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Can you explain the differences.

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  • Larry
    Greetings in Christ, I am new to the Oriental Orthodox churchs. I have done some research online, but even this can be a bit confusing. What are the differnces
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 2, 2008
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      Greetings in Christ,

      I am new to the Oriental Orthodox churchs. I have done some research
      online, but even this can be a bit confusing.

      What are the differnces between.

      1. Orthodox Syrian church
      2. Malankara Orthodox Syrian church
      3. Malankara Jacobite Syrian church
      4. Mar Thoma Indian Orthodox church

      Are there difference in doctrines and theology, or is it mostly who
      oversees each body? Also are they all in commuinion with one another?

      Grace and peace in the love of Christ

      Brother Larry
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    • Dr.
      Dear Brother Larry, I am Fr. (Dr.) Mani Rajan, a priest of the Syrian Orthodox Church. There is a short answer to your questions, provided you have some
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 3, 2008
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        Dear Brother Larry,

        I am Fr. (Dr.) Mani Rajan, a priest of the Syrian Orthodox Church. There is a short answer to your questions, provided you have some knowledge about the history of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church. Let me try to answer your questions.


        Orthodox Syrian church
        Malankara Orthodox Syrian church
        Malankara Jacobite Syrian church
        Mar Thoma Indian Orthodox church

        Are there difference in doctrines and theology, or is it mostly who
        oversees each body? Also are they all in communion with one another?

        The Churches listed as 1 & 2 are one the same. Malankara denotes one state of India which is Kerala at southern end. This Church is part of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church as per the 1934 constitution of the Church and as per the Judgement of the apex court of India. However, there is a contention that the Church is autocephalous and the Bishop (Maphrian/Catholicos) is seated on the Throne of St. Thomas whereas the Malankara Jacobite Church is an integral part of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church, the primate of the Church is His Holiness Patriarch Ignatius Zakka Ivas I, seated on the Throne of St. Peter. Now you know that the apostolic succession from St. Peter is an article of faith of Syrian Orthodox Church and this was accepted by Churches (listed 1 & 2) until A.D. 1912. The prelates of these churches were ordained by Patriarch of Antioch, seated on the Throne of St. Peter. Delegates (Bishops/Maphrians) of the Patriarch were here in Kerala and eleven of them are entombed here. Later on new contentions of a faction lead to division in the Church in A.D. 1912. That church is known in the names listed 1 & 2..

        (1) Are there difference in doctrines and theology, or is it mostly who oversees each body?

        There is no difference in the doctrines and theology. Churches listed 1 & 2 use the Antiochean liturgy, use very same vestments, very same sacraments and follow the same doctrines. The issues are about: (1) is this Church autocephalous? (2) Can they claim to have apostolic succession of St. Thomas? (3) Can they break off from the apostolic see of St. Peter in their quest for independence? Their arguments are for an independent church along the lines mentioned above. Who is the head of the Church is also a question that they content but without any valid reason.

        (2) Also are they all in communion with one another?

        The answer is negative. The Church listed Number 4. Mar Thoma Indian Orthodox church is probably Marthoma Church which is a Church formed in the middle of the 19th century as a result of infusion of Protestant faith due to the advent of British people in India. They use adulterated Syrian Liturgy with medications to the effect that - - (1) they don’t believe in the intercession of saints, (2) they don’t pray for the departed, and some other changes to suit the doctrines of the Church of England such as dependence on Bible (anything that is not contained in the Bible is not necessary for salvation).

        The Malankara Jacobite Syrian church or The Syrian Orthodox Church was in communion with the Orthodox Syrian Church (Indian Orthodox Church based in Kerala) until A.D. 1975. Now, it is not in communion with the Churches listed 1 & 2. The Church listed 4 is having fundamental differences in their doctrines and therefore not in communion since A. D. 1848.

        I hope that the explanations will help you understand the differences.

