Re: Differences between IOC & JSC - A perspective
- In Reference to Dr.George K John
James K. John
St.George Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church,
Carteret, New Jersey
These differences between IOC and JSC may be a little harsh for many to fathom�.yet this is a perspective view of one Jacobite (me).
1. IOC has Orthodox before Syrian (Malankara Orthodox Syrian) JSC has Orthodox after Syrian (Malankara Syrian Orthodox). Currently IOC is dropping �Syrian� and JSC is dropping �Orthodox� from their naming identity.
2. IOC follows the letters of 1934 constitution and denounces the spirit of it. JSC follows the spirit of 1934 constitution and denounce it.
3. IOC believe H.H Abdul Messiha brought the throne of St.Thomas in 1912 to Kottayam and was giving autocephaly and thus established a new church and Murimattom Mar Ivaniose was elevated to a position equal to Patriarch. JSC believes it was a highly manipulated event and the establishment of Catholicate office and designation was with in the same church.
4. The meaning of Patriarch is different for IOC and JSC
5. According to IOC the script of Coonan Cross oath was not correct. The ignorant, theologically illiterate ancestors for some inexplicable reason made such an oath and pledged their allegiance to Syrian Orthodox church of Antioch instead of St.Thomas church of India.
6. According to IOC Mavelikkara Padiyola and Mulanthuruthy Synods are rigged events by the Syrian Orthodox Church. To JSC they are representations of their resolve and reinforcement of their faith.
7. For IOC the sthathicon of Augen Catholicose in 1964 was a mistake. For JSC it was a rightly executed document.
8. IOC believes Saint Gregorious (parumala) made a grave mistake in coordinating the Mulanthuruthy Synod.
9. IOC believes Saint Abdul Jaleel of North Parur and Saint H.H Pathrose Patriarch were sort of intruders into the affairs of Indian church. For JSC they are saints sacrificed themselves for sustaining the true faith in malankara.
10. IOC believes associating themselves to Syrian Orthodox Christians is like associating themselves to Sadam Hussein. JSC believes associating themselves to Syrian Orthodox Christians means associating themselves to a long line of Martyrs and Saints.
11. IOC believes Christianity and church affairs are better interpreted by the Court of law in India. The traditions of the Syrian Christians are confusing to them. JSC believes and gives more emphasis to the believes and traditions of their ancestors. They are sacred elements to them.
12. IOC failed to keep the churches like Manarkadu, Kandanadu, Mulanthuruthy, Karingachira etc that were all theirs with 1958-peace accord. JSC failed to keep the Methrans Mor Athanatious, Mor Milithios, Mor Nicholovose and the Aramanas that were all theirs. (Assets worth over 2 million dollar was lost by JSC by the crossing over of Mor Nicholovose � A price of poor selection and not even a contingency basis lawsuit to recover the assets was filed by JSC).
13. The 1970�s �Vazhi Methrans� of JSC are welcomed into churches where as the �Aramana Methrans� are still in Aramana waiting for the Police escort to arrive.
14. IOC is thrilled to avenge the dead by disrupting the funerals of JSC member�s.
15. When a Methran or Priest is excommunicated from JSC there is much rejoicing in �devalokam�. IOC embraces the excommunicated JSC Methran�s and Priests. JSC does not accept or allow excommunicated Priests to be their VICAR.
I write this because, I consider myself very fortunate for having the opportunity to remain as a Jacobite Syrian Christian. Many were not able to remain in Syrian Orthodox faith for socio, economic, political or circumstantial reasons. I have no shame for belonging to or calling myself a Jacobite Christian.
In my humble opinion since the church leaders failed to preserve the 1958 peace accord for whatever reasons there was/is no point in wasting any time, effort or intellectual capital for yet another reunion.
Each Parish and each person has to find the peace with in himself or herself. Until the leadership of IOC stop poaching for faithful and parishes of JSC peace for thousands may remain elusive. For People like Mor Athanatious & Mor Milithiose who held the mantle of Jacobite church at one time but decided to go for the Devalokom fold brokered by Mor Nicholovose peace may be a difficult thought. Let the Good Lord forgive them.
IOC & JSC should be doing things that are necessary for them to grow as a church which include defending themselves but not encroaching the other. The culture of filing Law suits after lawsuit, disruption of funerals and crowing foul on anything that is done to uphold themselves habit need to change.
To me if there were errors or even outrageous acts by Patriarchs, the way to resolve them is not/was not by separating or creating a division in the church by unilateral decisions or by self-proclamations.
It is true many reputations in JSC were tarnished for proposing compromise with IOC, but the proclamations from the likes of PC Alexander, The Acts of H.H Catholicose himself and the facts like lifetime trusteeship for Padinjarekkara are ample justifications for the ordinary Jacobite to remain suspicious on all compromise talks.
After all what is the Cardinal sin accused on a Jacobite � he wants to remain in the relationship with the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchs of Antioch!!!