Re: Communion with RCC-reply to Mr. Thomas P
- There is also an Orthodox Church in Finland. When I visited the
county a month ago I saw a beautiful Orthodox church there. Isn't it
good to have Orthodox churches in all nations and these Churches
existing united in each nation?
There is Byzantine influence in all Orthodox churches, because there
was only one major Church within Byzantium until 6th century. So, we
cannot say that Oriental Churches are with out Byzantine influence or
treat Byzantine Churches as totally unrelated to us. Roman Church also
had lot of Orthodox influence in the beginning, but eventually they
changed a lot accepting liberal aspects of western culture. For
example, they started accepting secular art and paintings, as a result
iconographic tradition ended.
In Kerala, because of historic reasons, Oriental orthodox comunity is
heavily influenced by Western culture, hence the bias towards RCC, and
protestant churches. A strong movement towards Orthodoxy (ie. common
to both Oriental and Eastern Orthodox) is lacking. A lot of work needs
to be done (young volunteers should work for this), including
replacing imagery used in the Church. Orthodoxy is a collective
experience. Liturgical experience is only one part of it.
Oriental Orthodox churches (with the exception of Keralites) share a
lot in common with Eastern Orthodox Churches. In fact other than
slight difference in Christological terminology, Byzantine and
Oriental orthodox churches follow exactly same tradition. They give
high importance to St. Mary. They enter the Church after lighting a
candle infront of an Icon of St. Mary, which is kept near the Church
door. Similalry at the entrance of Ethiopian Church they keep an Icon
of St. Mary. This is from my experience as I have attended Anthiocian
Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox churches.