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Introducing Myself

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  • Rev. Fr. Augustine
    Hello, I am Hierodeacon Augustine (monastic deacon). I am a monastic at the Abbey of the Holy Name. I am an Eastern Orthodox (what you would call Chalcedonian
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 25 8:43 AM
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      Hello,

      I am Hierodeacon Augustine (monastic deacon).

      I am a monastic at the Abbey of the Holy Name. I am an Eastern Orthodox (what you would call Chalcedonian Orthodox as opposed to Non-Chalcedonian) clergyman.

      I have always been interested in the life and practice of the other Eastern churches. A number of years ago, my spiritual father knew Mar Athanasius Yeshua Shemuel of the Syriac Church, who was at one time the Mardian. Again, I'm not sure I'm using the right terms.

      Although they had a number of gentlemanly theological differences, my spiritual father always respected Mar Athanasius for his very dedicated life and his devotion to piety.

      It was a double sad occasion in which Mar Athanasius, and many Christian, had to live to the extremes of the Ottoman persecution and genocide in the early 20th century.

      I have a question, and perhaps a friend could answer.

      Does the Malankara (Indian) Church permit the use of the vernacular languages in its Liturgy, or does it still retain the Syriac language? I understand that for some time, the Mar Thoma Christians (or St. Thomas Christians) of India were under the Nestorian patriarch or under the Pope of Rome, but, that many later broke away and united themselves under the Syriac Patriarch of Antioch. Does the Indian Church still maintainly friendly relations with the Syriach Patriarch?

      Rev. Fr. Augustine
    • George Aramath
      Rev. Fr. Augustine, Welcome to the SOCM forum. It is refreshing to read about the positive influence of Mor Athanasius Samuel. I was only a boy when he
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 27 3:59 PM
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        Rev. Fr. Augustine,

        Welcome to the SOCM forum. It is refreshing to read about the positive influence of Mor Athanasius Samuel. I was only a boy when he served as our diocese archbishop in America. With his thick white beard and red vestment, he reminded me of Santa Claus at the time! May His memory be eternal.

        The Malankara Church in and outside of India uses the vernacular language, in addition to Syriac in its liturgy. In fact, most of our services are predominately in Malayalam, the language from Kerala, India.

        Our church also maintains friendly relations with the Syriac Patriarch, as he is the head of our church. You can read about our church's history in India at:
        http://www.syrianchurch.org/MalankaraSyrianChurch/MalankaraHistory.htm

        You will also find valuable information from the same site:
        http://www.syrianchurch.org/

        Have a blessed Great Lent,
        George Aramath
        #0849
      • Dn. Zach Varghese
        Dear Deacon, Thank you for introducing yourself. I urge you to mine the resources of this forum to get answers that are readily available. In a nutshell, we
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 28 8:44 AM
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          Dear Deacon,

          Thank you for introducing yourself. I urge you to mine the resources of this forum to get answers that are readily available.

          In a nutshell, we are convinced that the Holy See of Antioch has primary jurisdiction over all the East from the time of Nicea. We do not view the primacy of the Patriarch in the same way as the Roman Church nor the church of Constantinople. (no infallibility or universal jurisdiction, no true concept of an "ethnic" or "national church").

          The church in India has been autonomous for all its history. We believe St. Thomas initially evangelized south India but find no evidence that the Apostle and Martyr left a successor bishop, even though he certainly would have that right. In the 300s, a group from West Syria arrived (Thomas of Cana) with an Orthodox bishop from Edessa. They regularized the Christians they already found with the practice of the Antiochian Church and its Petrine succession.

          After the Persian church fell (largely) to Nestorianism, And the Antiochian church was firmly divided into Chalcedonian and Non-Chalcedonion, the Non-Chalcedonian Syriac Orthodox Church maintained an episcopy in both Persia ("Mapriyono" or Catholicose led) and the West with support from the Coptic, Armenian, and Ethiopian Churches, as well as the luminary Mor Jacob Burdono. Eventually the patriarchal seat was transferred to the mountains of Southern Turkey (Tur Abdin). Both East and West were administered from there.

          Somewhere between the 300s and the 1600s Nestorian Christianity gained a presence in South India due to Persian influence, but no evidence exists that they exclusively ruled in South India. In other words, our South Indian Christiology has always been oriented in full or in part toward miaphysism.

          In the 1600s the Portuguese came and imposed Roman Rite Catholicism on both Syriac Orthodox and Chaldean (Persian Nestorian). Most texts and books were burned. Some years after the Roman Catholic Synod of Diamper perhaps 25000 faithful or so swore an oath that they would remain loyal to the Syriac Orthodox patriarchate by tieing themselves to a bending cross.(Koonan Kooris Oath, Oath of the Bent Cross).

