Dear George, Bibu, Philip Matthew and all,
The original name of Paumala Church was St. Peter's Church, not St. Peter and St.Pauls church. The St. Pauls name was added only later. To my understanding, it is not recorded anywhere, the reason that prompted Parumala Thirumeni to dedicate the church in the name of Apostle St. Peter.
As most of us are aware of, the property of the church at Parumala was donated by Arikupurathu Korula Mathen. And he registered it in the name of the head of the Church, the Patriarch of Antioch, who is believed to be on the seat of St. Peter the 1st Patriarch of the Syrian Church. So Parumala thirumeni may have thought that it is appropriate to dedicate the church in the name of St. Peter under whose successors name the property is registered. This may be the reason for naming the church in the name of Apostle St. Peter.
(Extracts from the original adharam of Parumala Church: http://www.saintgregorios.org/PARUMALA/the_administrator.htm
- look at the 2nd image in the page)
Transformation from ST. PETERS CHURCH to ST. PETER AND ST. PAULS CHURCH.
The name of the Apostle St. Paul was added along with St.Peter only in 1912 when the church was consecrated after renovation. This happened about a decade after the passing away of Parumala Thirumeni. From that time onwards (1912) the church came to be known as St. Peters and St.Pauls church. But still the original Marble plaque in front of the tomb of Saint Gregorios shows that the churchs original name is ST.PETERS CHURCH. It is still very much there, the photo is available in this link: http://www.saintgregorios.org/PARUMALA/tomb_stone_at_parumala.htm
(look at the 3rd photo in the page, last line).
This is a clear evidence to the fact that the churchs original name was St. Peters church, not St. Peters and St.Pauls church. (During the church renovation some think-tanks of MOC tried to replace this old plaque with a new one, but they failed in their attempt due to strong opposition from a section)
Next transformation, from ST.PETER AND ST. PAULs church to ST. PAUL and ST. PETERs church (around the year 2000 - after the recent reconstruction).
When the name of Apostle St. Paul was added along with St. Peter in 1912 no one found any peculiarity as it is very common to dedicate the churches in these apostles names together. But what happened in 2000 was a very different thing which seems to be very funny. From that year the present Orthodox faction leaders started to announce the name of the church as ST. PAULs and ST. PETERs Church. (kindly note the reversed order of mentioning St. Paul and St. Peter). Still I cant understand why these fellows made such a change when it is a tradition from time immemorial, irrespective of any denominations, to mention the name of St. Peter firstly, followed by the name of St. Paul.
We all know that Malankara Orthodox faction is trying their maximum to show that St. Peter has no special prominence among the Apostles. So can we call this recent renaming of Parumala church a part of their long term strategy to lessen the importance of St. Peter with respect to other apostles? I think so. Otherwise why did they reversed the Apostles names? Tracking the past record of the leaders of this faction, there is every possibility for them to do such blunders.
I think their leaders are still haunted by some egoistic problems even after a century of their Churchs formation. Or else why did they made this unusual change? I have asked this question to many of the think-tanks of Malankara Orthodox faction, but none of them ever replied, only a few dared to admit their wrongdoings. It is this egoism that is making the Church divided.
T M Chacko,