Re: Catholicose vs Maphriono
- Dear Fr. John,
I do not wish to belabour the points I made earlier. I am fully aware
of HH Patriarch Mor Ignatius Ya`qub' IIIrd's speech at Goettingen and
I am very confident that our current Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakka I
was fully aware of that too and indeed noted the historical
antecedents of the name in April 2001. The learned Patriarch of
blessed memory rightly said in 1971 that the name "Syrian" does not
designate the name of the country. But to any native speaker of
English, the term "Syrian" suggests identification with the nation or
culture of Syria. The historical nuances that the Patriarch
eloquently speaks about is clouded by this adjective. When the
Patriarch says that the church was always known as the Syrian Church,
he obviously did not mean it literally since English language and the
use of the adjective "Syrian" are much younger than the Church. The
question is whether the adjective "Syriac" describes the spiritual
tradition that is the foundation of the Church. In 1971, Patriarch
Mor Ya`qub III stated his position. In 2001, Patriarch Mor Zakka I
recognized the current realities and accepted a different position,
while not rushing to make a change. As I emphasized earlier, this is
not a change that has been made globally; its use is limited even by
the archbishops who sought its acceptance. If the term "Syrian" is
appropriate in the Indian context or elsewhere, that usage continues.
If on the other hand, esp. in the Western context, where the
term "Syriac" is appropriate to the audience, there is permission to
use that instead. Living languages are constantly evolving, and where
appropriate the Church has made accomodations for it.
You state "I do thus hold that no local synod or patriach has right
to change or alter what Nicene synod decided and so the
designation "Catholicos" should prevail." I do not think that you
have read what I posted earlier. The position of Maphryono came into
being only in 629 (in fact the name came into use only in the 11th
century). It was not established in the Nicene Synod. Hence what the
Nicene Synod decided has no relevance as far as position of
Maphryono, exclusive to the Syriac Orthodox Church, is concerned.
What the Nicene Synod recognized was the position of the Catholicos
of the East whose line of succession continues in the Church of the
East. The Syriac Orthodox Church recognized a new position in 629
necessitated by the needs of the 'Easterners'; there was no claim
that the position represented the succession of the Catholicos of the
East. In contrast, in 1912, the claim of "transfer of Catholicate"
was made to provide historical authenticity to a newly created
position and to establish independence from the Patriarch of Antioch.
Maphryono Yaldo was one among the line of succession of the
Maphryonos and not in the line of succession of the Catholicos of the
East. The evidence for his title is in the inscription on the
tombstone of the Patriarch he consecrated (in Kurkmo Dayro), see
photograph in The Hidden Pearl (2001), Vol. 3. His title was
correctly stated as Maphryono in HH Patriarch Zakka I's encyclical
(Oct 27, 1987) permitting the commemoration of his name in the fifth
diptych in Malankara. If you continue to insist that he should be
called Catholicos, I would request that you provide the evidence.
- Thomas Joseph
--- In SOCM-FORUM@y..., "Fr. John Kunjukunju" <fatherjohnkk@h...>
> "When the Syrian came into being?" is the question Dr Joseph wantsme to
> answer. I do not conceive the question well conceived. In anotherother member....
> presentation Dr Thomas himself amply clarified the matter. Some