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- Hi Mr. Thomas,
This is really great..!!! and a very innovative idea. Hope everything
goes well and our youngsters have a bright future. I really appreciate
all who are behind this noble cause. I hope there won't be any
discriminations, and the services can be availed equally by the
Knanaya community & Non knanaya Jacobite community. Once again cheers
Aji Thomas David
- Dear Reji & members of the forum
Aattached is the article desired for Sleeba perunal,
September 14 is the feast of Holy Cross. There is special liturgy in Syria.
We have none but Holy Eucharist. Queen Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine
the Great of Rome, led an expedition to Jerusalem to find the cross on which
Jesus Christ was crucified. By then the whole world forgot about Jesus cross
and the place where it was abandoned. She, after great deal of effort and
spending, finally located the spot. Jews connived with then Roman authorities
and dumped Jesus cross in very deep pit so that it could never be found. They
converted the area into landfill. Three centuries continuous waste- dump made
the place a hillock. Foul stink, broken glasses, thorny plants, etc made it a
haven for ravens where none dared to go. Helenas persuasions to explore the
area met with cold feet. The wise queen sprinkled gold power all over the area
and declared rewards to those who collect the most. There was incredible rush
to win the contest. The zealous gold-mongers cleared the area in short period.
They unearthed the cross from over 300 dept. There were three identical
crosses. It was impossible to identify Jesus cross. A dead body stimulated to
life when it touched one cross. Thus they ascertained the cross of Jesus and
discarded others. She took the cross to Constantinople with great honor. The
emperor lavishly constructed a church in Rome called, Basilica
Constantiniana. He dedicated the cross in the Church of Holy Sepulchre on
Sept. 14, 335. Muslim militants destroyed this most precious Christian relic
during the infamous Crusades that ravished the Christendom in the thirteenth
The queen had sound reason to undertake such a task. Maxentius, the neighboring
king, declared war on Constantine. Constantine became deeply troubled and went
to bed with a heavy heart, for Maxentius was tenfold stronger. That night
Constantine saw a vision; sign of cross, of superimposed light in the sky. He
heard a voice, Carry this sign on the uniforms of the soldiers and you will
win. He could not fully comprehend the implication of the vision nonetheless,
he obeyed it in letter and spirit and miraculously he won the war against his
stronger foe. He became Emperor of Rome. He had no doubt that Cross brought
him victory. He soon believed and submitted to Jesus Christ who was hanged on
the cross, dead buried and on the third day rose again. He became the first
ever ruler to embrace Christianity. He made Christianity, till then a
persecuted religion, the official religion of the empire. Heathen citizens
became Christians, their priests became Christian priests and Heathen temples
became Christian Churches. Persecutions came to a halt. Christianity for the
first time after three centuries of its inception became a royal religion. The
title, Pontiff, hither to assigned to heathen adviser to Roman Emperor
shifted to the Bishop of Rome and he became first among the equals. Priesthood
acquired symbols of royalty. Christians property rights were established.
Sunday, the worship day of Christians became national holiday for the first
time. In the transition what Christianity lost was its original fervor, vigor
and chastity. Conversions were a necessity rather than willful choice.
Christianity became a world religion and succumbed to egocentric power
politics. So we can cite both good and evil consequences of famous Edit of
Milan on June 15, 313 that made Christianity the state religion. But that is
not my subject to now deal with.
Capital punishment by hanging on tree was very ancient system of the orient.
The hanged was considered accursed of God. The body should be removed from tree
on the same day lest the land would be defiled, Deut 21:22-23. Murder,
rebellion, robbery, treason, etc merited crucifixion. Crucifixion was favorite
way of execution to Romans. It was the cruel most form of punishment. They
inflicted it upon outside criminals and slaves. Roman citizens were exempted.
Antiochus Epiphanus crucified many Jews who defied his decrees. Death in this
case was most painful, violent and slowest. It usually took three to four days
to die suffering from acute bleeding, pain, asphyxiation, hunger and thirst.
Sedatives were given to reduce pain and legs were broken to hasten death. The
soldiers did both to both thieves. Jesus refused to drink sedative, thus
consciously bore pain in its full magnitude. Soldiers had to ascertain the
death of victims before vacating the scene. The soldiers were surprised that
Jesus died so fast. They did not break His legs but pierced His side to make
sure He had died, John 19:34.
