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16Re: ORIENTAL CONSANGUINITY

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  • thomas_pa1@yahoo.com
    Feb 12, 2001
      --- In SOCM-FORUM@y..., "Thomas Daniel" <daniel_reji@h...> wrote:

      > For someone who would point to you the "tainted history" of the
      > Syriac Orthodox Church, I have a retort: What good has come of the
      > Malankara Church in the near 2000 years of its existence? The Syriac
      > Church has produced innumerable fathers and doctors who are today
      > held in reverence by Christians all over the world. It produced the
      > earliest translations of the bible, innumerable commentaries on the
      > Bible, 80 anaphoras, thousands of metrical hymns and homilies, and
      > the list goes on. What has the Malankara Church, with its apparent
      > glorious history produced during the same 2000 years? If the history
      > of the Syriac Church was that bad, why are the Malankara Orthodox
      > still using exclusively all the fruits of that dubious history?
      >

      Dear Daniel, Writings of Syrian fathers were not always in Syriac
      as you think. Some wrote only in Greek, e.g. Patairch Severios,
      you may not like him these days since you accept RC. There is
      nothing wrong in an unity with RC, provided it happens after
      discussion with rest of Oriental Orthodox Churches. That should
      be our Christian way.

      Also liturgy is not an intellectual property of an ethnic Church.
      Ethiopians use Coptic liturgy for sacraments, but in Geez, Amharic
      language. Indian Churches use Syrian liturgy as it was used
      in Jerusalem. We follow the Jerusalem writes received from,
      Mar Gregorios of Jerusalem, but in Malayalam language. Also
      many of our customs are different from that of Syrians.
      Similarly Coptic Church also produced many theologians and
      saints.

      It is not that we didn't had our own liturgy. We had everything,
      but foreign churches imposed their liturgy on us and distroying
      our works.

      Malankara Church does not lack in theological scholars and
      spiritual writings. There are many commentaries of Holy
      Eucharist written by 20th century Malankara fathers. In the
      area of theological dialogues with Eastern Orthodox, theologians
      from India contributed more than any. If you catalogue the
      works properly, perhaps 20th century Malankara Church
      produced more works than 20th century Syrian Church.
      Syrian Church did produce great works when the concentration
      of the Church was more on spiritual matters. Todays Church,
      I fear is a shadow of past glory. I think any Church has a
      dynamic existence confronting contemporary problems. Projecting
      just works of the past in not enough. Fathers of the past,
      when they wrote, were writing in respinse to problems they
      faced at that time, mostly theological controversies. But today
      we face more problems than this, especially problems created
      by advances in technology and changes in life style.
      Writings of some of the 20th century Malankara Fathers are more
      popular in Oriental, Eastern Orthodox and RC world than any
      other works originating from Oriental Orthodox Church.

      Some how we tend to give our own leaders and their works a
      low value. This lack in self confidence is due to our West-centric
      view of Christianity. Indian Christians tend to think that
      Christinaity is a Western (middle-eastern in your case) Semitic
      faith. But the Church of new testament can exist in a non
      semitic world. That is the beauty of Orthodox Christianity.
      Today we have Churches in all Indian cities, mission centeres
      with the full support of the Indian goverment. Do you know the
      reason why Indian government support the mission of Malankara
      Church and not RC?


      T
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