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Reply to Mr. Mathew G.M.- Head Of The Universal Church

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  • Leena Mathew
    Dear Mr. Mathew G.M., I have seen your posting in the forum with the title Head Of The Universal Church . This is my response to that:   (1)I HAVE A
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 23, 2009
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      Dear Mr. Mathew G.M.,

      I have seen your posting in the forum with the title "Head Of The Universal Church". This is my response to that:

      (1)I HAVE A QUESTION. I KNOW THE ANSWER FROM ONE INTERPRETATION, BUT I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR THE THOUGHTS OF OTHERS IN THE FORUM.

      With due respect let me say - the way of asking a doubt shouldn't be the way chosen here. If you are saying that, you know the answer, you should have written that in the form first itself, and then ask other's views regarding this topic. If we are genuinely seeking the truth we should read the history of Asian, European and African countries; History of Church; and the Holy Bible. Besides, we should pray, meditate and seek the guidance of Holy Spirit in humbleness to guide us in this matter.

      (2) THE REASON WHY WE THE SYRIAC ORTHODOX ALONG WITH SOME OTHER EASTERN CHURCHES SPLIT FROM THE ROMAN CATHOLIC AND EASTERN ORTHODOX WAS DUE TO DIFFERENCES OVER THE COUNCIL OF CHALCEDON. PRIOR TO THAT WE WERE ALL PART OF ONE BIG UNIVERSAL CHURCH.

      Yes, that is true.

      (3)DID THIS UNIVERSAL (CATHOLIC) CHURCH PRIOR TO THE COUNCIL OF CHALCEDON HAVE A UNIVERSAL SPIRITUAL HEAD ? WAS IT THE POPE OF ROME ?IF IT WAS THE POPE OF ROME, WAS HE MORE OF A FIRST AMONG EQUALS OR WAS HE TRULY THE SUPREME LEADER LIKE HE IS IN THE PRESENT DAY ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH?

      No, there was no single Spiritual Head for The Universal (Catholic) Church prior to the Council of Chalcedon. Further details are mentioned below:

      St. James was the first Episcopa of Jerusalem. In 1Cor.15: 7, St. Paul says that our Lord appeared to St. James after the resurrection. The book of “Acts” of give the details of ministry of Apostles before their dispersion to various places for evangelization after the martyrdom of St. Stephan. The innocent blood of St. Stephan, shed by the Jews caused to spread the Gospel all around the world beyond Jerusalem and its suburbs.

      After Angel freed St. Peter from the Prison, he preached Gospel in and around Jerusalem for two years. In AD 37, St. Peter proceeded to Antioch and established his Throne, and built “The Church” there (Refer Acts11:19-27 & 15: 25). In AD 42 St. James was made as the Bishop of Jerusalem. In AD 61 St. Peter had consecrated his disciple St. Mark and sent him to Alexandria. St. Mark consecrated Aniaus (2nd Patriarch of Alexandrian/ Coptic Orthodox Church) as his successor. St. Peter consecrated Evodius (2nd Patriarch of Antioch) and Ignatius (3rd Patriarch of Antioch) and appointed them as his successors at Antioch. Evodius was In-Charge of Christians from gentiles and Ignatius for those from Jews. Later, St. Peter did his missionary work in Galatia, Capadocia, Bithunia and then preceded to Rome. He had a successful mission there and he consecrated Linus (2nd Pope of Rome) and Anacletus (3rd Pope of Rome) as his successors at Rome. After the deaths of St. Peter in AD 67 at Rome and St. Evodios in AD 68 at Antioch, St. Ignatius (Ignatius I Nurono the Illuminator) became the Patriarch of the Jewish and gentiles Christians for Antioch and all the East (whole Asia). Thus he was the third Patriarch of Antioch and all the East.

      Thus, it is seen that, St. Peter, before his death, consecrated his descendents for the three Continents of the world - Asia, Europe and Africa. Let us see the titles of these three Heads of Early Christianity in three different geographic locations:

      (1) Patriarch of Antioch and all the East (i.e. all the East stands for the entire Asia).

      (2) Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy See of St. Mark

      (3) Pope of the Roman Catholic Church (i.e. as the name indicates the jurisdiction Roman Catholic Pope in early Christian era was confined to the then Roman Empire. Probably this may cover the entire present Europe.)