St. Paul quoted Deuteronomy 21:23 and said that Jesus, by hanging on the tree
became curse for us and thus removed the curse which was on us, Gal
3:13. Jehovah witness misinterpret word tree and teach that Jesus was
hanged on a single stem as if on a real tree. Risen Jesus showed disciples His
hands with nail mark that removed their doubts about resurrection, John 20:20.
Jesus stretched His hands horizontally to both sides, Col 2:14.
Jesus was crucified according to Roman manner on a Latin cross
(Crux Immissa)because it was not the Jews but the Roman soldiers who
carried out judgement.
Jesus carried the crossbeam. The upright beam was permanently fixed on the
ground. The culprits were scourged, stripped naked, hands stretched and nailed
on both sides and then lifted and fastened to the upright beam. Four nails were
usually used. Rope tying was employed to support body weight and to prevent
from wriggling loose. The culprits clothing went to soldiers, Mat 27:35.
Criminal carried around his neck a placard inscribing the offense so that
others could clearly see to the place of crucifixion and placed overhead after
crucifixion. Roman crucifixion was in a nutshell in this form of according to
various historical records. Therefore Jehovah witness teaching is erroneous.
As in the case of the whole proceedings of indictment it is an absolute irony
that the title King of the Jews which was placed overhead does not constitute
an offence. Emperor Constantine abolished capital punishment of crucifixion.
Certain people say that Jesus was killed on the cross and hence the cross is
murder weapon and should not be venerated nor treated holy. The very idea that
Jesus was killed on the cross is wrong. But for willful choice, to undergo
death on the cross so that He ought to win over death and decay that so far
reigned over mankind, to give everlasting life to humanity; no one could have
imposed death on Him. He said, that legions would have come to save Him if He
so desired, Mat 26:53. I lay down my life that I may take it again. No one
takes it from me, but I lay it down myself, Joh 10:17-18. Something that He
voluntarily chose could not be said as something mankind imposed upon Him. On
the other hand He chose to remove the curse of the law by becoming curse. His
passion, crucifixion and resurrection were fulfillment of redemption conceived
even before all creations. Denial of this truth alleges that Christian faith is
false and they are most miserable creatures guilty of relying on fiction and
still live in sin, says St. Paul. Thus treating cross, as murder weapon is
wholly absurd heresy.
Next allegation is that it is idolatry to worship cross. The fact is that we
worship crucified Christ not the cross-shaped wood. We venerate the cross
because through cross we are redeemed. Literally, cross is not an idol. Idol is
the image of any figure such as likeness of human, beast on earth, fowl in air,
anything that creeps on ground, or fish in waters either carved or painted,
Deut 4:16-18. The original Decalogue says You shall not make graven image or
likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath
or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down nor serve them
for I am the Lord your God, Ex 20:4-5. The word anything would include
angels, plants and leaves. Moses made two cherubs of gold and placed facing
each other on the two ends of the mercy seat, Ex 37:7-9. Solomons temple had
two cherubs; wings spread wall to wall of the Holy of Holies, made of olive and
covered with gold. Cherubs were carved on the wall paneling, 1 K 6:29, 32, and
35, 7:36. Many Israelites died of fiery serpents bite. God instructed Moses to
make brass serpent and post in on a pole in the center of the tent. Moses so
did and those who looked on the brass serpent were saved. These are exceptions
to the law of idolatry. Literally, cross has no likeness of any natural object
and hence it is outside the purview of idol or idolatry. Theologically,
anything such as, money, possession, beauty, fame, interest, authority or that
is given more importance than God is idol.
The Cross has cosmic dimension that it is sign of Christs universal dominion.
It represents vertical relation between God and humanity and horizontal
relation between people. Geographically, it stands in the center of universe;
its ends extend infinitely to four corner of the universe and brings to
subjection The breadth, length, hight and depth of the creations, Eph 3:18. It
stands in the center of the human history and thus culminates its dominion to
the past present and the future. Church prohibits iconographic portrayal of
nude, dead Christ on the crucifix as opposed to the dereliction of west. Church
prohibits use of graven image on the cross.
