Dear Mr. Kurian Mathew,
After writing the email to you yesterday I had the opportunity to
visit the website of the Joint Council you mentioned. That too is run
by a Kurian Mathew. However, the articles and explanations on that
site is entirely of different taste.
If that site owner Kurian Mathew and the Kurian Mathew who wrote the
email to us yesterday are the same person, then he has certainly a
problem with an identity crisis.
Kurian Mathew's yesterdays email talks very sweet about the
leadership of the Orthodox church and the only problem was the
But, the Kurian Mathew who is the promoter of that website badmouth
all Orthodox leadership as southerners and says they have no place in
The quality shown in yesterdays email post is not appearing in the
language on the website.
Also, that website selectively answers some 52 questions raised by
the Dioceasan Secretary achen. All questions favorable to the
Jacobite side were answered and all questions favorable to the
Orthodox side were not answered. I will come back with a summary of
the questions not answered.
In nutshell, the website doesn't show it as a Joint council and in
fact it shows it as a Patriarch Council.
One statement on the website says that "Kolenchery church, in its
history of the last 100 years, was under the administration
of Orthodox Metropolitan for 14 years, 1958-1972; a period
when the whole of church enjoyed the fruits of church
From what I read about your church; following is the history of your
church in the last 100 years. During all these times the Church was
administered by Bishops appointed by the Catholicose of the East
chosen by the Malankara Syrian Christian Association. There were
times when the church remain closed or Bishops were not allowed entry
in varioius litigations; but at no point of time an outside
organisation other than the Catholicose of the East exercised control
over the church. Episcopal churches are usually administered by a
Heirarchy and a Bishop. Can you advise us who was the chosen Bishop
of the Kolenchery church for all years other than the 14 years.
This is what the history says and details are below:
1900 to 1912 - MUrimattahtil Bawa ( 12 Years)
1912 to 1943 - Priests appointed by Murimatathil Bawa
1943 to 1964 - Mor Augen Theimetheos ( 21 years )
1964 to 1975 - Mor Poulse Philiexinos till he revolted against the
Catholicose. ( 11 years )
1975 to 1976 - Catholicose of the East ( 1 year )
1976 to 1991 - Joseph Mor Pachomius ( 15 yrs )
1991 till date - Dr. Mathews Mor Severios
I would suggest that you give a reply to the timeline given below .
1877 to 1912 Murimattathil Bawa adminsiterd this church on behalf of
Malankara as Diocesan Bishop and later Catholicose residing in
1912 Murimattathil Bawa left the church as people created problems.
1913 1942 Looks like the church remained closed, still the
priests appointed by Murimattathil Bawa in control.
1943 Very Rev Thenumkal Geevarghese Malpan and Fr. Geevarghese of
Murimattom, both being the parish priests of the Kolenchery church
received special order from the Government and opened the church. And
thenceforth under the administration of Augen Mar Thimothios worship
was conducted uninterruptedly in the Kolenchery church.
1943 a great reception was given to His Holiness Baselios Geevarghese
II and Augen Mar Thimothios Metropolitan of Kandanad Diocese in the
8th March, 1959 the parish assembly of the Kolenchery church was
summoned. Mar Augen Thimothios, the Metropolitan of the
Kandanad Diocese and Paulose Mar Philoxinos the co-Metropolitan of
were present in it. And it resolved that the Kolenchery St.Peter's
Paul's church should be administered according to the 1934
constitution of the
Malankara Orthodox church. Accordingly Shri K.V Thomas was elected as
Treasurer of the Kolenchery church.
28th January 1961, Mar Augen Thimothios laid the foundation stone for
re-construction of the present Kolenchery church. Mar Paulose
Philoxinos did not
participate in it because he was leading with an " Antiochean
the Malankara Church.
29th January 1963 the reconstructed church was consecrated by H.H
Geevarghese II Catholicose assisted by all the Metropolitans, except
Philoxenos, of the Malankara church.
1964 when Mor Augen Thimotheos was installed as Catholicos Baselios
I, Mor Paulos Philoxenos returned to the Church and became
Diocese of Kandanad including the Kolencherry Church.
15th May 1965 Mor Philipose Theophilos,Mor Yuhanon Severios and Mor
Thimotheos were consecrated bishops by the Episcopal Synod of the
Church presided by the Catholicos H.H.Baselios Augen I in Kolencherry
auspices of the Kolencherry Church.
September 1967, Fr. O.I. Paulose was appointed vicar by Mar
1970, Fr. M.V. Abraham was appointed priest by Mar Philexinos.
1973, Fr. John Kalapurackal was appointed Vicar by Mar
1975 Mor Paulos Philoxenos revolted against the Catholicos and
Catholicos Mathews I assumed the
charge of the Diocese of Kandanad, according to the constitution of
1975 - Instead of Fr. John Kalapurackal H.H.Baselios Marthoma Mathews
appointed Rev Fr.O.I.Paulose as the vicar of the church and the Civil
1976 Joseph Mor Pachomius assumed the charge of the Diocese of
1980, 6 persons from the patriarch side filed a petition (OS 19/80)
against 24 persons of the catholicate side, demanding the prohibition
of the then existed Managing committee.
