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Re: ORIENTAL CONSANGUINITY

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  • Thomas Daniel
    Dear Thomas What is the point though? Is the claim that the history of the Syriac Orthodox Church is somehow tainted? I would be the last person to argue
    Message 1 of 11 , Feb 11, 2001
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      Dear Thomas

      What is the point though? Is the claim that the history of the Syriac
      Orthodox Church is somehow tainted? I would be the last person to
      argue against that. From that perspective the entire history of the
      Christian Church be it in the East or the West is tainted and
      reflects human frailty and weakness, often at its worst. I would
      readily admit that the turn of the 20th century was probably the
      worst period in the history of the Syriac Orthodox Church. The
      Ottoman empire exerted its heavy hand on the church and the spiritual
      life of the church under the subjugation of the Moslem empire had
      reached a low point. In those days, a Patriarch was the civil head of
      his community, the millet, and was even responsible for collecting
      taxes. He could be in that position only with the firman of the
      Caliph and the Caliph would give the firman only to someone who made
      a payment. This set the stage for corruption in the church. The
      tussle between Patriarch Abded Messiah and Patriarch Abdulla II
      happened during this time and was most unfortunate for the Syriac
      Orthodox Church. Vattasseril Mor Dionysius, who went to Patr. Abdulla
      for consecration as Metropolitan later took advantage of a
      disgruntled Abded Messiah and got him to consecrate a Catholicos.
      This was all during a time when the Syriac Orthodox in Turkey were
      under complete disarray and immediately later thousands of them were
      massacred by the Ottomans. Our people never once during all the
      centuries of our association extended a helping hand, but instead
      took advantage of the situation. Fortunately, with Patriarch Elias
      III, the church came under the spiritual guidance of one of the most
      devout leaders of modern times and ever since has made progress under
      the succeeding Patriarchs. To extrapolate the history of a few years
      around the turn of the 20th century and paint the entire history of
      the Syriac Church with a broad black brush is just malicious.

      For someone who would point to you the "tainted history" of the
      Syriac Orthodox Church, I have a retort: What good has come of the
      Malankara Church in the near 2000 years of its existence? The Syriac
      Church has produced innumerable fathers and doctors who are today
      held in reverence by Christians all over the world. It produced the
      earliest translations of the bible, innumerable commentaries on the
      Bible, 80 anaphoras, thousands of metrical hymns and homilies, and
      the list goes on. What has the Malankara Church, with its apparent
      glorious history produced during the same 2000 years? If the history
      of the Syriac Church was that bad, why are the Malankara Orthodox
      still using exclusively all the fruits of that dubious history?

      Personally, I think that history, esp. in the context of the
      Malankara Church, is used as a weapon selectively when it suits a
      denomination's claim to antiquity. The Catholics claim that St.
      Thomas Christians were always Catholic and make tenuous arguments to
      support that. Malankara Orthodox claim historical independence, where
      as some people with extreme views in our faction claim that they were
      always under Antioch. None of these positions are close to the truth.
      Even accounts of a single incident widely vary. For e.g., Catholics
      claim that in Koonen Kurishu Sathyam, people took an oath only
      against the Jesuits, the Indian Orthodox claim that they took an oath
      of independence, where as our faction claims that they took an oath
      to be under Antioch. I think the reality was closer to rejecting the
      Roman yoke, but it is hard to tell. The fact of the matter is that
      even if historians or archaelogists were to come up with evidence to
      support any of the statements, it doesn't make even a bit of a
      difference in the positions of the denominations. When history
      becomes inconvenient, it is conveniently forgotten.

      My point is that arguments based on history have little bearing on
      the current situation. If the different factions were to rise above
      the mean spirited struggle over money and power, focus on the will of
      God and attempt to resolve differences amicably in a Christian
      spirit, unity is possible. Hatred, even when justified by historical
      reasons, will never lead to Christian unity. If anyone thinks that I
      am going to be swayed away from the church that is the source of my
      spiritual heritage because of the actions of isolated people in its
      history, they are totally mistaken.