Cross represents supreme and divine love of suffering and self-renunciation.
Jesus laid down a hard condition to follow him that is to take up ones cross,
Mat 10:38, 16:24, Mk 8:34, Lk 9:23. In other words, it is impossible to follow
Jesus without first denying self. One has to be prepared to loose ones life,
relations and belonging. Nothing less than the total abnegation is acceptable.
Cross is nonsense to those who perish but power to those who are saved says St
Paul. For this reason he felt that preaching in polished language deprives the
value of cross, 1 Cor 1:17, 18, 23. He boasted only in cross, Gal 6:14. St.
Peter out of reverence opted to be crucified upside down. Cross is symbol of
unity between Jews and Gentiles, Eph 2:16. Cross is symbol of overcoming
sensual desires because those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh.
Cross is the symbol of reconciliation for, God the father absolved the mankind
of their inequities by imputing all crimes on Jesus and nailing it to the
cross. Cross is the symbol of victory over sin, Satan and death because Jesus
nailed them on the cross and came out victorious. Cross is the symbol of saving
grace of God for; Jesus death and resurrection brought redemption and eternal
life to mankind.
Tradition has that Apostles carried wooden cross. St. Thomas carried wooden
cross in hand and also tied around neck. He grouted wooden cross wherever he
founded a church. Malayattur remains a living testimony. The Pilgrim Fathers,
it is said brought with them a seven foot-high wooden cross with them. First
they did soon after landing was fastening it to the ground with a prayer
dedicating this land to God.
Fr. John KK
- Dear Members of SOCM,
His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas is entering into his 23rd
year of Patriarchal reign.
On September 14, 1980, H.H was consecrated as the Patriarch of Antioch by
name Ignatius Zakka I, in a rite officiated by Catholicos of the East,
Mor Baselius Paulos II of blessed memory along with the archbishops of
the Holy Synod.
Let us, the members of SOCM, pray that God grant H.H. good health , strength
and wisdom to lead the members of The Universal Syriac Orthodox Church for many
more years to come.
With praises & thanks to the Lord God
- Dear All,
Thank you for maintaining this vigorous forum airing the views of our
faithful. I have enjoyed reading questions and responses. I hope that
as we celebrate the aniversary of the enthronement of our Patriarch,
we can remember our duty to advocate the Mother Church´s truths.
Dn. Zacharia Varghese
- Dear All,
I have come across this case Mr.Manoj is referring.What I have heard
is the priest went through Roof,and followed by bishop.When catholicose
tries to enter through window,no wonder Bishops follow suit.The Malayalam
saying is correct'like king his subjects"!
But Bible is clear- those who enter through back door is none but thief.
- 1. 22nd Anniversary of the Coronation of the Patriarch of Antioch
and all the East
2. "Methran faction's attack on Majanikkara Dayaro, most unfortunate"
- Viswasa Samathi
More Links available at:- http://www.malankaravoice.cjb.net
- The Cross is gallows transformed into symbol of grace. The Sleeba
Perunal was probably observed from the 4th century itself, although
modern scholars do not attach critical significance to the Helena
story.This is an occasion for us to contemplate on the Cross.
Christ asked us to follow him carrying our cross. Many sermons have
been preached on this "our cross". However the system of execution
would explain what our Lord meant. The one who carries his cross to
the place of execution has no freedom except what is granted by the
Centurion; no address except the gypsom board on which he and his
crime( read biodata or Cv in modern terms) would be recorded. He
cannot even complain that he is tired, or that the Cross he is given
is heavier. that is total surrender. Christ demands that kind of
surrender, to be made voluntarily, by his followers.
Any one hanged on a tree was deemed accursed.Therefore according to
Law Jesus is accursed.Whoever is accursed by the Law is exiled from
it. Whoever is exiled is no longer under the Law.We who follow Him
are also likewise free from the Law. This is the Pauline explanation
of the significance of the Cross as explained by Everett.
For John Cross is the symbol of God's glory. The new Brazen Serpent.
