RE: Problems in Jacobite Church-In the view of an ex Jacobite clergy
- I happened to see the writing of an ex-Jacobite clergy in IOC forum about the problems in Jacobite Syrian Church (as if IOC has no problems at all!). My point here is not about the problems in the church, which is a chronic problem in any Christian church from the beginning, but the attitude of those defected clergies. This priest, Fr. KK John of IOC recently criticized Catholicose of JSC and even addressed him as just 'Thomas I' while addressing his own Catholicose as H.H Catholicose. May God judge him on his deeds! But this definitely shows how much hatred he possess now towards the church and the leaders of the church he once belonged to. All his writings, except some of those which are theology and faith based which I appreciate for his time and effort, are directed towards attacking and ridiculing H.B of JSC. From his writings it seems that the whole reason for his defection to IOC was his hatred towards H.B Thomas I.
My question to him and those who defected to IOC for this same reason, is that will you switch side again or go to another church if you happen to hate your current Catholicose or some one else who takes that position in the future? I assume you all will! It is highly likely that you will find some one whom you similarly hate becoming as your head in your current church. That means in your life time you will be member of at least four to five different churches! So based on your writings on Orthodoxy, and on hatred towards H.B, the faith has no place in your selection of church and you will go with whomever you like or with those who would do what you want them to do. While I don't feel any hatred towards H.B or any clergy in the JSC or IOC, I can say that no one in JSC or IOC is perfect. Being a member of the church do not depend on who the Catholicose is or Patriarch is. You may say that you have not changed your Orthodox faith yet. While Musa Gurgan and similar others also claims to follow Orthodox faith (but are different churches), what is the point in changing churches just because of hatred towards one of the clergy of the church you belonged to? So as a priest do you teach your parish members to stand with those clergy whom you like and advice to switch churches based on that? Do you think every one in the JSC likes H.B THomas I or every one in IOC likes H.H Paulose II? It never happens unfortunately. There will be people who hate their own leaders all the time. So what is the point in hating the leaders or switching side to create more problems to the already ongoing problems?
As a clergy, how can you keep hatred and preach Bible in (any) church? Your messages are full of hatred towards H.B. Of course that entire IOC forum is meant for that, but as a clergy who once got ordination from JSC church, how can you still keep this type of hatred and preach Orthodoxy or even Christianity to your parish members?
In some of your mails you mentioned that you switched side for the sake of 'peace'. What peace did you bring to the church you got ordained or to even the whole Christianity with that 'switch side'? Didn't you make more problems in the church by doing so? Didn't the switch of you and your allies bring more court cases on top of already flooded cases? Didnt you know this already how it will turn out? Arent you and your friends who switched sides the cause for most of the court cases and street fights now in Kerala? What should we call you now? Peace makers or 'piece' makers?
One's faith and affiliation should not be changed based on who the leader of that church is, -whether he is a saintly person or not (I do not intend to judge if current Catholicose or Patriarch of any church are saints or not-let God judge on that). In the history we had only a handful of saints as our leaders, but our church survived under all other leaders without deviating from Orthodox faith which is more important than switching sides when you find some one whom you don't like as the leader. You know that, none of us, whether JSC or IOC believe that the Patriarch or Catholicose are infallible. Then what is the point in keeping hatred towards them, just because they don't do what you want them to do?
I very well can guess what the (one among probably many now) reason of your hatred towards H.B is. I know you will have thousands of other reasons to, but I believe the main one is that H.B did not join the IOC faction together with you, instead decided to lead the JSC under the Patriarch of Antioch as before. One important thing you Fr. KKJ or other IOCians don't realize is that, even if H. B Thomas I had joined IOC together with you, the JSC would have survived this far and if not H.B. Thomas I, another person would have led the church to prosperity (of course H.B did a good job in that). Majority of JSC members stand for a reason which is not just a leader (either current Catholicose or Patriarch), but the Patriarchate of Antioch and SOC. So, even if H.B Thomas I switch side to IOC, even today, majority of JSC members will remain united under the Patriarchate of Antioch as a single church as before choosing another one to lead the church. Of course, then there will be some one else for you to hate again!
We, the ordinary members of JSC want to see a continuation of the united church, around the world under the Patriarchate of Antioch as before, which our great saints like Mor Parumala thirumeni had attested to. We do not believe in the nationality based churches or in any ethnicity based churches and we all believe that neither Jesus nor any Apostles possessed the view of nationality or ethnicity in the formation of churches (Galatians 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus"). Ethnic churches are unfortunately an invention of Byzantine tradition which is followed later by some orientals. So your hatred will have no end. You will have some one to hate alway if not H.B Thomas I, because JSC is not dependent on a single person but the faith and prayers of lakhs of people!
I hope and pray that you one day come back to JSC or advice IOCians to unite their church under Patriarch of Antioch as before, without promoting further division and hatreds.
Sorry to post a reply to you here, because I know IOCian moderators will never publish any of these views. I hope the moderators of this forum will not mind posting it here.
Thanks and prayers