      In Our Lords Love
      Thomas Daniel

      PS: The article in Glastonbury Review is possibly by Abba Seraphim,
      bishop of the British Orthodox Church and relies heavily on Western
      histories written by Catholics and Protestants who had their own
      agenda in the Middle East. The British Orthodox themselves for years
      had attempted to be in communion with the Syriac Orthodox until the
      mid 90s, when they joined the Copts.


      --- In SOCM-FORUM@y..., thomas_pa1@y... wrote:
      > Here is a good site to learn the true history of
      > the Syrian Orthodox Church:
      > http://www.uk-christian.net/boc/102f.htm
      >
      > Especially read the portion beginning with
      > "In 1906 Patriarch Abdul Messiah II was duly deposed
      > and Môr Abdullah, backed by Môr Ivanios of Jerusalem and
      > Môr Timotheos at Constantinople, .... "
      >
      >
      > T
    • thomas_pa1@yahoo.com
      ... oath ... Please do not consider this response a counter argument to impose my views on you. I am interested in knowing if we had any connection with West
      Message 2 of 11 , Feb 12, 2001
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        --- In SOCM-FORUM@y..., "Thomas Daniel" <daniel_reji@h...> wrote:
        > Dear Thomas
        >

        > Even accounts of a single incident widely vary. For e.g., Catholics
        > claim that in Koonen Kurishu Sathyam, people took an oath only
        > against the Jesuits, the Indian Orthodox claim that they took an
        oath
        > of independence, where as our faction claims that they took an oath
        > to be under Antioch. I think the reality was closer to rejecting the
        > Roman yoke, but it is hard to tell. The fact of the matter is that
        > even if historians or archaelogists were to come up with evidence to
        > support any of the statements, it doesn't make even a bit of a
        > difference in the positions of the denominations. When history
        > becomes inconvenient, it is conveniently forgotten.

        Please do not consider this response a counter argument to impose
        my views on you. I am interested in knowing if we had any connection
        with West Syrian Church of Anthioc prior to 1965. I know about
        the connection of Malnakara Christians with persian Church.
        This is one reason why Catholics use chaldean syriac. Even in
        rest of the community, commonly used words are in chaldean
        syriac.

        In writing history, the West is perhaps far better than East,
        especially Indians. In India, there is no tradition of writing
        history. This makes it easy for various Churches to create
        their own history and take advantage of the lesser.

        There is historic evidence, in Syrian tradition and Indian tradition
        that "Koonan Kurish" oath was for re-establishing ties with Anthioc.
        I was reading a book written in the 17th century by an Anglican
        on the situation in India at the time of Koonan Kurish. There is
        absolutely no mention of Anthioc there. On the otherhand it is
        our common faith that the Indian leader of Indian Christians,
        i.e. Thoma, sent messengers not only to Anthioc, but to the
        Patriarchate of Alxandria also. Remember that Alexandrian connection
        is not something new. There is historical evidence that St. Demetrios
        the Patriarch of Alexandria sent St. Pantaneus to India. Can
        you provide evidence for any connection of Indian Church with
        Anthioc prior to 1965??

        By the way what is wrong with India, Indians and Indian bishops?
        Are they not human beings just like Syrians? Or is it that Syrians
        are superior to Indians. Let us think in Christian terms keeping
        the Orthodox faith. I am looking for concrete evidence that supports
        your view about Indian Church founded by St. Thomas.

        My view is that, St. Thomas establishing a Church in India is
        very similar to St. Mark's mission in Egypt and Alexandria. Only
        difference is that India was outside of Byzantine and Roman
        empire, so Patriarchates in the model of Churches in middle east
        and Africa, did not develop in India. Situation in India
        would have been much different, if our connection was with
        Alexandria and not with Syrian Church. Major cause of divisions
        in the Indian Church is the political unrest in the Syrian Church
        in the 20th century.

