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Some questions I found difficult to answer to them (IOC) Part 2

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  • SOCM Moderators
    Dear All This is an another one of the questions were raised by IOC members to our esteemed member Mr. Alex Thomas(member ID #971) recently and answered by the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 30, 2008
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      Dear All

      This is an another one of the questions were raised by IOC members to our esteemed member Mr. Alex Thomas(member ID #971) recently and answered by the core group of learned members of this forum.

      In Our Lord's Love
      Forum Moderators
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      Question

      Till recently you were having a Patriarchal Delegate for Malankara. If the church in Malankara is really a part of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church, every member of Malankara Jacobite church is a member of the Universal Church and every high priest of Malankara Jacobite Church represents their supreme head HH Patriarch in their respective ecclesiastical jurisdictions. Then what is the need of HH Patriarch be represented by some other representatives/delegates called 'Patriarca Pradhinidhi'. Isn't it a hint that the HH Patriarch indirectly admits that the Regional Malankara Jacobite Synod is not completely under his authority or it cannot represent HH's supreme authority over Malankara Jacobite Church as HH wishes?

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      Answer

      There are two parts to the question - - (1) about the need for a Patriarchal delegate and (2) about the authority of regional synod.

      The Malankara Church had requested the Holy See of Antioch to send Bishops during the period of its struggle against schisms. Subsequently, since 1665 around twenty prelates came to India and eleven of them (thirteen, if Moran Ahthalla and Mor Kallada Bava are counted) are entombed in Kerala. However, subsequent to the 1912 episode, the then Apostolic Delegate of the Holy See in India, Mor Osthatheos Sleeba was deprived of a place for stay and worship. This led to the establishment of churches known as Thronal churches which are separate and apart from jurisdiction of the Malankara Church. Thus, in 1920 the first thronal church, Arthat St. Mary�s Syrian Simhasana church, was founded by Mor Osthatheos Sleeba. Malecruz, Piramadom and other monasteries and churches were later established which was the need of the time.

      In 1942, while giving evidence in a court case (Exhibit D. 183 in the Arthat Simhasana Church Case), the then Catholicos admitted that there were certain churches in Malankara which were not under the jurisdiction of Bishops of Malankara. Notices for the Malankara Association were not issued to these churches because they were under the jurisdiction of Mor Julius Elias, the then delegate of the Holy See of Anticoh. Thus, the position of the Simhasana churches is indisputable in the court of law. The character and method of administration of the Simhasana churches are thus clear from the deposition of the highest dignitary and religious head of the IOC. For brevity we are not reciting the complete text of the deposition. The above mentioned churches and institutions are directly under the Holy Throne and the deed of these churches and institutions necessitates a delegate of the Holy See in India for its administration. This delegate used to be a bishop of Syrian/Turkish origin but not necessarily. The political influence and the cancellation of visa of Mor Themotheos Aphrem Aboodi are all part of history. The need for a delegate is something necessitated by the threats IOC subsequent to 1912.

      The authority of the local synod and that of the Universal Synod are clear even in 1934 constitution. There is disagreement in the articles; however, clauses 65, 108 and 118 will provide guidelines and hierarchy of the synods. The clauses 15 to 18 and 26 of the 2002 constitution have defined it more accurately.
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