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My Thoughts on ' Conceptual Clarity '

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  • Very Rev. Kuriakose Corepiscopa Moolayil
    My thoughts on Conceptual Clarity As part of this conceptual Clarity I will be discussing the following arguments forwarded by Georgy. 1.St.Thomas Christians
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 8, 2006
      My thoughts on 'Conceptual Clarity'

      As part of this conceptual Clarity I will be discussing the
      following arguments forwarded by Georgy.

      1.St.Thomas Christians venerated only foreign saints.

      2.They had surrendered their ability to think independently as

      3.Accepting Parumala Thirumeni as a saint and placing him along
      the ranks of the saints of antiquity would have required a radical
      departure from conventional thinking.

      4.`Can there be a saint in Malankara from among us lowly Indians?'
      was the question, and it went unanswered.

      5. Finally, the followers of Vattasseril Thirumeni
      broke the mould.

      6. It took them 40 more years to gain the
      confidence to request Damascus for inclusion of Parumala Thirumeni's
      name along with the saints mentioned in the fifth diptych (toobden).

      7. The name of the Malankara saint is read only in
      the Indian wing.

      8. Flush with the nationalist spirit, we arrived
      at a universal truth that saints could come from anywhere.

      9. It's we who first showed the courage to PROCLAIM HIS SAINTHOOD.

      Dear All,

      1.Georgy has tried very hard to legitimatize the deviation of IOC
      from the pledge of Parumala Thirumeni in his Salmoosa and to
      rationalize the clear violation of ecclesial affiliation Parumala
      Thirumeni held very dear to him. He says that the Malankara Syrians
      venerated only ' foreign saints ' ! I don't understand him when he
      demarcates saints in this geographical categories! Can he list
      the ' Indian ' saints who were sidelined before Parumala Thirumeni?
      Are you branding saints as a commodity of the Indian Church and
      other foreign churches? The saints and faith are to transcend all
      limitations of color, race and nationality. Otherwise we will have
      to think that in Paradise and Heaven there will be categories of
      saints with earthly limitations! Georgy's comment on the veneration
      of the saints of the Syrian tradition in India has to be understood
      in a different perspective. It is because we in the Malankara
      diocese took liturgy, calendar, creed, patristic writings, rituals
      and everything ditto from the Syrian Church of Antioch. It was
      because we were part and parcel of this church. Even many of the non
      Knanaya families of Kollam, Thiruvalla, Mulanthuruthy,
      Kothamangalam, etc. are the descendants of sporadic immigrants from
      this church. We were following the carbon copy of all liturgy and
      other prayers of the Syrian Church, not as imposed from above by a
      foreign church but was received as our own and with the thought that
      it is apt to edify our spiritual life. Parumala Thirumeni also used
      this for his spiritual edification. What is happening today also. We
      all are the stereotype of the Syrian Church in all fields of faith
      and worship. We do follow the calendar of it. Why then we accuse our
      forefathers who had a better understanding and who had 'conceptual
      clarity' on sainthood. They knew the universality and oneness of the

      2. Georgie in his vehement persuit of hunting for arguments
      against the SOC perspectives is here pointing his gun of accusation
      against our dear forefathers and is disparaging them as ' who
      surrendered their ability to think independently '. We don't know
      much about the pre Portuguese period, but we know about the bold
      Indian Joseph who is famous in History. He visited Lisbon and also
      Rome. He was very brave to declare that the head of the Malabar
      church is the Patriarch of Antioch. It is said that he told this to
      none other the Pope of Rome. (see Christian Resaearches in India by
      Claudius Buchanan or Were the Syrian Christians Nestorians ? by
      Archbishop Mor Ivanios) Is this a statement of a 'surrendered
      mind? Again in the first conversation of our forefathers to the
      Portuguese is stated by Buchanan. They said to have enjoyed a
      succession of bishops appointed by the Patriarch of Antioch. They
      negated the authority of the Pope who had 'empires and continents'
      under him, but ENJOYED the authority of the 'frail' Patriarchate.
      They said this not because they surrendered their independent
      thinking, but from their free will of conviction and commitment to
      the hierarchy to which they belong. Who can think that they (who
      surrendered their 'ability' to 'think' independently as per Georgy's
      thinking) fought against the Papist, Portuguese and the native
      authorities and took a vow against the Romish, who drowned their
      Patriarch, who came to nourish their church. They had independence
      of thought to keep their oneness with the church and hierarchy of
      Antioch to safeguard their faith and tradition. None other than the
      IOC think that sharing of faith and allegiance is servitude. It is
      only a myth created by Georgy to justify the argument and personal
      stand which he has taken. None in the Church of both faction has
      surrendered their 'ability to think and act independently. This is
      very evident in History and in our times too. Vattaseril Thirumeni
      took an independent perspective. Many followed him and many opposed
      him out of their free will. Malpan Palakkunnath had also followers
      like this. Even in our times in 1970s the Church leaders tried this
      but many opposed out of free will. Many followed out of free will.
      It is the ability to think independently that sustains the
      arguments. Many in this persuit changes affiliation and affection.
      It is really disparaging and under estimation to note that those who
      think differently have lost their 'ability to think independently'.
      People with intellectual potentials like Georgy should refrain from
      arguments like this.

