My Response to Questions from V.Rev. PSS Corepiscopos - Part II
- Dear All
As per the request of IOC Moderators, I started to respond the questions which posted in IOC forum from V.Rev. Dr.P.S.Samuel Corepiscopa and in our forum. Please refer my postings in this forum(http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SOCM-FORUM/message/5176)
As now IOC moderators found my reply to Samuel Achan is very long and they feel now it lost its relevance, let me share my responses with my own people. To me the questions raised by Samuel Achan is on the historical disputed issues which have relevance at all times. As I have prepared the draft on it and I don't want it to be lost without using I will be replying it in this Forum as time permits.
God bless you all.
My Response to the Questions from V.Rev.PSS Corepiscopos - 2
Is their historical record of any bishop being consecrated by the Antiochean Patriarch before the consecration of Mathews Mar, Athanasios of Palakunnethu?
My Reply: If your question is meaning the DIRECT consecration by the Patriarch the answer will of course be NO, but because there is another possibility of consecration by duly authorized persons. In this case I will say YES. We will see first the post Udayamperoor situation. After the martyrdom of Mor Ahathulla the situation in Malankara would have been deplorable if Mor Gregoriose Abdul Jaleel sent from Antioch came to revitalize the Malankara Church. Why Mor Ahathulla came and sacrificed himself here? Why none of the Alexandrians, Armenians nor the Nestorians came here in that historic time of persecution and killing? The Nestorians had contacts with us undoubtedly for over a century preceding the Portuguese, even then they were not willing to come! Are we so blind to see the sacrificial willingness of the prelates from Antioch behind this jester of help? I will say it as their paternal care and commitment to the church at large. We also see a number of DELEGATES from the Patriarch here including Mor Basalius Eldo, Mor Basalius Sakralla. We have clear historical monumentary evidences like their holy tombs, books they used, the sacramentalia they brought with and priestly successions they gave.
Think of a time when travel to West Asia was unthinkable to a Keralite and impossible for an aged clergy to take the courage to go over there to get consecrated directly by the Patriarch. It was unaffordable as well as unfathomable to our situations. In the travelogue by Pulikkottil Mor Dionasius Joseph going to Turkey 1860s was depicted as risky and unpredictable. But necessity forced him to go there instead of getting consecrated from Mor Coorelose Yuakkim here. Mr.E.M.Philip in Appendices 14 and 16 gives the list of bishops here in Malabar and the delegates came here from the Patriarch. In History we are told that all the time we made our own consecrations there were disputes in the church. A section of our people at times tried getting consecrated from the Thozhiyoor bishops and laying of hands from dying bishops etc. But people at large opted for the valid consecration from delegates from Antioch. I believe this is an age old tradition of the church.
We have stated earlier that the first Episcopal presence here in Malabar was Joseph of Edessa who came with Thomas of Cana. The request for a bishop in the seventh century to Alexandria is dealt in the 17th section of the book by Archbishop Mor Ivaniose. The later recorded visit is of the bishops Sabor and Aphroth. Coming back to the question directly, there is no record of the consecration of local bishops before Mar Thoma 1 by Mor Gregoriose Abdul Jaleel in 1665. This beyond doubt is by the duly authorized delegate of the Patriarch of Antioch. All internal strives in this church ended only when the church as a whole willingly accepted the succession from Antioch. The 1912 Catholicate was accepted by all only when the succession was validated in 1964. The 1912 attempt was also done by inviting the deposed Patriarch of Antioch. So I will affirm that the validity of consecration in Malankara church at all times were depended on the succession received from Antioch.
Why did Patreiarch Peter 111 go to England to get letters to High British Officials in India on his way to visit India.
I don�t understand why V.Rev. Corepiscopa raised this question? The situation in Malabar during the struggles of Mor Dionasius Joseph in facing the threats of Mor Athanasius Palakkunnathu was nothing easy or tension free. The reformist group under Mor Athanasius had open backing of the C.M.S. and the British resident. The repeated request to repeal the royal proclamation in favor of Mor Athanasius was sidelined and he was ruling the church with unlimited powers and the majority members of the church and the parishes were forced to subjugate to him.
His Holiness had very influential relations with the Anglican Church at that time and he too had missionary contacts from England at that time. Even a Syriac printing press were erected at the Patriarchate under the leadership of Mor Gregoriose Abdulla and many schools were started with the help of missionaries. Mor Gregoriose himself had personal contacts through visit to England. These contacts were well utilized to impress the Majesty and the Archbishop to direct the Malabar resident and missionaries to keep aloof from the Church in Malabar. We can very well feel the difference of in the attitude of the Resident and the Royals in Malabar after the arrival of Patriarch with the credentials and support he got from his visit to the Queen and the Anglican Archbishop. I feel the success of the arrival of Moran Peter 1V is mainly because of the impression he made upon the Queen and the leaders of the Church of England. Without the presence and initiation of Moran Peter 1v the history of Malankara would have been totally different. The reform movement with the support of local missionaries and the royal proclamation Mor Athanasius Palakkunnathu was unquestionable on matters of administration and possession of church properties. Mor Dionasius Joseph Pulikkottil and the majority of the faithful were helpless for more than a decade. Mor Joachim Coorelose, the Patriarchal delegate could also win no support from the authorities and even the excommunication letter from the Patriarch was declared a forged one by the legal authorities who were supporting the reform movement. Actually the Patriarch sent the signed or titled with emblem earlier and authorized to write the letter of excommunication on personal inquiry and had sent Mor Coorelose. But the legal authorities �found� the difference in the two inks in the letter and �declared � the letter to be �forged�. All these technicalities were framed to support Mor Athanasius! The Patriarch won the victory over all these hurdles by his visit and impression made in England. These are bare facts and facts only. I can�t understand why there come questions on the visit of His Holiness to England before the visit to Malabar?
The contacts of Patriarch Mor Peter 1v can be read in the book of O.H. Parry titled �Six months in a Syrian Monastery�.This book is now available at �Georgias Press� published by the Syriac scholar Dr.George Kiraz. Another report of O.H. Parry can be read in my book mentioned before titled �Four Historic Documents�.
To be continued...