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Malankara Church & Ethiopian Church

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  • Fr Jose Thomas
    The Patriarchal faction argue that we are following the Syrian Liturgy and tradition, so we have to enslave to Syrian Patriach. From the history, we know that
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 30, 2007
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      The Patriarchal faction argue that we are following the Syrian Liturgy
      and tradition, so we have to enslave to Syrian Patriach.

      From the history, we know that there was a great hostility between
      Alexandrian Theological Tradition and Antiochene Theological Tradition.
      The Christology of early Antiochenes was “two natures” Christology and
      they followed the teachings of Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret of
      Cyprus and Ibas of Edessa. The Antiochenes accepted the formula of
      Chalcedon. The present Syrian Patriarch H.H Ignatius Zakka Iwas I (in the
      line of St. Severius of Antioch) and his followers are the adherents of
      Alexandrian Christology. Therefore, are they ready to accept Alexandrian
      Patriarch Pope Shenouda as their Supreme head of the Church? They use
      English language. Are they ready to receive the yoke of Britain? They
      have also used Old Testament of Hebrew people. The Apostles were Jews.
      The Christian (either Syrian or other) worship and liturgy has been
      developed from the Old Testament temple worship, from the Synagogue
      worship and from the Last Supper of our Lord. Are they ready to accept
      the supremacy of Jews and Israel? They use the scientific theories and
      modern technologies of Western countries for their survival. Are they
      ready to accept the supremacy of Westerners?

      In fact the early Syrian Fathers of the Oriental Orthodox Churches had no
      ambition to get other sister Churches under their own yoke. They tried to
      uphold the Orthodox faith and sacrificed their life for the Church. But
      in the present age, the prelates of Syria have different motive. Is it
      Orthodoxy? The 1965 Addis Ababa Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches
      has decided that Oriental Orthodox Churches are five; and all Oriental
      Churches are autocephalous. Syrian Patriarchate has accepted the
      decision. In addition, according to Orthodox Ecclesiology, every Church
      is autocephalous; neither subordinate nor superior. Being an Orthodox
      Church, why does Syrian Orthodox Church hesitate to accept it? Why does
      H.H. Ignatius Zakka Iwas I disregard the dignity of a Patriarch to accept
      the freedom of Malankara Orthodox Church?

      Our ancestors were innocent and they could not realize the trap of the
      Syrians. In addition, some leaders tried to get supremacy upon others.
      It’s already past.

      What is our present situation? We are happy to sell ourselves to the
      foreigners. We forget our dignity, self-esteem as a community. We know
      the great verse –“ paarathantryam maanikalkku mruthiyekkaal bhayaanakam”.
      But, we are enjoying the life of slavery.

      In this situation, we have to learn from Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The
      Ethiopian Orthodox Church was officially organized in the fourth century
      (328 AD) after Christianity was introduced to the country in the very
      Apostolic era. St. Athanasius of Alexandria consecrated St. Frumentius,
      the first bishop of Ethiopia in 4th Century. Until the 20th Century, the
      Ethiopian Orthodox Church remained directly connected with the Coptic
      Patriarchate who used to send Coptic Bishops to look after the Ethiopian
      Church. In 1929, under the Coptic Patriarch Yohanes XIX, five Ethiopians
      were consecrated as the first Ethiopian Bishops, with the Coptic
      Archbishop Kirilos III at their head.

      Many agreements were made in 1948 and completed in 1951 and Abuna Gebre
      Giyorgis, one among the five bishops, became the Archbishop of Ethiopia
      under the name Abuna Baselios I. This stage was followed in 1959, under
      the Coptic Patriarch Kirilos VI, by the consecration of Abuna Baselios as
      the first Ethiopian Patriarch. It was the beginning of the autocephaly of
      the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Since 1992, H.H Abuna Paulos has been the
      fifth Patriarch of Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

      Now, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is an autocephalous Church. Coptic
      Church has never intervened the affairs of Ethiopian Church. Unlike the
      Malankara Nazranis, Ethiopian Orthodox Christians have never attempted to
      contact Coptic Church for any positions and they exist as one community
      under Ethiopian Patriarch. They are far far better than Malankara
      Nazranis in keeping the freedom and dignity.

      Therefore, as per as I am concerned, Malankara Orthodox Church has to
      stay together as an independent Church under the Apostolic Throne of St.
      Thomas. Like Coptic Patriarch, Syrian Patriarch H.H Ignatius Zakka Iwas I
      has to accept the autocephaly of Malankara Orthodox Church. Like,
      Ethiopians, the faithful believers of the Malankara Orthodox Church must
      stay together for the freedom of an indigenous Church. Make hay while the
      sun shines.

      Fr Jose Thomas Poovathumkal
      St Frumentius Theological College
      Post Box 1444, Makele, Tigray, Ethiopia
      Ph: +251-344-400 311 Cell: +251-914-720 271
      Mulakulam North, Piravom, Kochi-686664, Kerala, India
      Ph:+91-9447024355
      e-mail: poovathumkalachen@...