      There were no human beings in the remaining continents such as Americas, Australia. Still Artic is fully covered with ice whereas Antarctica is partially covered with ice. As of now, there are no human beings, in both Artic and Antarctica. Nevertheless, presently some scientists occasionally used to visit Antarctica for their Scientific Research Project �Works.

      In olden days people use to move from place to place by walking, or using the transportation means such as horse, camel and �donkey. Yacht / Sail Boat were the means of water transportation in sea. So the journey from one place to another took several months. Hence the global administration of the Church from one place was not pragmatic. Hence, St. Peter appointed one descendant for each human inhabited continents Asia, Africa and Europe. These Churches were in full harmony with each other in their faith until 451AD. There was no single universal spiritual head at that time. However, all the theological decisions were jointly made in Synods at Nicea (325 AD), Constantinople (381 AD) and Ephesus (431 AD).

      In this context, we must know the history of the Roman Empire since rise and fall of Roman empire was co-related to the rise and fall of Christendom. In 285 AD, Emperor Diocletian splited Roman administration between East and West. In 330 AD Constantine the Great established Constantinople as a new royal capital. In 395 AD, the death of Theodosius the Great, followed by permanent division of the Empire into eastern "Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire" and western - Western Roman Empire.

      It was in the Constantinople Synod in 381 AD, a decision was taken to raise the position of Constantinople� to Patriarchal see, considering rising position of the city of Constantinople.

      In 451 AD a Chalcedon Synod was held. In this Synod there was a schism/split took place in Universal Church. Here Antiochan (Syrian) and Alexandrian (Coptic) Churches stick on to their old pledge of the Creed formed in Nicea Synod, developed in Constantinople Synod and further developed in Ephesus Synod. Accordingly Antiochan (Syrian) and Alexandrian (Coptic) Churches continue to believe in MONOPHYCISM. In this situation it is appropriate to review the three theological doctrines existed then:

      (a) One Nature and One Person in Christ - The Ancient Faith (Monophycism) �
      (b) Two Natures and two Persons in Christ - Nestorian belief
      (c ) Two Natures and one Person in Christ - Chalcedonian Synod belief

      The Roman Christians (Roman Catholic Church) under their Pope and Constantinople Christians (Greek Orthodox Church) under their Patriarch joined in the fold of the new belief of Chalcedonian Synod.

      This is the FIRST SCHISM of Universal Church in 451 AD. But we (SOC) can be proud that irrespective of all the persecutions and tribulations, we stick on to the ORIGINAL TRUE FAITH until now.

      If we further see the history of the Roman Catholic Church and Greek Orthodox Church; we will come across the SECOND SCHISM (The Great Schism) in 1054 AD. Patriarch Michael I of the Greek Orthodox Church rdered a letter to be written to the bishop of Trani in which he attacked the "Judaistic" practices of the West (Roman Catholic Church), namely the use of UNLEAVENED bread for Holy Qurbana. In response Pope Leo IX of Rome, excommunicated Patriarch Michael I of the Greek Orthodox Church. In the bull of excommunication issued against Patriarch Michael I, by the papal legates, one of the reasons cited was the Greek Orthodox Church's deletion of the "Filioque" from the original Nicene Creed. But as per Greek Orthodox Church view: it was precisely the opposite: the Greek Orthodox Church did not delete anything. It was the Roman Catholic Church that added this phrase to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.

      Since 1998, the heads of the three Oriental Orthodox Churches (i.e. the Syriac Orthodox Church, Coptic Orthodox Church,  and Armenian Apostolic Church) meet regularly each year.

      Lately, Syriac Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church as part of Ecumenism, agreed to go in peace and harmony and mutually approved their Holy Sacraments.

      With Prayers,

      Leena.
      4136
    • Mathew G M
      Dear Leena, In your message you say that the jurisdiction Roman Catholic Pope in early Christian era was confined to the then Roman Empire. The fact is at
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 28, 2009
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        Dear Leena,

        In your message you say that the jurisdiction Roman Catholic Pope in early Christian era was confined to the then Roman Empire. The fact is at those times both Antioch and Alexandria were part of the Roman Empire. So the Pope of Rome for sure didn't have jurisdiction over the entire Roman Emprire.

