Re:Christmas Message from the Patriarch
- Dear Abraham,
I really hope that the hierarchy of the Malankara Church pays
attention to this issue. From what I understand, the problem is the
timely translation of such encyclicals into Malayalam. In the past
when such encyclicals to Malankara were written in Syriac this was a
more significant issue. However, the Patriarchate now routinely
translates encyclicals intended for Malankara and diaspora into
English. I have no doubt that Malankara has no dearth of people who
can translate Patriarchal encyclicals from English to Malayalam.
Patriarchs have a long-standing tradition of sending an encylical to
parishes to be read on the Sunday of Cana before the Great Lent
begins. These tend to be lengthy but are very significant writings
calling the faithful to a proper observance of the lent. A
collection of lent encyclicals from our present Patriarch can be
found at http://sor.cua.edu/Personage/PZakka1/Encyclicals.html and
the Festschrift published by the Chicago St George Church on the
occasion of the consecration Jubilee last year. None of these were
read in any Malankara parish; the loss is ours, as anyone will
realize when they read these encyclicals.
In late 2005, His Holiness issued an encyclical admonishing Chor
Episcopos in Malankara and diaspora on the proper use of liturgical
vestments. It was read in the North American Malankara parishes, but
not in most Malankara parishes. However, it was expressly intended
to correct improper practices in Malankara; it is disappointing that
even such encyclicals from His Holiness are ignored.
I hope that volunteers from clergy or laity will come forth in
Malankara and offer services to the office of the Catholicos to do
timely translations of encyclicals which can be distributed through
regular channels as well as published on web sites. They will indeed
be doing a great service for the Church.
Thomas Joseph, Ph.D.
Web Master, Syriac Orthodox Resources [ http://sor.cua.edu/ ]
Tech. Editor, Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies [
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