Re: Street canvassing, newspaper advertisements for Episcop
- Dear fellow members,
This type of centralized system of Bishop election by the Malankara Orthodox faction was started with the intention to defeat the Jacobite supporters. The old practice was to choose priests or bishops from an area where it is required and the supreme body approves it if there is no problem. It was this practice that was continuing in Bishops selection as well.
This practice was changed in the other factions constitution to sideline the Jacobite candidates from the Angamaly, Kanadanad, Kochi, Malabar & Kottayam dioceses. They came to know that only through a centralized election; the Jacobites in these dioceses could be avoided and for winning the centralized election process they also adopted other methods like converting small chapels and crosses as independent parishes, thus sending more of their representatives to the association. People says that it is the present leader of the opposite faction who masterminded the whole idea of creating new parishes in 1950s. While the present ratio of churches and people in the orthodox faction is 1:300, in the Jacobite Church it is 1: 650. That means that the orthodox faction has greater number of parishes but its members in each parishes are few.
However the Jacobites failed to understand this wickedness of the opposite group. So after the Church got reunited in 1958, in every association election, the Jacobites could send only a fewer number of representatives because of the above 2 reasons. This helped the other factions candidates to always succeed in the reunited Church Associations. None from the Jacobite side won. If there was enough opportunity to elect bishops from each dioceses in 1958-70 period, then atleast five bishops (out of the total 9) would have been from the Jacobite side. The whole history too would have been something different. (In this period, the dioceses were the Jacobites formed the majority were Malabar, Angamaly, Kandanad, Kochi & Kottayam and the dioceses were the other faction had the majority were Niranam, Kollam, Thumbamon & Outside Kerala).
When a bishop for Angamali diocese was to be chosen after the death of Vayaliparambil Thirumeni in 1966, it was an orthodox faction supporter (Philopose Mar Ivanios from Kottayam) who got elected. It was at a situation when Angamali remains the single largest diocese in whole Malankara and the 99 % of people always belonged to the Jacobite side. Even now the orthodox faction have only a very few people and handful number churches there. (last year the IOC bishop of Angamali was given the additional charge of Mavelikara as he have only a very few churches like Thrikkunath Seminary under him).
I have said so much to point out that the other faction has centralized the whole system only to defeat the Jacobites. It was never with a good intention and what we see now in IOC election (vote canvassing & paper advertisements of bishops candidates) is the natural repercussion of all these. Excess democracy will ultimately kill Episcopacy.
I still think that it is our system of choosing bishops from the dioceses which is far better than choosing it through a centralized election process like that in IOC. Our system helps to reduce the canvassing process and also helps to consider the feelings of all the people in Malankara. Compare this with the recent election of the other faction where all the succeeded candidates, including the priest trustee are from southern dioceses, not even Kottayam. It happens so in IOC only because of a few numbers of representatives coming from the north. There was a Priest trustee candidate (Jacob Mannaraprayil) and atleast 2 bishop candidates from North of which 1 was an official candidate, but none managed to get reqd. vote.
So i favour a Bishop election via diocesean assembly, than a centralised election. It is much better for a balance representation.
Arthat St.Marys Church
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