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • dhinuus
      ... Dear Rev Fr Jose, I am a Malankara Nazrani from the Angamaly diocese, which you can say belongs to the Patriarchal faction. I consider myself a devot
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 2, 2007
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        --- In MalankaraOrthodoxSyrianChristian@yahoogroups.com,
        Dear Rev Fr Jose,

        I am a Malankara Nazrani from the Angamaly diocese, which you can say
        belongs to the Patriarchal faction. I consider myself a devot
        Malankara Syrian Christian, and dont usually get involved any sort of
        factional fueds. Now here are my thoughs with respect to your
        comparison between the Malankara and Ethiopian Churches.


        Let me first clarify, I dont think there is nothing wrong with the
        Malankara Church having autocephaly. The question is how did we go
        about getting autocephaly.

        The Ethiopian situation is not comparable with the Malankara
        situation. In the Ethiopian Church there was consensus in the Synod
        of Bishops that they wanted autocephaly, the Ethiopian Synod
        approached the Coptic Synod and the Coptic Patriarch and the Coptic
        Synod granted autocephaly.

        Now let us go back to 1911 and the Malankara Synod of that time just
        prior to the establishment of the Catholicate and the granting of
        autocephaly to the Malankara Church. There were six Bishops in the
        Malankara Church at that time:

        1) H.G Murimatthail Mar Ivanious (later Catholicose)
        2) H.G Vattesseirl Mar Divannasious
        3) H.G Paulose Mar Kurilose of Panmpady
        4) H.G Paulose Mar Athanasious of Aluva
        5) H.G Geevarghese Mar Severious
        6) H.G Sleeba Mar Osthathios (Antiochean Delegate)

        You can even exclude #6, H.G Sleeba Mar Osthathios saying that he was
        of Syriac ethnicity and a delegate of the Anthichean Patriarch. Still
        there were 5 Bishops of Malankara ethnicity in India pior to the
        arrival of Late Patriarch Abdul Messiah.

        Of the six or five, one #1 and #2 wanted autocephaly. The remaining
        four or three (depends on if you include or exclude Sleeba Mar
        Osthathios) was not in favor of the establishment of the Catholicate
        or autocephaly.

        Now let us skip the Synod and look at the Trustees of the church. The
        Malankara Church had three trustees:
        1) H.G Vattesseirl Mar Divannasious (Metropolitain Trustee)
        2) Rev Fr. Konatt Malpan Achen (Priest Trustee)
        3) Sri C T Kurian (Lay Turstee)

        Of the three trustees the Priest Turstee and the Lay Trustee was not
        in favor of the establishment of the Catholicate or autocephaly.

        So in short, unlike the Ethiopian Church, in the Malankara Church
        there was no consensus with respect to gaining autocephaly.

        Now let us see how it was granted. Did the synod of the Syriac Church
        grant autocephaly ? No.

        A Syriac Patriarch (let us skip for a moment if he was the rightful
        Patriarch or not) without consulting his Synod, on his own granted
        autocephaly to the Malankara Church in 1912 by establishing a
        Catholicate.

        There is a big difference between the way Malankara Church gained
        autocephaly and how the Ethiopian Church gained autocephaly.

        If we wanted autocephaly in 1911, the following is what we should
        have done.

        1) First create consensus in the Malankara Synod for autocephaly, if
        a consensus was not possible, wait a little longer till consesus is
        possible.

        2) Request the Antiochean Synod for autocephaly. If the synod does
        not grant it, wait a little longer and ask again.

        If autocephaly was gained with consensus and thru proper channels
        like the Ethiopian Church did then every Malankara Nazrani would have
        supported it.

        In Christ,
        Mathew G M


        "Fr Jose Thomas" <poovathumkalachen@...> wrote:

        "In this situation, we have to learn from Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
        The Ethiopian Orthodox Church was officially organized in the fourth
        century (328 AD) after Christianity was introduced to the country in
        the very Apostolic era. St. Athanasius of Alexandria consecrated St.
        Frumentius, the first bishop of Ethiopia in 4th Century. Until the
        20th Century, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church remained directly
        connected with the Coptic Patriarchate who used to send Coptic
        Bishops to look after the Ethiopian Church. In 1929, under the Coptic
        Patriarch Yohanes XIX, five Ethiopians were consecrated as the first
        Ethiopian Bishops, with the Coptic Archbishop Kirilos III at their
        head.

        Many agreements were made in 1948 and completed in 1951 and Abuna
        Gebre Giyorgis, one among the five bishops, became the Archbishop of
        Ethiopia under the name Abuna Baselios I. This stage was followed in
        1959, under the Coptic Patriarch Kirilos VI, by the consecration of
        Abuna Baselios as the first Ethiopian Patriarch. It was the beginning
        of the autocephaly of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Since 1992, H.H
        Abuna Paulos has been the fifth Patriarch of Ethiopian Orthodox
        Church.

        Now, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is an autocephalous Church. Coptic
        Church has never intervened the affairs of Ethiopian Church. Unlike
        the Malankara Nazranis, Ethiopian Orthodox Christians have never
        attempted to contact Coptic Church for any positions and they exist
        as one community under Ethiopian Patriarch. They are far far better
        than Malankara Nazranis in keeping the freedom and dignity."
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