        T
      • thomas_pa1@yahoo.com
        ... Dear Daniel, Writings of Syrian fathers were not always in Syriac as you think. Some wrote only in Greek, e.g. Patairch Severios, you may not like him
        Message 3 of 11 , Feb 12, 2001
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          --- In SOCM-FORUM@y..., "Thomas Daniel" <daniel_reji@h...> wrote:

          > For someone who would point to you the "tainted history" of the
          > Syriac Orthodox Church, I have a retort: What good has come of the
          > Malankara Church in the near 2000 years of its existence? The Syriac
          > Church has produced innumerable fathers and doctors who are today
          > held in reverence by Christians all over the world. It produced the
          > earliest translations of the bible, innumerable commentaries on the
          > Bible, 80 anaphoras, thousands of metrical hymns and homilies, and
          > the list goes on. What has the Malankara Church, with its apparent
          > glorious history produced during the same 2000 years? If the history
          > of the Syriac Church was that bad, why are the Malankara Orthodox
          > still using exclusively all the fruits of that dubious history?
          >

          Dear Daniel, Writings of Syrian fathers were not always in Syriac
          as you think. Some wrote only in Greek, e.g. Patairch Severios,
          you may not like him these days since you accept RC. There is
          nothing wrong in an unity with RC, provided it happens after
          discussion with rest of Oriental Orthodox Churches. That should
          be our Christian way.

          Also liturgy is not an intellectual property of an ethnic Church.
          Ethiopians use Coptic liturgy for sacraments, but in Geez, Amharic
          language. Indian Churches use Syrian liturgy as it was used
          in Jerusalem. We follow the Jerusalem writes received from,
          Mar Gregorios of Jerusalem, but in Malayalam language. Also
          many of our customs are different from that of Syrians.
          Similarly Coptic Church also produced many theologians and
          saints.

          It is not that we didn't had our own liturgy. We had everything,
          but foreign churches imposed their liturgy on us and distroying
          our works.

          Malankara Church does not lack in theological scholars and
          spiritual writings. There are many commentaries of Holy
          Eucharist written by 20th century Malankara fathers. In the
          area of theological dialogues with Eastern Orthodox, theologians
          from India contributed more than any. If you catalogue the
          works properly, perhaps 20th century Malankara Church
          produced more works than 20th century Syrian Church.
          Syrian Church did produce great works when the concentration
          of the Church was more on spiritual matters. Todays Church,
          I fear is a shadow of past glory. I think any Church has a
          dynamic existence confronting contemporary problems. Projecting
          just works of the past in not enough. Fathers of the past,
          when they wrote, were writing in respinse to problems they
          faced at that time, mostly theological controversies. But today
          we face more problems than this, especially problems created
          by advances in technology and changes in life style.
          Writings of some of the 20th century Malankara Fathers are more
          popular in Oriental, Eastern Orthodox and RC world than any
          other works originating from Oriental Orthodox Church.

          Some how we tend to give our own leaders and their works a
          low value. This lack in self confidence is due to our West-centric
          view of Christianity. Indian Christians tend to think that
          Christinaity is a Western (middle-eastern in your case) Semitic
          faith. But the Church of new testament can exist in a non
          semitic world. That is the beauty of Orthodox Christianity.
          Today we have Churches in all Indian cities, mission centeres
          with the full support of the Indian goverment. Do you know the
          reason why Indian government support the mission of Malankara
          Church and not RC?


          T
        • Emil@copticchurch.net
          ... years ... Hi reji and thomas. The reason why I joined this discussion group is to learn more about a fellow Oriental Orthodox Church along with the Coptic.
          Message 4 of 11 , Feb 12, 2001
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            --- In SOCM-FORUM@y..., "Thomas Daniel" <daniel_reji@h...> wrote:
            > PS: The article in Glastonbury Review is possibly by Abba Seraphim,
            > bishop of the British Orthodox Church and relies heavily on Western
            > histories written by Catholics and Protestants who had their own
            > agenda in the Middle East. The British Orthodox themselves for
            years
            > had attempted to be in communion with the Syriac Orthodox until the
            > mid 90s, when they joined the Copts.
            >

            Hi reji and thomas.

