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Response to Vinny Koshy of ICON (Orthodox) Message

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  • Paul Joshy
    One Vinny Kossy asked me detailing about bishop election in Jacobite church in an Orthodx forum and he copied my SOCM message in the Orthodox forum. I
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 8, 2011
      One Vinny Kossy asked me detailing about bishop election in Jacobite
      church in an Orthodx forum and he copied my SOCM message in the
      Orthodox forum. I responded to his question, but the moderators of it
      withheld my message. So I am republishing that message in this form,
      and hope he will be educated and enlightened by this message. And I
      copy his message also here

      His message
      Dear Joshy Paul,
      I am really touched by your concern for democratic spirit of the 1934
      constitution in MOSC.

      (For those unfamiliar to Mr.Joshy, he is a well known Orthodox baiter
      and warrants no response let alone space in this forum. (The full text
      of his posting in the SOCM forum can be accessed here

      The condsiderate ICON Moderators forwarded and requested Meletius
      thirumeni to respond. Would Mr.Joshy would be curious even to enquire
      with his Puthencurz church leaders and respond as to which of the the
      Metrans in his society have been selected by Puthencurz association
      (Is it 2 or 3 lay members per 100?). Can you please educate MOSC
      memebers the criteria for the selection process in your society?
      Though we don't to claim to have a perfect democratic set up as the
      Jacobite church, we are curious to know the going rate for the red
      robe in the Jacobite church. I hope you will approach one of the
      recently appointed thirumenis for the real figure (if rumours are to
      be believed, the best person who know this is your HB Thomas 1 Bava
      but don't take my word).

      My apologies to the ICON members but this gentleman has no "Locus Standi".

      Best regards
      Vinny M. Easo, Kuwait
      My Message

      Dear Vinny Koshy,

      First of all let me say please see the issue in more of a subjective
      manner than the objective way. I just raised one question as to why
      the 1934 constitutional provision is not mentioned in the Kalpana for
      association election, instead it is given to the Devalokam to decide
      the number Association members for each parishes and HG Milithios
      replied in a rightful way, that’s all. The moderators did a wonderful
      job. Why are u more concerned about my personal choice, the hardcore
      Orthodox believers like Vinu Thomas, Ronnie Daniel, Thomas P, Fr.
      George (Ireland), Gregory S. Thomas etc… have written number pieces in
      Jacobite forum, and I think most of it got published with being
      understanding them are Jacobite-baiters when they write in this forum.
      And this is not my first message in this forum, many I have written
      and some of it not even published. I could have copied the same SOCM
      message here, but I just approached in a balanced way.
      And regarding your question of selection/election of bishops in
      Jacobite Church, I want to highlight three things. Firstly, our
      constitution is less than 10 years old, while your constitution has
      almost 75 years of experience, and in this 75 years there were
      constitutional ups and downs while taking decisions and election of
      candidates. And most of your colleagues compare independence of MOSC
      with India`s freedom struggle. You could remember the famous words of
      former British PM Winston Churchill about Indian democracy that Indian
      leaders have not got the maturity to run the country so India should
      continue under British rein for some time until they get experience in
      democracy. But look at how Indian leaders got experience in democracy
      and now world leaders praise Indian democracy, of course there are ups
      and downs but the system continued. Similarly your church has crossed
      that stage but my church is still undergoing that stage. But under
      able leadership of HB Thomas I and other elected representatives,
      Church is progressing well.

      Secondly, when the constitution was formed in 2002 there was a debate
      about whether Jacobite church should follow the method of other
      episcopal churches in Kerala(thoroughly democratic election process)
      or should adopt other oriental orthodox churches` mechanisms
      (selection by the holy synod). Finally it was decided a combination of
      both, a traditional malankara system of ordaining a bishop for a
      diocese and the final decision will be taken by the episcopal synod.
      So the system is that first a diocesan council requests to the church
      leadership to ordain a bishop for that particular diocese, and then
      the managing committee and working committee suggests few names and
      finally the episcopal synod recommend a particular candidate to the
      Patriarch of Antioch, the supreme head of the church, and accordingly
      the bishop is ordained. Traditionally in malankara bishops were not
      elected by the pallyprathipurshayogam, but given approval for a
      particular candidate to become a bishop (candidate was already decided
      by the church leaders)- Vattasseril Thirumeni and Kochuparambil
      Thirumeni were approved by the Malankara Association of 1908 and sent
      them to Mardin (but it took place in Jerusalem) to ordain as bishops
      and Vattasseril thirumeni was already chosen as designate-Malankara
      Methrapolitha .