Look to Him and be saved. John 19:37 with Numbers 21: 49.John's
Gospel shows the journey to Calvary as the victory march of a
The Cross is gallows. It needs a prey. Either we can offer ourselves
as prey and be rid of sins i.e. crucify the world, or we can crucify
The making of the sign of the cross began in the 2nd century itself,
mostly as a private affair since church was still underground. The
public symbol was either fish or dove, mostly fish because ICHTHYS
means fish and can also be an acronym for Iesus Christos Theou Huios
Soter, viz. Jesus Christ, son of God, Redeemer. It finally became the
central smbol because, " Its two bars were already a cosmic symbol
from remote antiquity of the axis between heaven and earth. But its
choice by Christians had a more specific explanation. They wished to
commemmorate as central to their understanding of Jesus ".
Ancient Christians in India used many forms. Please see either
Dr. Nangachiveetil's book or my VEDASABDARATNAKARAM. The latter also
tries to connect the Cross to a verse in Mundakopanishad.
Let us meditate this week on John 19:37.
TOTUS TUUS MARIA
- Hello All,
Please clarify one doubt of mine.A friend of mine
recently told me that our bava has only formal
education of fourth standard.Is it true?
I sincerely need a response to clarify my doubtsand
stand up against the people who dont respect him.
Alappurathu Idichandy Mathew
My name is Ashley Chinnan and a friend of mine joined me to the
Forum few months ago. Initially, I was a little bit skeptical about the
forum because I thought it mainly dealt with political issues. But as I
have been reading all the messages, I must say that I'm glad that my
friend joined me in the forum. I'm a Sunday school teacher at St. Mary's
Jacobite church in Lynbrook, New York, and I find many useful topics that
I could discuss with my students from the forum. Not only do I find
useful discussion topics, I 've learned so much about our church's
history and why we do the certain things that we do.
Thank you and please continue to enlighten me.
- My dear and most beloved in our Lord and God,
I write this to inform you that I am entering into the 25th year of my
priestly ordination on 17th September 2002. I was ordained as a priest by
the late lamented Mor Gregoriose Geevarghese Metropolitan at St. Adai's
Church Nalunnakkal along with Rev.Fr.Mathews Edathara, Augusta Georgia, USA
and Rev.Fr. Geevarghese Thekkanathu, Thrikkothamangalam.
I praise the Lord Almighty for all the blessings I had to work in the
vineyard of our Lord. Now when I look back I think I had crossed the great
part in my life with much blessings and profound gifts from my Lord.
I have been blessed by the prayers and supports of my friends and relatives
all through my way. I got the full support of my co workers wherever I was
posted. The achivements I have made are mainly through these blessings and
cooperations. I thank them all. I thank all my close associates for the
genorous support and encouragements in my griefs and sorrows.
I thank my parents and family members for the love and care given to me to
support my ministry.
I remember my beloved Spiritual fathers and teachers who showed me the way
to the Lord. I am indebted to the members of the Syrian Orthodox Church who
loved me and helped me in all ways in my travels in India and elsewhere and
the supports given to the projects I had been focussing at different times.
I am thankful to the prelates and the leaders of the church for assaigning
me different positions in the church in addition to the priestly offices in
the past 24 years and more.
I thank God for all the blessings.
Please pray for me and bless me,
BLESS MY LORD, IN THE SERVICE OF OUR LORD.
Kuriakose Corepiscopa Moolayil
From the desk of Moderators:
On behalf of the members of the SOCM, we congratulate you on this occasion.
We pray that God bless him abundantly with good health and energy so that
he can continue to serve the Church for many more years to come
- Respected Rev. fathers and dear friends,
Are we true followers of the Son of Man, who had no property or a place to
rest His head although the birds have nests and snakes have wholes to take
Is there nobody amongst the so called elite and powerful faction owing
allegiance to the Kottayam/Devalokam faction of the Malankara Syrian
Orthodox Church to give advice or wisdom to their confused leadership?
Or they want to watch and enjoy the street fights (even with the dead
bodies) and troubles erupted in the Malankara Church just to capture
other's properties ? Does it not resemble the Emperor Nero, who was
enjoying and celebrating in his palace when Rome was burning ? It seems
that the Kottayam leadership have been sent to this earth to acquire
properties of others and give accounts to somewhere/someone they only know.
