There is no regional church
- View SourceBarekmor/Shlomo
There is no regional church. The church is catholic (universal). Nicene creed declares it. We believe in the Universal Church. Claiming a Church as a regional church prefixing the name of the country to its name in order to get the favor of the authorities and to detach it from the mother church is a hypocrisy. Political boundaries and concepts change. What were the boundaries of the empire of Alexander the Great? Political boundaries and authorities have nothing to do with the Christendom. They change with time and space. Dark forces try to limit the growth of the Christendom by imposing the temporal laws on the Church. But, the Kingdom of God always rests with people that produce the fruits of Kingdom (Mt. 21.43).
True and ancient Patriarchates are "Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria". One in Constantinople is creation of the Emperor. And, the one which had been there in Jerusalem is honorific as its first Episcofo was St. James the Apostle, brother of Jesus Christ and the Martyr.
I recognize only these Patriarchates. And, at the same time I am loyal to the Patriarchate of Antioch only. I am loyal and obedient to the Catholicate of my region till it is keeping its loyalty to the Patriarchate of Antioch and the faith we have inherited from our forefathers.
For me, those who advocate regionalism in the Church in the name of Political boundaries, color, ethnic-matters or anything which supports a discrimination in defining themselves as different and not under the paternal care of the Holy Patriarch are the people of the dark forces who try to destroy the Church from the very beginning itself through schisms and splits. They try to divide the body of Christ with the wisdom and power of world (I Cor 1). What will happen to them?
For me, I am a Jacobite Syrian Orthodox, because of the Martyr of Ahattalla Bava, and the sacrifice of the beatitudes who traveled thousands of miles to this region- Malankara- jeopardizing them for the posterity of the people who had once been taken away from the mother church. I have this Orthodox Faith, Sacraments, Order, Traditions and all those that lead me to salvation only because of their sacrifice in Christ (I don't imply that there is no salvation in other Churches.).
I am attached to them in Sacraments, Prayers and Apostolic Succession of St. Peter. An Apostolic Succession continues to the present time only when there is unbroken chain of laying of hand exists. It is there in my Church.
People speak about Thrones. Thrones have validity only when this chain exists. In my opinion, thrones cease to exist when the Succession ceases. I, personally, know two families at least who have come to the end of their lineage only because the last generation could not contribute even a daughter to continue their generations. (In our tradition daughters do not, generally, become successors of the entity of a family because they conceive the children of a man who is a successor of another family. So, even in adoption of man into the girl's family, that family ceases to exist and the adopted man's children come into position. Children bearing the maternal family name, does not actually, denounce their paternal lineage.)
The Church who does not accept my Holy Father His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, also has been using the same order which they inherited from our Holy Fathers who were loyal to the Patriarchate. But, in the faith matters, I understand that they have mixed Byzantine Faith with Orthodox Faith and are away from Orthodox Faith. They have no evidence to prove an unbroken Apostolic Succession from St.Thomas. They dispute the Church History. But, at the same time they can’t disagree that the Church was started to reinstated into proper laying of hands and other ecclesiastical matters by St. Mor Gregorios Abdul Jaleel in the second half of 17th century.
They disagree the paternal authority of the His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius of the Holy See of Antioch and All the East by their re-reading and interpretation of the Church History. Let them re-read and interpret. But, the truth is, if these fathers had not been here in search of their lost sheep no Jacobite Syrian Orthodox, Indian Orthodox, Mar Thoma Syrian, Thozhiyoor Independent, Malankara Catholic, or any other Syrian/Syro church would not be here.
In their re-reading, they interpret, they were just receiving the laying of hands from the Holy Fathers from Antioch. It also is, in another way, an indirect admission that they are under the paternal care of the Holy See of Antioch and All the East. They may agree or disagree. It does not matter. The truth remains.
Moran looks for the return of these people. They are the lost sheep. But, they defile the Holy Church (Mt. 7.14-23) by all the means they can.
Regarding temporal laws, we are ready to give “the emperor the things that are the emperor. (Mt. 22.15-22). But, when the emperor demands the things that are God, we will not definitely give. We are like the Christians of Apostolic Period in that. "Emperor" is the King of the World and he is adversory. When the Christendom is put into limit by temporal laws, the one in work is nothing but unholy spirit-Satan.
When partial truths, misinterpreted history, temporal power, lies and all other such things are used against the Holy Church to divide it from the Mother Church, the one in act is not Holy Spirit. We don't find joining with the people who defile the Church and Moran salvific. We don't hate such people because we don't hate sinners. We hate that activities-Sin Against Holy Spirit.
We have salvation in our Church through Jesus Christ. Come back to the mother church. Our doors are open. We will arrange a banquet in your return and it will be great praise to Our Lord in Heaven.
Yours in Christ
Fr.Geevarughese Pathinalpparayil, Kottayam Diocese