            The reason why I joined this discussion group is to learn more about
            a fellow Oriental Orthodox Church along with the Coptic. And I am
            slowly trying to put things together as this is the first time I've
            encountered such history b/w the Syrian Orthodox Church and the
            Indian Orthodox.

            Can you please tell me more about the above information you posted
            regarding the British Orthodox Church. I remember Fr.Gregory of the
            British Orthodox Church came to visit us in Melbourne Australia and
            he mentioned the BOC trying to unite with the Antiochian church and
            it didn't work out because of problems. He also mentioned that
            Abba Seraphim was advised (in love and meekness) to seek communion
            with the Coptic Orthodox. What was the reasons behind this, and
            were there, is there any problems still within the Syrian Church as a
            whole? Forgive me if I'm wording things wrong... I'm an amateur in
            this area.

            I also remember Fr.Gregory stating Abba Seraphim tried with the Greek
            Orthodox too. He said all the Easterners were concerned about is
            land, money and the number of people within the Church. Things didn't
            work out there.

            In XC
            Emil
          • thomas_pa1@yahoo.com
            ... 1000s martyrs of Syrian church are there in Syria ... priest a ... St. Thomas!!! St. Thomas was a Malayali Orthodox Apostle who died for all Indians. I
            Message 5 of 11 , Mar 15, 2001
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              --- In SOCM-FORUM@y..., "Daniel Thomas" <daniel_reji@h...> wrote:
              > Dear Members
              1000s martyrs of Syrian church are there
              in Syria
              > died for their belief, can U show me 1 malayali Malankara Orthodox
              priest a
              > martyr, NEVER U will find.

              St. Thomas!!! St. Thomas was a Malayali Orthodox Apostle who
              died for all Indians. I said St. Thomas was Malayali because
              in Christ race, ethnicity etc. vanishes. Indians (Hindus, Sufi
              Muslims, followers of Budha, Jains, Parsi, Malankara Nazrani etc.)
              were tolerant to other religions and that is why our Church did
              not produce many Martyrs. In the middle-east and West, people
              have an aggressive nature, probably because of excessive meat
              eating and wine drinking. Let us remain thankful to the great
              Indian civilization and maintain it in our lives.

              >Then why should I join subversion against Holy
              > Throne Of Antioch.

              A throne is holy only if it maintains the Orthodox faith.
              This is an ancient teaching. Alexandrian Throne is
              holy because it maintains the true faith. Syrian Church of
              Anthioc currently lives in communion with RC, so the
              Throne is not Holy according to ancient traditions of the
              Church (please read St. Cyril, St. Severus etc on this matter).


              >What Malankara bishop's party has its own apart
              >from what it has acquired from Patriarchs, not even 1 Prayer or saint
              >or priestly name
              > or dress. Slight differences are deliberately made now.
              >

              Almost all the names used by Malankara bishops are
              Coptic/ Greek. Athanasios, Kurillos (Cyril), Diascoros, Makarios,
              Anthonios etc. originated from Coptic Orthodox Church. The name
              Severios is also not Syriac. Infact St. Severios did not write in
              Syriac. Everything he wrote was in Greek.

              The attire currently used by Syriac Orthodox priests are similar
              to that of RC. For example, their cap is similar to that of
              Pope of Rome. Bishops also wear this kind of "makki Thoppi" similar
              to muslims, but in black color. The red attire of Syrian Bishops
              also is a copy of RC tradition. Only in head cover of monks and
              Bishops, the Syrian Orthodox Church truly follows the Alexandrian
              Coptic tradition (i.e. head cover with 13 crosses). Syrians got
              this from Alexandrian monks. The same is used by Indian monks.
              Original Syrian attire for Bishops is very close to what we see
              in Icons of St. Issac of Nineveh (Mar Issahac in Diptych #5) which
              is very similar to that used in North India among Rajasthani People
              and Sikhs (made of a long piece of cloth). Ethiopian Monks also
              wear such head cover made of yellow cloth.

              Hence the argument that Malankara clergy follows Syrian style dressing
              is no justification for the claims of Syrian authority over Apostolic
              Indian (Oriental) Orthodox Church.

