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Re: Rediscovering Our Malankara Church

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  • Robin J. Mani
    Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I just wanted to begin by thanking the SOCM moderators and members for all the spiritual help they have given me. I joined
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 20, 2007
      Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

      I just wanted to begin by thanking the SOCM moderators and members
      for all the spiritual help they have given me. I joined the forum
      only three years ago and have enjoyed all the debates and
      information that I learned about our Holy Syriac Church. I was
      actually born and brought up in the IOC. It was only a few years ago
      that I began to understand the heritage and traditions of the
      Orthodox church in South India. My journey actually started when I
      wanted to learn more about the Orthodox Church in India. I read many
      books, from the IOC, which were rather generic and repeated the same
      story about the formation of the Catholicate in 1912 and how we were
      persecuted by many foreign churches, i.e. the Roman Catholic and
      Syriac Orthodox, and yet we preserved our freedom. I had no clue
      about our churches relationship with the Holy Patriarch of Antioch.
      I always heard Achen's saying portions of Holy Qurbono in Syriac,
      yet figured it was just customs. I then started to research the
      Syriac Church, and the internet was very useful. It opened my eyes
      to a whole new history, in time I realized that the true history of
      the Church in India was being repressed since the 1970's. I began to
      see the rich traditions that were inherited by our forefathers in
      Malankara. I was really amazed that our Church was so rich in
      traditions, beginning from St. Thomas. I started to ask myself why
      our relationship with the Syriac Church was never talked about in
      the church. I was a Sunday school teacher for 5 years and taught
      various levels of classes, and yet never knew that we not only had a
      relationship with the Syriac church, but that we are part of the
      Syriac Orthodox Church. During this time of discovery I began to ask
      why the IOC was a teaching idea of autocephaly, thrones, titles,
      etc. All these ideas were injected into our church only decades
      after the establishment of the Catholicate in 1912. I began to ask
      why in 1912 a deposed Patriarch was brought, when only years before
      the Church accepted the deposition of the same Patriarch. More and
      more questions came to my head, the history that I believed in for
      years, started to unravel right before my eyes. The culmination of
      all this was when I started to learn about Our Beloved Saintly
      Father Geevarghese Mor Gregorios. As a child I remember my parents
      telling me about Thirumeni and what a role model Thirumeni was to
      all people. I began to read more about Thirumeni's relationship and
      deep respect for the Syriac Church and the Holy Patriarch. The
      salmoosa of Mor Gregorios very clearly explains the deep respect and
      obedience Thirumeni had for the Holy Patriarch of Antioch. All the
      early Fathers of Malankara had this deep respect and obedience, even
      Vattaseril Thirumeni. In the book "Mathopadesha Sangathikal"
      Thirumeni mentions the Holy Patriarch as the highest authority on
      faith and priesthood. It truly boggles the mind to understand where
      the Churches discipline went as the years went on. With each year
      the IOC brings in a new revelation, i.e. the 1934 constitution
      clearly states the MOSC is a division of the Syriac Orthodox Church
      and yet the MOSC is declared autocephalous. Recently the IOC was
      claiming the Bishop's Tomb found in Kerala was Chaldean, and I
      simply asked ICON to post a message asking how that was determined
      that the Bishop was Chaldean. Of course ICON never posted that
      message. I ask to them why, what are you trying to hide? If you have
      evidence say it, otherwise why post baseless things to corrupt the
      minds of innocent faithful. Even Job Thirumeni's post during Holy
      Week, that the IOC had won. My problem with the post is not what was
      said, but the tone. It was very egoistical. The court decision is
      not to be used as a source of peace and unity in the church, but
      rather a way to say I am right and you are wrong. Being a Bishop I
      honestly expected Job Thirumeni to be more modest. A simple message
      saying that regardless of verdict we should use it to help the peace
      process in the Church would have been much more Christian.I
      personally faced this ego, when Thirumeni belittled me on ICON last
      year when I expressed my views regarding the Church. Let me just
      finish by saying that I thank God Almighty and the all the members
      in this forum for helping me to rediscover our true heritage and
      traditions of the Syriac Orthodox Church.

      Your servant in Christ,
      Robin J. Mani
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