No court has so far declared that all the parishes of the Malankara Church
belong to any group or faction or methran or bawa or priest or anybody in
this world. The parish belongs to the God Almighty and its day to day care
has to be undertaken by the faithful who go and attend there.
Instead "Samaraahwanam", political threats, backstabbing, stone throwing,
planned attacks on the holy places, cunning and manipulated actions to
take control of the churches, goondaism by the reverend priests, etc.,
etc. shall not find any end to this man-made conflict in the Holy Church.
It is heard that some film producers and directors have taken keen
interest to make a good commercial film on these 'Christianities' and they
are hopeful to make good profit without much investments. The so called
"model Christians" are available in plenty and they will be happy to act
in such a film without any monetary benefit.
One must understand that the Patriarch of Antioch & All the East was very
much willing to have peace in the Malankara Church and that was the only
reason that His Holiness did not ordain any Catholicos for the Malankara
Church after the demise of the Late Catholicos His Beatitude Aabun Mor
Basalious Paulose II on Sept.1, 1996.
Everybody waited till 26th July 2002 for the return of the Catholicos to
the main stream of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church. The Catholicos
was willing to accept the Patriarch as Supreme Spiritual Head of the
Church, but some vested people did not allow him to do so. Therefore the
conflict continued. Now the Jacobite faction has got the Patriarch
(Supreme Head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church), Catholicose (local
head of the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, which is a part of
the Universal Church) ordained by the Patriarch as stipulated in the Sabha
Constitution), Malankara Syrian Chrisitian Association, Constitution, etc.
and become a full pledged Church as envisaged by the early fathers of the
Church. The Supreme Court Judgement also confirms that a true Church should
have all the above mentioned offices of Spiritual authorities in a Church.
Let us pray to God that the divine peace may prevail upon our Church and
the God Almighty may give all of us enough patience and strength to forgive
and forget the misdeeds comitted by all of us.
Yours in Christ,
Jacob V. Joshua
- Sometime back a brother stated that Mor Osthathios a senior
Metropolitan of the Malankara Church reportedly venerated and prayed
by a statute of the Blessed Mother.
I posted back requesting a picture and article no one gave one...I
once again request the picture and article...and to please stop
denying the truth and creating false rumors!
From the desk of Moderators
Mr. Dooly, we clarified your point along with post. Please go to our
photo section "Clarifications" their you can view the picture. As we requested
earlier, please disclose your identity in your future postings.
- Dear Mr. Idichandy,
What your friend told you is fully correct. Please inform your
friend, H.B was working as an "ANJALOTTAKKARAN" (hope your friend
know the meaning of this word) and as "NEWS PAPER BOY" too to support
his family before he becomes the priest of Malankara Church.
We should be proud of our BAVA and church. In our church worldly
education is not counted for elevating someone for the priesthood.
Once a layman elevated as priest, then he can become the Catholicose
or Patriarch of our church if the Almighty choose him. You might know
that the majority of the Apostles were not even having any basic
education. Still they were called to that position by the Lord God.
In our Church, we believe that the same sprit is called anyone for
Now regarding the H.B Baselious Thomas I, his worldly education is
nothing, but his spiritual education is much more than anyone in
Malankara which can't be measured by any University or law of the
As you know, he was a very famous convention speaker. And he was in
very demand also, when he was just merely a priest. He was a regular
speaker in "Nilakkal Convention" conducted by Nilackal Indian
Orthodox Church, Puthuppally, Kottayam which was witnessed me many
times along with many of IOC members.
Also he was very good organizer, none from Malankara can deny his
efforts and hard work to build the Kolanchery Mission Hospital.
From the day he started opposing the IOC and their modern teachings,
he become an untouchable to them. When he is elevated as the
Catholicose their untouchability increased and they started doubting
his wordily education.
But we are proud of him. He is leading us through the true path of
our forefathers and struggling and accepting all sort of humiliation
& harassments to keep the Holy Church grow through the true path.
May the almighty, who choose him as Catholicose, will strengthen him
in his rest of the life.
In our Lords Love
St. George Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church