It is very important and may be need to explain the same subject to
some clergys in U.S.A too.
Charly V. Padanilam, Houston, TX. charlyvp@...
- K. Koshy Samuel wrote: "...I should add that our Bava Thirumeni
should stop going around collecting money for his pet projects. I
have not heard any head of church doing such things. It is a
disgrace to all the members to see the head of the Indian Orthodox
Church going round begging."
Soliciting contributions to a project that His Grace believes in is
not begging. I can say this from personal experience. My mother
used to do house calls (twenty years go)to collect contributions
for "Bala Bhavan" a house run by our church for orphaned boys. Her
brothers, my uncles, found this distasteful and suggested, "You need
not go begging, we can afford to pay." She would respond
politely, "There is no pressure on anyone to give. Give what you can
in the name of Christ." We all have the freedom to decline requests
for contribution. Exercise that freedom.
- On Friday 2nd July forenoon (Friday is the weekend in the Gulf)as a
routine, TV was put on. In Kairaly TV there was a flash
news "Ponkunnam Varkey Passes Away .....". Varkey sir was our
neighbour in Pampady. He was 94 yrs.
My father (who passed away two months back only) and Varkey sir used
to have lot of interactions and had mutual respect. By today's
standard he could have been a crorepathi if marketed his talents
properly. But Varkey sir lived a very simple and principled life and
made nothing materialistic in life.
I tried to contact Rajan his younger son and my friend who also live
in Abu Dhabi. Rajan also came to know about the news from a friend
who has watched the TV flash news. We proceeded to Rajan's place.
All TV channels were filled with "Ponkunnam Varkey Sir". Again a
flash news "Funeral will take place after the arrival of son from
UAE". Even Rajan's malayalee neighbours were not aware that he is
the son of a Great father.Next immediate need was to arrange a
ticket for Rajan, his wife and their 4 yr old son. Because of the
summer rush all Airlines says "no vacancy". Air India and Indian
Airlines were as usual not helpful. Finally Gulf Air helped by
providing Business Class tickets (though unaffordable) and Rajan
could proceed on Friday night to attend the funeral on Saturday.
During my school days one day while going back to home, went via
Varkey sir's court yard. Somebody was trying to hunt for a bird
using his country pistol from the surroundings. Varkey sir gets
annoyed. As per this "Born Rebel" we have no business to kill
another creature and he will never allow that to happen in his
visinity.He always turned his ire against the conventional
hypocrisy. The advise to us was if you are telling that you are a
christian, the first thing what you should do is to become a
vegetarian and then love others. A person who fought against the
policies and practices of his own Catholic church was an admirer of
Pampady Mar Gregoriose Thirumeni. He met a true Christian in
Thirumeni who loved all creations including nature.The now famous
gesture of Mar Gregoriose in taking the body of a known begger who
died on the road side in his own "Kuppayam" and arranging the
funeral in Pampady Valiyapally has inspired Varkey sir also.
He is survived by three sons and three daughters. The end came at
1030 hrs at his residence at Pampady. His wife Claramma had died in
Only on Thursday his 94th birthday was celebrated in a grand manner
when actor Mammootty honoured the rekowned writer with a ponnada at
a public meeting held on the premises of the Aswasa Bhavan at
In 1997 EK Nayanar breaking all protocols came personally to Pamapdy
to present the prestigeous "Ezhuthachan Puraskaram" to Varkey sir.
Always this was done at the TVM Secretariat Durbar hall. Even the
local people of Pampady realised the worthiness of this simple man
The grand old man of Malayalam literature, Varkey shot into fame
with his short stories. With his fiery spirit and outspoken nature
he soon earned the title 'The Rebel'. He pictured the dishonesty and
deceit prevalant in the society in his novels and stories, and urged
the common men to rise against them. His rebellious nature has won
him many admirers and fans.
Varkey was the recipient of various award including Ezhuthachan
Puraskaram (1997), Vallathol Puraskaram, Koduppunna award,
Kaladarsana (1995), Kerala State Film Critic Award and Kerala
Sahitya Academy Fellowship.
He had published more than 40 books including short stories and
dramas and written over 100 short stories. Shabdikkunna Kalappa,
Visharikku Kaattu Venda, Althara etc are a few of the masterpieces
authored by Varkey.
He fought against even Sir CP and got imprisoned leaving the
lucrative Govt. job in those days.
Let the soul of this Simple but great inspiring Personality rest in
piece, although many may not agree with his idelogy.
George Abraham, Abu Dhabi