My response to two venerable Members on St. Thomas
- Dear Dr. George John and Mr. John Kurian,
I have great respect to you two since you are modest in expression and take time to post useful messages in all our forums. Your
postings are generally well accepted beyond all factional prejudices. You show respect to all and are keen to understand differing opinions. Thank you very much for your time and enthusiasm in enlightening others with your thoughts and vision.
I hope you will patiently and lovingly take a few notes I make here on one of your postings each. I was actually holding off my response for a week on the following posting made by Dr. George K.John in message No. 7229 in this Forum"
"in order to suppress the position of Catholicate the argument even touched to deny the priesthood to Sleeha. however; the present H.H. Moran who is a living saint corrected it and advised the faithful to remember sleeha's name in the tubden."
I think Dr.George has been confused by the propaganda of the Catholicose faction during seventees on this issue. The 203/1970 Kalpana of H.H. Yacoob III was not at all an issue in the year 1970 when it arrived. Even later, it was not considered to be against against the Church's teachings and traditions. On 31 Dec. 1970, the Malankara Association meeting held at Kottayam in presence of the then Catholicose Mor Augen I praised this Patriarch profusely and the then Catholicose elect took a vow to enhance all relations with the Patriarch. If the Patriarch was a person who uttered denigrading remarks against the apostle why was the Church then fooled into praising him to all heights. This in itself shows that H.H. had not said anything against the truth taught in the church. H.H. quoted the same verse quoted by Vattaseril Thirumeni in Mathasangathi on 'Priesthood'. Moreover H.H.Yacoob III himself had written later about this. I have quoted that in my posting No. 5118 in this digest (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SOCM-FORUM/messages/5118). I have dealt this issue in detail in my book, 'Perumpilly Thirumeni-Malankara Sabhayude Kal Noottandu'. I hope you will find some time to read that book at least.
His Holiness himself says,
"In fact we sent a private communication to the Catholicose about three years ago when the Catholicose himself wrote to us as reigning on the so called throne of St.Thomas in India, in the firm belief that the Catholicose would realize his mistake and correct himself. But we were made to understand that our communication to the Catholicose No.203/1970 was given wide publicity as though we had leveled some criticism against Apostle St. Thomas." [Mathew A Monny,
History of the Jacobite Syrian Church of India (1912-1980), Unpublished Dissertation submitted to University of Madras for M.Phil. (1990). p.139.]
This shows that H.H. himself had clarified that he intented no criticism against St.Thomas our Apostle. But people who were intent on creating a schism wanted a stick to beat. So they used it and even now innocent people like you use it at times. It is really a disrespect to the present Patriarch to say that he gave the Marthoma relic to Mulanthuruthy Church and that he added the name of St.Thomas in the tubden to whitewash the tarnished act of his predecessor. It cannot be viewed so. It was actually a Holy Spirit filled act of His Holiness to venerate St. Thomas who is also venerated equally by the people of Edessa and Iraq. We must not think that St. Thomas is of (and for) Indians and St. Peter for the Antiocheans. They belong to the college of Apostles. Denigrading any of the Apostles will by itself denigrade others too. St. Thomas, the Apostle, is high above any priest or arch priest. What they are are what they are! Their position, privilege or priority is not a gift or declaration of any Patriarch or Catholicose. It was given by the Holy Father Himself.
Dear Dr.George, H.H. Yacoob III never tried to 'supress the Catholicate' as you feared. He was the only Patriarch who willingly agreed to accept for the sake of peace the uncanonical establishment of the Catholicate by a deposed Patriarch. This is the reason why we cannot accept the validity of the apostolic succession of some our sister churches in Kerala. I don't want to elaborate on this topic. Please read my recent book on 'Catholica Stapanathinte Yadhardtha Nila.' My humble plea to people like you is not to propagate baseless arguments raised by fanatics in the IOC group.
I am also very saddened by the posting from Mr. Jose Kurian supporting the baseless throne argument in his posting No. 7254. I quote him: "Moreover, We should not forget the fact that neither St. Thomas nor any one of his colleagues did carry the thrones, wherever they went and established Churches. Here also Dr. George was 100 percent right in presenting the truth. The throne of Apostles is only based on the promise of our Savior, Lord Jesus Christ. Those who argue that St. Thomas had no throne will have to agree that Lord Jesus was wrong. If the disciple of Apostles could have a throne, why an Apostle cannot have? Why we should drag the factional fights with the holy faith and Biblical truths. So I humbly request one and all to avoid hurting and scornful messages on Apostles and the Biblical truths."
This he wrote in support of Dr. George who wrote against H.H. Yacoob III and defined in nutshell the 'Marthoma throne arguments'.
Dear Jose uncle,
You are contradicting yourself and are repeating the IOC argument of fictional and factional fighting on the throne issue. You say Apostles carried no thrones! But then you jump in defense of a throne for St. Thomas! Holy Bible speaks of thrones of the twelve apostles in which they will be seated at the time of the last judgement to judge the 12 tribes of Israel. Is this the throne of Kottayam Catholicose or the Patriarch of Antioch? How can they or any Patriarch sit on the eschatological throne of the apostles to judge the tribes of Israel? Will you say that the successor primates of the apostles also share the right to sit on the throne of the judgement with the Lord? This argument is rather childish and against the Bible truth.