          After this time it became quite clear that the "supreme" head of the Orthodox church was the non-chalcedonian Syriac Orthodox Patriarch. However, a small Chaldean church persits in South India. Since then the Orthodox Church became about 1/3 or so of the Christian population.

          Since the late 1800s-early 1900s the Syriac Orthodox Church has experienced an unfortunate schism with one group, now comprising half of the Orthodox church, agitating for ethnic autocephaly, a claim which the Supreme Court of India had to rule upon and reject. However, largely due to this feud, Orthodox Christianity is perhaps only a quarter of the Christian population now, with some bishops being accepted into the Roman Church as "uniates" and some faithful turning to Protestantism or worse.

          The great majority of the historic Indian parishes, as well as half the Orthodox church maintains its strong support of HH Ignatious Zakka I, the Patriarch of Antioch and also the local head of the church, HB Baselious Thomas I, the Catholicose of India, who remains autonomous.

          The church has as its language Syriac Aramaic (Edessene). The liturgy and services have been translated and mainly everything can be done in vernacular.

          On a personal note I had the priviledge of interviewing Mor Anthanasius Samuel at my father's house when I was a child. He was staying there on a visit to our parish as he was our first bishop. It was a great blessing to have known him even if only cursorily.

          I hope you feel welcome to add to this forum. Thank you for your interest in this church and pray for us.

          Dn. Zach Varghese
          ID 0970

          --- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, Rev. Fr. Augustine wrote:
          >
          > Hello,
          >
          > I am Hierodeacon Augustine (monastic deacon).
          >
          > I am a monastic at the Abbey of the Holy Name. I am an Eastern Orthodox (what you would call Chalcedonian Orthodox as opposed to Non-Chalcedonian) clergyman.
          >
        • Jai Abe Cheriyan
          Dear Rev. Fr. Augustine, The Jacobite Syrian Church of India(Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church), an Orthodox church in Malankara (Kerala, India) is an
          Message 4 of 6 , Mar 28 9:43 AM
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            Dear Rev. Fr. Augustine,

            The Jacobite Syrian Church of India(Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church), an Orthodox church in Malankara (Kerala, India) is an integral part of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church with the Patriarch of Antioch, His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas as its supreme head.

            Please visit http://www.jacobitesyrianchurch.org/ for more details.

            Thanks & Regards,

            In HIS Love,

            Jai Abe Cheriyan
            #0914

            --- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, Rev. Fr. Augustine wrote:
            >
            > Hello,
            >
            > I am Hierodeacon Augustine (monastic deacon).
            >
            > I am a monastic at the Abbey of the Holy Name. I am an Eastern Orthodox (what you would call Chalcedonian Orthodox as opposed to Non-Chalcedonian) clergyman.
            >
          • Fr. Augustine
            Thank you for the replies! I am most grateful. I should note that most Orthodox do not understand the Patriarch of Constantinople to have any primacy over
            Message 5 of 6 , Mar 28 1:38 PM
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              Thank you for the replies! I am most grateful.

              I should note that most Orthodox do not understand the Patriarch of Constantinople to have any primacy over them; historically the office has been one of honor and never jurisdiction.

              I am grateful for the responses.

              Fr. Augustine


              --- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, Dn. Zach Varghese wrote:
              >
              > Dear Deacon,
              >
              > Thank you for introducing yourself. I urge you to mine the resources of this forum to get answers that are readily available.
              >
            • Dn Zach Varghese
              Dear Fr. Augustine, Forgive me for not addressing you with the proper dignity of a priest. Secondly, thank you for your clarification. Actually this goes to
              Message 6 of 6 , Mar 29 11:16 PM
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                Dear Fr. Augustine,

                Forgive me for not addressing you with the proper dignity of a priest.

                Secondly, thank you for your clarification. Actually this goes to what I was clumsily trying to mention - the Patriarch of Syriac Orthodox Church is not "Supreme" as in the Roman sense, but he does have actual universal spiritual "primacy" along with the Holy Synods of Middle East and India - which makes his position different from the Patriarch of Constantinople and all who are in communion with him, but have their own independent national hierarchies.

                Even though the loyal Syriac Orthodox Church of India is autonomous, it is not autocephalous with respect to the Patriarch.

                Dn Zach Varghese
                ID 903

                --- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, Fr. Augustine wrote:
                >
                > Thank you for the replies! I am most grateful.
                >
                > I should note that most Orthodox do not understand the Patriarch of Constantinople to have any primacy over them; historically the office has been one of honor and never jurisdiction.
                >
                > I am grateful for the responses.
                >
                > Fr. Augustine
                >
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