      3. Accepting Parumala Thirumeni as a saint needs no 'radical
      change' as Georgy envisages here. He was not made a saint in 1947 as
      Georgy says. He was accepted and acclaimed as a saint while he was
      living. His saintliness was very well accepted even when he was a
      Remban. Patriarch Peter1V elevated him to the episcopate mainly
      because of his affection to him also due to hisconvinction about his
      saintliness. The Malankara Church then at large accepted him as a
      saint. If I remember correctly reading the ' Idavaka Pathrika' (the
      Copy of it is back at home in India) the offertory on his 40th day
      was around Rs.3000/- at that time. It may be around 3 Millions
      today. Such was the affection and veneration this saint had among
      the people. It was really the people at large declared him as a
      saint. (Incidently this is the tradition of the Church. No Synod is
      authorized to declare anyone a saint. The Synod is accepting the
      accepted saintliness of a person as expressed by the veneration of
      the people). Even without the decision and declaration of the
      factional synod of the Malankara Church in 1946 Parumala Thirumeni
      was accepted a saint by all. So there is nothing 'radical' in this
      decision and declaration. We all know from the recent incidents
      that these types of declarations or synodal decisions cannot make
      any ' freedom fighters' a saint in the MINDS of the people.

      4.The funniest myth Georgy formulated is this one. I repeat his
      "`Can there be a saint in Malankara from among us lowly Indians?'
      was the question, and it went unanswered."

      I wonder who raised this baseless question? What was the context?
      I am sure Georgie framed this question only to base his argument.
      Surely, we have many saints among the clergy as well as the laity.
      But the saintliness of bishops attracts more attention and it was
      also for our benefit that he was consecrated a Metropolitan by
      which we are all benefited by his intercession and saintliness. When
      we conceive the fact that there are many saints in the Indian Church
      other than Parumala Thirumeni, known and unknown, we will not argue
      for this type of indignation or boast on the 'declaration' of this
      saint or any other. Now we are facing another curse of politicizing
      the declaration of saints. Saint Mor Athanasius Poulose of Aluva is
      being pulled into the IOC synodal agenda to be declaration as a
      saint. Is it from veneration ? Is there any ' conceptual clarity'
      defined here?

      5.Georgy's fifth argument will become a bubble in the light of the
      aforesaid reasons. The disciples of Vattaseril Thirumeni had nothing
      to do with the 'mold' (by declaring him a saint). What they did by
      the formal declaration was the introduction of an unorthodox
      practice of 'declaring saints'. Till that time we had the tradition
      of saints being accepted and venerated by the people on the basis of
      the favors they received. So by the declaration of 1947 the IOC
      actually broke this tradition and the resulted aftermath was the
      giving priority of partisan spirit against real saintliness. So, to
      me, it was the starting of a very unorthodox practice in both sides.
      The 'politics' of the declaration is very well exhibited in the
      inclusion of Mor Basalius Yeldo along with that of Mor Gregoriose in
      1947. We all know that Mor Yeldo Bava was a 'foreign' saint and his
      tomb was in a very strong Patriarchal parish. But the actual reason
      for including him by the IOC synod is well known. The
      Kothamangalam Cheriya Pally leaders of that time wanted and
      requested for such a move and it was also forwarded to Patriarch Mor
      Afrem 1. But he declined on the grounds I detailed earlier. There
      was some disappointment among the concerned parties. A few priests
      from Kothamangalam area at that time also had a leaning towards the
      IOC. This 'ripe' time was utilized by the IOC synod of Parumala in
      1947 to 'declare' Mor Basalius Yeldo as a 'saint' to win over the
      disappointment of the parish. But this made no effect in the
      Kothamangalam parish and they all valiantly stood for SOC even now.