Your question is why can't the apostle have a throne if a disciple can have one? Not only the apostle but also the disciples and their successors have thrones. The bishops also have a throne. The Mar Thoma Church in Kerala claims to have a throne for their Metropolitan. Every diocese has a throne. These thrones are the honorary honorofics of a bishop or a head.
The throne issue in our church is to be understood in light of historic and priestly apostolic succession. It is also to be understood in light of the spiritual supremacy of the head of the Church. Will you agree to a St.Thomas throne for the Niranam Metropolitan, for he has much claim in this line? Will you agree for an autocephalous throne for Mar Makariose for his diocese for U.K., Europe and Canada? Will you accept the concept of an American autocephalous church for the second generation American citizens of your church? Here comes the question of the regulations of the Synod. The Patriarchal throne of Antioch has its primacy in our church not only on the basis that it has the succession of the head of the apostles, St. Peter, but also it has the juridical validation of the synods and the fathers.
The very relevant question here to be answered is the concept of the unity of the Church. Do you think that the Malankara Church is totally a different church from the Syrian Church? If yes! from which period onwards? Is it a self made (declared) autocephaly? Is it a synodal declaration? What does your constitution say? What does your liturgy declare? What do the court decisions until this time say? What does the often quoted 'ONE CHURCH, ONE CONSTITUTION, ONE CATHOLICOSE AND ONE PATRIARCH' statement mean? Can you please share your thoughts on these?
It is meaningless to say soothing words like 'avoid factionalism, mud throwing', etc., in some postings and at the same time advocate ficticious thrones and 'throw mud' at the Supreme Head of the Church on baseless issues (like the 203/70 kalpana). That was presented (perhaps without bad intentions) by Dr. George in sugar-coated words.
Today, we have a solution before us. We can settle all disputes by just a favourable note from the IOC side. The Patriarch and the JSC has declared its willingness to accept the IOC as an autonomous or autocephalous/independent sister church. We declared at the 2004 Mulanthuruthy Synod under the presidentship of His Holiness that the IOC can be accepted as a sister church. I do not understand why peace lovers like you cannot accept this? You can then claim whatever you want and at the same time can have brotherly relations with us. And then you can leave us free to continue, as we were before, as the part of the universal church. The unwillingness to leave us alone shows the power-craving mind of your leaders. The craving to establish authority over parishes and its properties.
You yourself have posted in ICON on Nov 2 the claim of your priest trustee that the Thrikkunnath property belongs to the IOC. This tells me that you also endorse that view. The IOC does not
respect the beliefs and express intents of the founders and promoters of these institutions, but they claim for themselves their possessions! What a paradox? They don't want the Patriarch, but they claim for themselves the properties made/contributed in the name of the Patriarch! They want Parumala thirumeni as their saint, but they never mention who consecrated him as Metropolitan. You may refer to any of the articles or postings from the IOC side. They will say he was 'made bishop or became bishop'! without mentioning Patriarch Peter IV.
I am very grieved by the first message from the new Catholica Bava which has closed all doors of reconciliation. I heard him saying to the Asianet reporter that he is willing only for negotiation if he
gets a signed document of allegience to the constitution. Why should there be any discussion after that? That itself is the end of everything! This was the style of all reconciliation from 1995 onwards. This is another way of repeating the words of his predecessor in his letter No.52/97, "immediately inform me in writing your submission to me". [For details please read my book, 'Slaiheeka Sandarsam:Vivadangalum Visadeekaranagalum' (2004).] These types of threats will not solve issues. Let us raise up to see the facts and try to solve issues by mutual acceptance. Try to understand each other with patience. Let there be creative academic exchanges on standpoints. Let us agree to disagree on issues that separates us. Let us join together in peaceful terms on issues of common interest.
Never try to win over by subjugation or by judicial victory. Why not settle the open disputes in the few churches where they exist. There are altogether about 2000 parish churches. Open conflicts are confined to about 20 churches. These conflicts attract all the crowd and media and bring shame on us. Why not make a settlement here? Here comes the issue of love and law. Law comes where love fails. You can answer the question whether the church is for worship or is to express the authority of the hierarchy? If it is to worship why is it not given to those who built it and those who toiled for it. The hierarchs who come to dedicate the church take the 'kaimuth' from the people there and later show their AUTHORITY over them by closing it down.
The IOC could close down tens of churches in Malankara. Where they able to open any of them to worship in these 3 decades of time? Even now the attitude is to cling to hair splitting legalities. If this attitude continues, surely the hatred will not cease and will be carried on to future generations.
Now it appears that the new IOC leadership intends to continue in the same old line. Didimos Bava told 'Mathrubhoomi' that he is praying everyday for 'Thomas Pradhaman'. http://www.geocities.com/malankaravoice10/20051102didimosmat.htm But he continued that 'he is the reason for all problems and non-settlement of all issues'! A statement that needs no more explanation!
I pray here a part of the Lord's Prayer:
FORGIVE THEM LORD THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING.
FORGIVE OUR DEBTS AS WE HAVE FORGIVEN OUR DEBTORS.
THY WILL BE DONE 'upon Your church'.
MARA NADHA Amen.
Please forgive my ignorance and bless me, my Lord!
Kuriakose Corepiscopa Moolayil.
Member ID # 0175
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