Re: Reply to Moolelachan - : 1965 Adis Ababa Conference
- Dear Mr.Thomas P,
This will be the last response from me on this issue. I would like to note the following points to you and to all the readers.
1. I started this series of letters to seek clarification from Mr.Thomas on his negative comment on my book, 'Perumpilly Thirumeni- Malankara Sabhayude Kal Noottandu'. from which Mr.Thomas Daniel(Reji)quoted in his article. I have repeatedly asked Mr.Thomas P on what ground he said this. Finally his attitude was revealed here that no historiograhical or factual error in my book did compel him to say that. It was his 'prejudice' that my book was promoting factionlism and disunity among the OO members in India. To my humble opinion the disunity is the result of the separation in the unity of oneness the Malankara Church had in faith and life with the Universal Syrian Church before 1912 and regained in 1964. The Church in Malankara was having strong spiritual ties in its life with the Universal Syrian Church . The book of Fr.Jacob proves this. This is my main point. None of the argument of Mr.Thomas P proves the contarary. If this attitude is brought back there will be no problem among its members.
2.I had made it very clear that the OFFICIAL Document of the Addis Abbaba Conference was not published by the CHURCH HEADS as is mentioned by Fr.Jacob in his book. I made myself clear that I have not read the document which Thomas is relying. Eventhough he forwared the document (of size10085KB) I could not open it or read it. I am trying to open it. I could not manage to read the book form either. So I cannot comment on that. I have never seen this document quoted by the writers in Malankara. It may be my mistake or my lapse. This is the reason why I made a public appeal for this. I will be happy to have a printed book.
3.It is a very strange argument that the delegation or the representatives from Malankara paricipating in a world forum will make it a different Church. The Malankara division of the Church is having a synod and a regional head and is an autonomous entity.Will that make an independant Church? Here is the importance of the book of Fr.T.C.Jacob. He vividly makes it clear that the Church can be one with strong ties with the Patriarch even after this OO Conference or even after having a Malankara delegation in a world forum. Or it makes clear that the present argument of Mr.Thomas was not dreamt by Moran Catholicose and his delegation during those times! If you will not read or promote seeing such documents you are guiding the readers with one blind eye!
4.Pro oriente and other forums welcome IOC because SOC is also willing to accept IOC as a sister church. But the problem is that IOC is not willing to accept the view of the church members to continue their traditional allegience with the Patrirach. They are forcibly entering the SOC churches and continueing legal battles. Even they try to molest into their churches with police protection! Why not Mr.Thomas P, you take initiative to settle issues between the brothers and sisters in the local parishes? You talk much about the OO unity but supports the rivalry and litigations among the Indians! You blame the SOC for this strife! Why not you consider the peace in Malankara more important? If this is made the unity and fratenity of the OO will be much easier.
5.Your claim that the Pope of Rome accepts the IOC as an independant Church is nothing unique. Their ecumenical approach accepts even denominations as such in their persuit of unity. They accepts us as what we ourselves wants to be. It is their attitude to other churches and denominations. But this same argument can be taken into the Kerala situations. Most of the Indian secular writers mention that the Malankara Church was traditionally under the Patriarch of Antioch. The Church under Catholicose Mor Thomas 1 is considered by other churches and Government as the division under the Pariarch of Antioch. It is to your logic then the Church under Catholicose Thomas 1 must be accepted by IOC as under the Patriarchal juruisdiction.
6.Your argument on the supremacy of Damascus versus Kottayam is really illogic. In the church the Supremacy is spiritual. It should transcend the limitations of regionalism and temporal authorities. You seem to believe that the Catholicose who sits at Kottayam ipso facto has all authority and control of over all the parishes and its assets! I cannot hold this view because the venue of the seat of the Patriarch or the Catholicose is not the important critereon, but it is the tradition and the decision of the synods that matters. Accordingly the Patriarch of Antioch has jurisdiction over the church in the East. So your terminology of the 'Damasus' authority is unworthy. Wherever the Patriarch lives he is the 'Patriarch of Antioch', Likewise the Catholicose is not of Kothamangalam or Kottayam. He is 'of the East'. The Indian Church is having its identity but its connection with the Patriarchate is adding to its glory and oneness. It is becoming the part of a very glorious tradition,theology,patrimony, literature,etc. etc. through it. Without this oneness the Malankara Church is cutting its main root and/or head. To me, limiting this oneness is marring its identity.I also will join to say with you that any argument that promotes to divide the Syrian Church from its Patriarchate should be discouraged.
7. The relation between the EO and RC are the two sides of a coin. Both shall be encouraged and promoted. But to the Church in India relation with the RC is more contextual and relevant. So naturally it took more momentum. But the SOC is actively engaged in bilateral dialogue with EO partners along with the common dialogue with them. Both these should be viewed very openly and wholeheartedly. Meaningful collective dialogue will take place if we settle our issues in a brotherly and mutually respective atmosphere.I pray you all to take intiative in this direction. May God Bless us.
8.I don't want to prolong this exchange of letters unendingly. I hope you will publish this letter in its entirety as the Moderators promised the other day.