              Thomas.
            • BIBU PHILIP MATTHEW
              ... From the desk of: B ( Vayaliparambil Pynadath ) BPM BIBU PHILIP MATTHEW M B.E.(CSE) 32/1981; NETAJI ROAD COCHIN-682 024 SOUTH INDIA
              Message 6 of 11 , Feb 13, 2002
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                ---
                From the desk of:
                B
                ( Vayaliparambil Pynadath ) BPM
                BIBU PHILIP MATTHEW M
                B.E.(CSE)

                32/1981; NETAJI ROAD
                COCHIN-682 024
                SOUTH INDIA

                email:bibuphilipmathew@...
                :hellobibu@...

                NB:Mail checked once in a month by guarantee.

                ______________________________________________
              • DANIEL BABU PAUL
                TOTUS TUUS MARIA ... From: BIBU PHILIP MATTHEW To: Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2002 9:23 AM
                Message 7 of 11 , Feb 14, 2002
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                  TOTUS TUUS MARIA
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: BIBU PHILIP MATTHEW <bibuphilipmathew@...>
                  To: <SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2002 9:23 AM
                  Subject: [SOCM-FORUM] ORIENTAL CONSANGUINITY


                  > ---
                  > From the desk of:
                  > B
                  > ( Vayaliparambil Pynadath ) BPM
                  > BIBU PHILIP MATTHEW M
                  > B.E.(CSE)
                  >
                  > 32/1981; NETAJI ROAD
                  > COCHIN-682 024
                  > SOUTH INDIA
                  >
                  > email:bibuphilipmathew@...
                  > :hellobibu@...
                  >
                  > NB:Mail checked once in a month by guarantee.
                  >
                  > ______________________________________________
                  >
                  > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  > SOCM-FORUM-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  >
                  >
                • Aji Thomas
                  Thanks for the nice and informative article Aji ... Desk Of Bibu.doc __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Send FREE Valentine
                  Message 8 of 11 , Feb 14, 2002
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                    Thanks for the nice and informative article

                    Aji

                    --- BIBU PHILIP MATTHEW
                    <bibuphilipmathew@...> wrote:
                    > ---
                    > From the desk of:
                    > B
                    > ( Vayaliparambil Pynadath ) BPM
                    > BIBU PHILIP MATTHEW M
                    > B.E.(CSE)
                    >
                    > 32/1981; NETAJI ROAD
                    > COCHIN-682 024
                    > SOUTH INDIA
                    >
                    > email:bibuphilipmathew@...
                    > :hellobibu@...
                    >
                    > NB:Mail checked once in a month by guarantee.
                    >
                    > ______________________________________________

                    > ATTACHMENT part 2 application/msword name=From the
                    Desk Of Bibu.doc



                    __________________________________________________
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                  • V Thomas
                    Bravo! It was very good. You have condensed the whole history nicely. Ending quoation was fantastic. Devil is running around to have a big crowd in the
                    Message 9 of 11 , Feb 15, 2002
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                      Bravo!
                      It was very good. You have condensed the whole history nicely.
                      Ending quoation was fantastic. Devil is running around to have a big crowd
                      in the association meting.
                      Natuaaly they will make sure the crowd is big by hook or crook.
                      vmt
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "BIBU PHILIP MATTHEW" <bibuphilipmathew@...>
                      To: <SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2002 9:23 AM
                      Subject: [SOCM-FORUM] ORIENTAL CONSANGUINITY


                      > ---
                      > >From the desk of:
                      > B
                      > ( Vayaliparambil Pynadath ) BPM
                      > BIBU PHILIP MATTHEW M
                      > B.E.(CSE)
                      >
                      > 32/1981; NETAJI ROAD
                      > COCHIN-682 024
                      > SOUTH INDIA
                      >
                      > email:bibuphilipmathew@...
                      > :hellobibu@...
                      >
                      > NB:Mail checked once in a month by guarantee.
                      >
                      > ______________________________________________
                      >
                      > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                      > SOCM-FORUM-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                      >
                      >
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