      6. Georgy says in his next statement that it 'took 40 more years'
      to 'gain confidence' to 'request' 'Damascus' to include the name of
      Parumala Thirumeni in the 'thubden'. Please note the implication of
      the selected words in this remark. He has very intellectually framed
      this phrase to belittle the SOC as mere vassals who stoop before
      their overlord masters abroad even to make a humble submission! We
      have to consider two points here. The factual and serious one I will
      take first. It was not the act in 1987 that made Parumala thirumeni
      a saint among the SOCs. He was being accepted in the SOC a saint
      while he was alive. This was an action subliming his name along with
      the celebrated Fathers of the Church. This act is an endorsement of
      the acceptance and veneration of this saint along with Mor Elias 111
      and Mor Yedho. It took no time for SOC to accept Parumala
      Thirumeni's saintliness. The second one is the belittling words that
      Georgy used here. We had the 'confidence' of interceding
      with him and consecrating chapels and shrines in his name much
      before your synodal declaration. Dear Georgy, I have noted your play
      of the expression 'request Damascus', but I am not responding to it
      but leave to your wisdom to ponder over it again.

      7. Georgy is also trying to highlight the FACT that the name of
      Mor Gregoriose is remembered only in the Indian wing of the SOC. It
      is a reality. Georgie mentions this to discredit the MSOC. But he
      has to see the details of the fact. First and foremost 1987 addition
      of names was not only of Parumala Thirumeni it also included Moran
      Elias 111, Mor Yeldo Bava and above all St.Thomas. All these are
      remembered in the Indian wing not because they were ' Indian' but
      this was for the parishes in the Maphrianate. Like this there are
      additions in the Parishes in the Patriarchate made in the recent
      past not observed in the Maphrianate. There the name of Patriarch
      Baba Shenuda 111 of the Coptic Church is remembered in the first
      Thubden. If the Patriarchal Synod directs their parishes to remember
      these names there will be pressure from many sides/aspects to
      include so many names under different categories because names worth
      remembering are numerous there to all standards. Bar Ebroyo, Michael
      Rabo or even other apostles are not in the thubden. It is
      reasonable for us here in India to add these names. But it is not so
      easy there. Here also other saintly fathers like Mor Gregoriose
      Abdul Jaleel of Paravoor, Sleeba Mor Osthathiose of Kunnamkulam, Mor
      Athanasius Valiya Thirumeni of Aluva are not added to the Thubden.
      Please try to see matters of regional changes in its environs not
      simply through prejudices and narrow perspectives.

      8. I don't know for certain how many of the readers are moved to an
      exotic sublimation when they read the rhetoric rendering of Georgy
      and the cultic creation of jubilation in the following words. I
      quote again,

      " Flush with the nationalist spirit, we arrived
      at a universal truth that saints could come from anywhere."

      Is this the boasting of the creation of a saint? Is this the
      jubilation of a nationalist? Is it affirmation of a universal truth
      on saintliness? Our great saint and spiritual Father Parumala
      Thirumeni lived as a saint in his commitment to our master and the
      Lord Jesus Christ. We venerate him only when we model him in our
      lives and when we uphold his spiritual values and in following the
      faith and practices he transmitted to us. Declaring him as a saint
      or including his name in thubden are only to help us in the above
      perspective. Anything other than this is mere vain glory.

      9. It's we who first showed the courage to PROCLAIM HIS SAINTHOOD.

      I have stated above that Saint Mor Gregoriose was considered a
      saint by our people even when he was alive. Georgy also refer to
      this fact elsewhere. Now the claim is about the proclamation to
      which I have made enough comments.

      P.S. Now when I write these words of conclusion about the Salmoosa
      of our patron saint, I am sorry for being a part in this
      controversial argument. I seek pardon openly if I made any untoward
      comment ignorantly on anyone or any of the issues. What I tried here
      is to clear some aspects of the issue based on my innocent
      conviction. I know some consider it as from a blind partisan spirit
      and some others as rubbish and irrelevant!

      I fear one another Forum dropped my postings half way mentioning
      no reason. ICON is holding the last two of my series. I am thankful
      to SOCM and MOSC forum. They are still bearing my lengthy
      outpourings. I am reading all the comments coming on this thread but
      is intentionally keeping away from further rebuttals to keep myself
      thinking more about it.

      I will try to conclude this series at the earliest.

      Thanking you all for your readings and reflections. Please forward
      all your comments to the respective Forum, not to me personally.


      Kuriakose Corepiscopa Moolayil
      1995 Parkside Dr. #2N
      Park Ridge, IL 60068-1060
      Tel. 847 635 4795
      Cell.224 522 2656
      Director, Mor Adai Study Centre
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