      And thirdly, your accusation is that money makes a person to become
      bishop in Jacobite Church and HB Thomas I is the culprit. I don`t want
      to compare to the Catholic church as almost the same way they chose
      bishops, does money play in Catholic Church? But I want to tell you
      that HB Thomas I does not need any money as of now by selling
      Bishophood to various aspirants. Why I am telling this, yes at one
      stage HB (HG) desperately needed money particularly during 1970s, 80s,
      and early 90s, because at that time he was just a diocesan bishop, but
      was in the fore-front to protect the relationship of
      Antiochia-Malankara and HG had to visit almost all churches from
      Malabar to Trivandrum. So he wanted money and many influential
      families (courtesy to Gregory S. Thomas) supported HG in his struggle,
      so naturally HB has some kind of obligation to these families and
      sometimes these relationship may influence in decision-making process,
      but that does not mean that these families decide who should or should
      not become a bishop. But now HB does not need single penny personally,
      and I can tell you one example why is it. You may have read the news
      of Kolenchery church incident (I belong to Kolenchery area, but not a
      member of St. Peters Church) and mediation talks between both churches
      and the government. Actually when the schism originated in the early
      1970s the influential people around Kolenchery like late Perumpilly
      Chakkopilla and Pailipilla, KP Paulose of Nechupadam(late ),
      Chakkutty(C V Jacob of Synthite) Cheriya Pathrose, Kodiampara (late),
      Chennakkadan Kuriakose (who was with Jacobite but supported Dr. Thomas
      Mar Athanasious in his `unity`) who were also the topmost government
      contractors at that time, were virtually ruling the Kolenchery church
      and also members of the united Malankara Sbha managing Committee. But
      they decided to continue with the Orthodox faction when the schism
      occurred, and the jacobites faithful of Kolenchery church were poor
      and many of them were actually the dependents of these wealthy people
      either by taking sub-contract works under them, or own small business
      shops in their buildings. But today power relationship is changed and
      the Jacobite people in Kolenchery are well off and in the mediation
      talk the Orthodox leadership offered Rs. 2 crores and 60-70 cents
      (again another crore) to Jacobites to construct new church but wants
      to surrender their right in the current church. But the Jacobite
      people of Kolenchery gave a counter offer of 5 crores to Orthodox
      church to give away the right of Orthodox people. That means a single
      church can offer double the amount Orthodox church offered and which
      is a huge amount of 5 crore. Now you can understand the economic
      position of Jacobite church, so it is a cheap argument that HB Thomas
      receives money for appointing bishop in Jacobite church. And you are
      from Kuwait, so you know how wealthy are the Kuwait Church, Sharjah
      Church and Abudabi Church.

      And finally we got one golden opportunity in 1995 after the SC verdict
      for a unity and both churches appointed a mediation committee, HG
      Paulose Mor Gregorious was from Orthodox side and Current HB was from
      Jacobite side, but it failed. I heard blame game from both sides as
      one didn’t want to accept the other`s rightful choice, and I don`t
      know the details about the mediation talk. But one thing I gathered
      from the readings of the memoir of two people; late K M Mathew of
      Manorama and Kandanad East Bishop Dr. Thomas Mor Athanasious. The
      crucial point was about giving Catholicateship to the Jacobites.
      Jacobite side demanded HG Thomas should be given Catholicateship after
      your current Valiya Bawa (at that time HH was Catholicose designate),
      but was shot down, because of various reasons. And then Catholica HH
      Mathews II said Catholicateship is an elected post so one person can`t
      offer to another person. Fine, but that was not the first time such
      type of discussion took place, earlier also a Jacobite bishop became
      Catholicose of the East. Ougen Mor Themothios was a Jacobite bishop,
      but he switched over to the Orthodox side and then became Catholicose
      Basselious Ougen in a unified church. If two people or sections come
      in a peace-deal then there must be some give-and-take formula
      otherwise the merger will not produce the desired result. Today both
      sides do not want to reduce their stand so I think history is
      repeating as it was the same situation during 17th and 18th
      centuries between Catholics and unified Malankara sabha, then with the
      Marthomites and now between us, so I hope after some time it will be
      resolved in a peaceful way either through a merger of two churches or
      through a separation between the two, but I prefer seperation.

      Joshy Paul
      New Delhi/Tokyo
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