        Fr. (Dr.). Mani Rajan
      • Larry Quintana
        Fr. Mani, Thank you for your reply. I understand what you are saying about the MarThoma church. It seems seems that they have been highly influenced by
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 3, 2008
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          Fr. Mani,

          Thank you for your reply. I understand what you are saying about the
          MarThoma church. It seems seems that they have been highly influenced
          by Protestantism and western theology.

          So now my next question is this. And it might be somewhat divisive in
          nature but that is not my intent with my question. I am new to this
          faith. I want to seek Christ in the most purest form of worship. I
          recently attneded a Malankara Jacobite church. We loved the
          Liturgy/Qurbono. But I suppose what I am asking, from that of an
          American who has always been influenced by Protestantism and the
          such. Am I now involved in a church that is good for me and my
          family. I live in Denver and there are not many churches of this
          Oriental Orthodox churches. I am familiar with the differnces of the
          Oriental VS the Greek/Russian. We are not attracted to the latter
          churches liturgy and worship. We understand the Christological
          differences between the two churches and the many other theological
          teachings. We are american but are more at home with the people of
          India.

          So, are we now in a good place of worship within the Jacobite church?

          Grace and Peace in the love of Christ.

          Brother Larry .

          --- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, Rev. Fr. (Dr.) Mani Rajan wrote:
          >
          > Dear Brother Larry,
          >
          > I am Fr. (Dr.) Mani Rajan, a priest of the Syrian Orthodox Church.
          There is a short answer to your questions, provided you have some
          knowledge about the history of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church.
          Let me try to answer your questions.
        • Sajy Thannikkottu
          Dear all I think brother Larry is confused Mar Thoma Indian Orthodox church (St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Church) as a separate congregation. This could be a
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 4, 2008
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            Dear all

            I think brother Larry is confused Mar Thoma Indian Orthodox church
            (St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Church) as a separate congregation. This
            could be a member church of Malankara Orthodox Syrian church only.
            Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church also sometimes refers as Indian
            Orthodox Church.

            I haven't ever heard Marthoma Church referring themself as Marthoma
            Indian Orthodox Church.
            -----------------------
            (1) is this Church autocephalous? (2) Can they claim to have apostolic
            succession of St. Thomas? (3) Can they break off from the apostolic
            see of St. Peter in their quest for independence? Their arguments are
            for an independent church along the lines mentioned above. Who is the
            head of the Church is also a question that they content but without
            any valid reason.
            -------------------------
            These issues mentioned by Rev. Fr. (Dr.). Mani Rajan was attended by
            the same apex court of India a long time back in 1995. However the
            same court order is yet to implement.


            Sajy Thannikkottu, Kathmandu
            # 2912
          • Larry Quintana
            Greetings Fr. Mani Rajan, Ok now I see the differnces and why the splits. I read this last night and was a little confused. I did some more reading on the
            Message 5 of 5 , Jun 4, 2008
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              Greetings Fr. Mani Rajan,

              Ok now I see the differnces and why the splits. I read this last
              night and was a little confused. I did some more reading on the
              internet today and looked at some of the discussions on this forum
              and along with what you wrote cleared up some things. I know I asked
              if the church we started attending was a good church. It is a
              Jacobite church. But I think that question is more clear to me now.
              Well I pray that these issues are resolved someday. It seems like it
              has been a long time division.

              Thank you
              Grace and Peace in the love of Chirst.
              Brother Larry

              --- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, Rev. Fr. (Dr.) Mani Rajan wrote:
              >
              > Dear Brother Larry,
              >
              > I am Fr. (Dr.) Mani Rajan, a priest of the Syrian Orthodox Church.
              There is a short answer to your questions, provided you have some
              knowledge about the history of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church.
              Let me try to answer your questions.
              >
              >
              > Orthodox Syrian church
              > Malankara Orthodox Syrian church
              > Malankara Jacobite Syrian church
              > Mar Thoma Indian Orthodox church
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