- I happened to see the message posted in "Indian Orthodox" Forum with subject "Present Status of Jacobite Syrian Christians". This is a humble attempt to clarify the issues raised in that post using my limited knowledge. I am sure there are many learned members in this forum who can set things straight. I hope this benefits our church members who have read these posts as well as the IOC members who keep reading this forum.
The point raised in the above mentioned post is with respect to the voting rights of the SOC Bishops of Kerala in the election of the Patriarch. The person has painstakingly gone through the constitution of the Syriac Orthodox Church and found that only the Catholicos, the Metropolitans of the Simhasana Churches and the Metropolitan of North America of the Malankara Archdiocese can vote for the election of the Patriarch.
This is like saying the MLAs of the Kerala Legislative Assembly cannot elect the Speaker of Lok Sabha, which we all know is true. That is not because the Lok Sabha is racist! That is because of the structure that we have setup. We have Metropolitans for the different diocese in India and they are under the Catholicos of India. They can participate in the election process for Catholicos. The Metropolitans directly reporting to the Patriarch such as the Metropolitans of the Simhasana Churches and the Metropolitan of North America of the Malankara Archdiocese has the voting rights to elect the Patriarch.
Member Id - 4513
- Dear Moderator
Reference to the message from Thomas Kuttikandathil, TX in IOC forum in which he has copied a few excerpts from my message and gave his own interpretation.
In my office lobby, there is a model of the new building that we will construct in future. This model is kept there so people can understand and appreciate the beauty of the building before it is actually constructed. It would not be a wise move to actually test the strength of the building using this model. Likewise, when a model is used as comparison in an argument, understanding it in the context in which it is used is very important. If you start interpreting it by taking it out of the context, the model will fail in all likelihood. The same holds good for my model of Lok Sabha and Kerala Legislative Assembly. Lok Sabha speaker has no authority over Kerala...no doubt! But with respect to the Patriarch's authority over Kerala, I beg to differ.
Almost all of the JSOC Christians in Kerala and outside believe the Patriarch is our Supreme Head of Church. So the Patriarch definitely has authority over this community unless you take the decision for the entire Kerala community. This authority cannot be taken away easily either. Please don't spend time on the Pastoral Letter from the Catholicos addressing Jacobites as 'My Beloved Children'. In our childhood, we have heard of the story of the "Wolf in Sheepskin", so this letter will not be taken seriously.
We agree to this authority because we believe our church is a Traditional Church, one which does not change its beliefs with time. We believe in 1. The letter written in 1709 by the then Mar Thoma addressing Mar Ignatius as "our Father and Lord", 2. The letter written by Mar Dionysius III (Punnathra) addressing himself as "Mar Dionysius, metropolitan of the Jacobite Syrians in Malabar, subject to the authority of our father, Mar Ignatius, Patriarch", 3. Kallumkathra Padiyola in 1843 which mentions "pallikal okkeyudeyum mathavaya antiochya ude palliyil...thalavanmarude thalavanum...bavanmarude bavayum ...nammude baava moran mar ignatius patriarchinte keezhvazhcha keezhu ulpetta malankara idavakayude..." 4. Thesis submitted by Fr. P T Varghese on the topic "Were Syrian Christians Nestorians?" where he tackles this subject with proofs (actual and circumstantial) to prove that Syrian Christians had a Jacobite faith all along. Interestingly all these were written by our own people and prior to 1908. So you don't need research and modern historians to prove what your traditional belief has been.
Now coming to present state of things - I would like to start this with one question. What is the status of Mar Severios Moosa Gurgan in the IOC? As far as I know, he was ex-communicated by the Catholicos. In 100 years from now, his church might grow to a big number. Would you be ok in letting your children attend his qurbana if he has not reconciled with the IOC? Unfortunately, we also see the present state of IOC in the same view. You will not have the support of the majority in JSOC community unless and until the IOC reconciles with the Patriarch. If you are after the wealth of the church and not the people, then you can work on the 1 priest + 2 layman formula for church capture.
I will post this message to the ICON forum and the SOCM forum. It is up to the moderators to decide if this needs to be published.
Member Id - 4513
- Dear Reji,
IOC moderator should read this.. Your message should be�posted in IOC forum as well.
IOC is moving in way that they want to capture "all cross in the world" and they are headed by a�hypocrite and backed by media &�bankers..
- I had sent the same message to the IOC forum as well, but the IOC moderators did not post my message on their forum. However, the news of my post in the SOCM forum has reached the person (Mr. Cheriyakku, Doha) who had raised some concerns over the election of the Patriarch. He has clarified that he only has a problem with Article 36 which outlines the eligibility of candidates standing for election as the Patriarch.
I understand that Mr. Cheriyakku has spent some time going through the Constitution of the Syriac Orthodox Church. So he would have read about the election process as well details like election being conducted in the Cathedral, after invoking the Holy Spirit and casting of votes on the Holy Altar. From what I understood, after going thru the IOC constitution, the Catholicos is elected by their Malankara Association and if he has the approval of the Synod, he is all set to become the next Catholicos! I did not read anything about the presence of the Almighty being sought during this election process, probably because of the politics that would be going on in these elections. Despite its many revisions and reviews with the even the architect and new saint of IOC, you forgot to include the Almighty in your election process! Mathew 7:3 reads thus: And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?
For us the Supreme Head of the Church needs to uphold all of the Christian values. He needs to be the living example, the role model for all Christians. He is addressed as His Holiness for this very same reason. That is more important to us than worrying about the nationality. It is ironic to note that people who say that they believe in church being Universal (in the Nicene Creed) starts drawing boundaries around nationalities! For us, as long as the person who gets elected as the Patriarch holds on to these values, we don't care if he is a Malayali or a Videshi.
In passing, let me also mention that one of my cousins who has frequent interactions with the Syriac Christian community outside India told me once that one of them had mentioned to him that it is very much possible for one of the bishops from Kerala to become the next Patriarch. There are some constraints, but it is not unlikely. So there is no racism on this side of the line, but people who have hatred towards videshis need to ask the same question to themselves.
Member Id - 4513
--- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, Geogy Abraham wrote:
> Dear Reji,
> Good reply.
> IOC moderator should read this.. Your message should be posted in IOC forum as well.
> IOC is moving in way that they want to capture "all cross in the world" and they are headed by a hypocrite and backed by media & bankers..
> Geogy Abraham
> --- On Tue, 20/12/11, Reji@... <Reji@...> wrote:
> Dear Moderator
> Reference to the message from Thomas Kuttikandathil, TX in IOC forum in which he has copied a few excerpts from my message and gave his own interpretation.