12th July, 1984,on the day of the Annual Feast (Perunal) Fr. John
Vallikattil of the Patriarch side conducted a `Fasting Strike' in
front of the `
Madbaha ` of Kolencherry church. He demanded to be appointed as a
priest in the
1984 people of the Catholicos side pursued the case through an IA
petition and the Civil Court appointed a Receiver for the
Administration of the
temporal matters of the Church. Worship was continued under the
1987, Fr. John Kalapurackal of the patriarch side died and in his
Fr. Zechariah Ichikkottil from the patriarch side was appointed
sanction of an IA petition as a temporary priest by the Civil court
till the verdict of the case.
19th August 1991 Dr. Mathews Mor Severios was appointed as the
Metropolitan of the Diocese
Feb. 1997, the suit O.S.19/80 in 1st Additional District Court was
finally disposed with the Verdict issued as " Since the suit is
(receiver) appointment is terminated and he will hand over the charge
weeks to the previous managing committee".
10-03-97. Following this verdict, the ruling group including 11
members of the
previous managing committee along with the permanent priests of the
Fr.O.I. Paulose and Co-Vicar Fr. M.V Abraham assumed charge on Since
Ichikottil Fr. Zechariah of the patriarch side was a temporary priest
by the court, he lost the possibility of continuance.
14-03-1997 two of the committee members Shri
Cheria Pathrose and K.S.Varghese sworn allegiance allegiance to
the 1934 constitution before the Diocesan
Metropolitan, Mathews Mar Severios through an affidavit.
14 03-1997, Fr. Zechariah Ichikottil wrote an affidavit
to Mathews Mar Severios Metropolitan and was appointed as Co-Vicar of
the Kolencherry church.
14-4-1997 - Fr. Zechariah and K.S.Varghese organized "Antiochian
faith defense forum" meetings and created problems at Kolencherry
Diocesan Metropolitan as well as the 1934 Constitution. The
asked for explanation. Against this, Fr. Zechariah Ichikottil filed a
suit at Munsif Court,
Perumbavoor against Metropolitan Mathews Mar Severios (O.S 340/97)
31st March, 1998 the Munsif court issued a verdict favoring the
Metropolitan which reads" The 1st defendant (Mathews Mar Severios
Metropolitan)has got every right to take action against their priests
They want to maintain discipline in the church and proper
administration in accordance with the constitution(1934)".
1-04-1998 Fr, Zechariah
Ichikottil was transferred to Manakunnam Mar Augen church from the
church. Instead of him Fr. John Thenumkal was appointed as Co-Vicar in
Kolencherry church. Thus Fr. O.I. Paulose as Vicar and Fr. M.V.
Abraham and Fr. John Thenumkal
as Co-Vicars, continued their services in the Church.
18th April 1998 the District authorities interfered and closed the
due to the influence of the patriarch side. District authorities
demanded the key of the church. Vicar did not handed
over the key to the civil authorities. The Civil authorities broke
the lock of
the church and again locked with a new lock and handed over the key
representatives of the committee.
17-6-1998 The above act of the District authorities actions were
questioned in the High Court
and through the Court's direction they have handed over the key back
Vicar Fr. O.I. Paulose.
21st December 1998 In the prohibition order of against Fr. Zechariah
Ichikottil, it is recorded as follows " It follows that the plaint
church is to
be administered under the provision of the said constitution (1934).
church (Kolencherry St. Peter's and St. Paul's church) is a parish
Kandanad Diocese. It cannot be disputed that Dr. Mathews Mar Severios
Metropolitan of the Diocese and the contention of the dependant
authority of Dr. Mathews Mar Severios has no merit". (1st Additional
Court, 21st December, 1998. IA 1569 in O.S 31/98)
10th January 2000 Vicar Fr. O.I. Paulose died. In his place Fr. M.V.
Abraham was appointed as Vicar and Fr. C.M. Kuriakose was appointed
as Co- Vicar
together with the other Co-Vicar Fr John Thenungal by the Diocesan
Mathews Mar Severios.
23-03-20000 High Court rejected the appeal questioning this Verdict
of the District,
court and ratified the prohibition order to Fr Zachariah
12-07-2000 Supreme Court further rejected the appeal and ratified
the decisions of the District Court and of
the High Court.
July 2004 The Holy Synod in Malankara held that the stand taken by
the Church in 1974 when new cases began, should be the stand of the
for all times. Malankara church is `One' and it cannot share or
churches or institutions with somebody else
10-07-2005, Muvattupuzha R.D.O unjustly braked the lock of the closed
church and opened it. And on 12-07-2005,he gave permission to
the patriarchal sympathizers to enter the church and they conducted
worship from 6.00AM till 9 AM. This is a challenge to the Law and
irreverence to the Supreme Court verdict.