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Re: Truth about IOC and our church [Paul Reji]

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  • Rev. Dn. George Mathew
    Interesting posting ... One point of clarity I think is that the the IOC recognized that the Patriarch in Antioch was a spiritual leader for the Malankara
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 28, 2004
      Interesting posting ...

      One point of clarity I think is that the the IOC
      recognized that the Patriarch in Antioch was a
      spiritual leader for the Malankara Church. I think
      once a Catholicose for the JSC was consecrated, the
      respect was completely lost, and many comments were
      made. History tells us that the church in India
      existed long before the association with Antioch.
      History indicates that St. Thomas came to India in 52
      AD and established 7 churches in India. How can
      anyone say then that St. Thomas did not establish the
      faith in India? History tells us that St. Thomas
      appointed clergy to take care of the church after his
      departure. So, I think there is a very true basis for
      saying that St. Thomas established the church in
      India.

      History also tells us that there were relgious attacks
      by various groups. Help was sought from the Antioch
      and was rendered. They helped the Indian Church to
      reorganize and become 'alive' again. And, the Indian
      Church was truly thankful and appreciative. But, does
      that mean that the Indian Church has to lose its
      authenticity and submit itself to the SOC? I don't
      think so. Many (unwilling) decisions by our
      forefathers were made under duress (due to the
      political and social challenges of the time) and
      force. A true friend to the Indian Church would have
      offered its help and support, and left once the church
      was able to administer itself once again. Rather,
      what we find is a friend who sought much more (for
      various reasons). Imagine the following example. A
      friend loans you some money to buy a house. You move
      into the house and begin paying back the loan. Once
      the loan is settled, does your friend have any further
      claims to your house? No!

      I don't agree with any of this. My personal feeling
      is that the IOC can still maintain a positive and
      healthy relationship with the SOC as sister churches.
      We have the resources and administration to govern the
      Church in India. The Patriarch of Antioch can still
      remain as a spiritual authority for the Malankara
      Church. There is a relationship between the two
      churches which cannot and should not forget. In times
      of distress, the SOC was a friend. But, at the same
      time, the SOC should not take advantage of the IOC's
      friendship.

      Is peace still possible? Anything is possible with
      God. Unimaginable things have happened at the hand of
      God - the Red Sea parted, the world was flooded, a
      virgin conceived, etc. God has a plan and purpose for
      everything. The problem is that we (mankind) have
      selfish motives for everything. If we submitted to
      the will of God, imagine the peace and harmony that
      would exist in the world today. Let us continue to
      pray for all our bishops and those in authority that
      God would enlighten them to do the needful to bring
      peace and harmony to a wailing church.


      Dn. George Mathew
      St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Church
      Washington, DC
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