        In your message you say how the three sees, includinng the See of Mark in Alexandria was established by St. Peter.

        Now with in the Oriental Orthodox communion, the Syrian Orthodox Church is in full communion with the Armenian Orthodox under the Armenian Catholicose and the Ethiopian Orthodox under the Ethiopian Patrairch. So would it be fair to say that the Syriac Orthodox church does recognize and has full communion with Patriarchates that were not established by St. Peter ?

        So in an ideal world can't the Syriac Orthodox Church have the same relationship or even a better relationship with the Indian Orthodox Catholicate that the SOC currently has with the Ethiopian Patriarcahte ? Can we get there?

        "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." St. Matthew 5:9

        In Christ,
        Mathew G M
        0929

        --- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, Leena Mathew wrote:

        >> Thus, it is seen that, St. Peter, before his death, consecrated his descendents for the three Continents of the world - Asia, Europe and Africa. Let us see the titles of these three Heads of Early Christianity in three different geographic locations:
        >
        > (1) Patriarch of Antioch and all the East (i.e. all the East stands for the entire Asia).
        >  
        > (2) Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy See of St. Mark
        >  
        > (3) Pope of the Roman Catholic Church (i.e. as the name indicates the jurisdiction Roman Catholic Pope in early Christian era was confined to the then Roman Empire. Probably this may cover the entire present Europe.)
      • Geogy Abraham
        Dear Mathew, I agree with your statement. Quote So in an ideal world can t the Syriac Orthodox Church have the same relationship or even a better relationship
        Message 3 of 4 , Sep 30, 2009
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          Dear Mathew,
          I agree with your statement.

          Quote
          So in an ideal world can't the Syriac Orthodox Church have the same relationship or even a better relationship with the Indian Orthodox Catholicate that the SOC currently has with the Ethiopian Patriarcahte ? Can we get there?
          Unquote.
           
          Syrian Orthodox Church is very well happy to accept the Indian Orthodox Church as a brotherly church. It is Indian Orthodox Church who is filing cases against Patriarch of Antioch & Catholicose. Here in Malankara the real dispute is for properties of Churches. Syrian Orthodox Church in India are ready to compromise by conduction elections in all church where dispute exist under supervision of government authorities. The majority will take the church the major properties and the minority can take piece of land to built their church, if not, if minority part has to cooperate with the majority.
           
          If foresaid is done, then there will be no issues, which will help churches in building a good relationship.

          But will this message go to Indian Orthodox Church Catholicose & their Synod.
           
          Regards,
          Geogy
          Geogy Abraham
          4186
        • Mathew
          Dear Geogy, Are we really ready to accept the Indian Orthodox Church in full communion. Two churches in full communion and two sister churches are not the same
          Message 4 of 4 , Oct 2, 2009
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            Dear Geogy,
            Are we really ready to accept the Indian Orthodox Church in full communion. Two churches in full communion and two sister churches are not the same thing. We can say for example the Marthoma Church and the Jacobite Churches are sister churches, but we were not in full communion.

            Two churches in full communion means, all the sacraments (koodasha's) administered by one church is acceptable to the other church. All the saints of one church is accepted as a saint by the other church as well.

            We have no issues with the Marthoma Church, but we don't consider all their sacraments at the same exact level of our sacraments.

            If our difference with the IOC is only about property, then let us clearly state that. What we see is a lot of people say that IOC does not have priesthood, their sacraments are not valid etc. So how can we be in fully communion with a church if we believe that they dont have priesthood and their sacraments are not valid.

            I see a lot of move towards UNITY. It would be great if we can work towards restoring full communion. Then we can talk about UNITY to parting ways peacefully.

            In Christ,
            Mathew.
            0929

            --- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, Geogy Abraham wrote:
            >
            > Dear Mathew,
            > I agree with your statement.
            >
            > Quote
            > So in an ideal world can't the Syriac Orthodox Church have the same relationship or even a better relationship with the Indian Orthodox Catholicate that the SOC currently has with the Ethiopian Patriarcahte ? Can we get there?
            > Unquote.
            >  
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