Fr K M George and his Feudalism
- Malankara Orthodox Seminary Principal & Feudalism
Yesterday (29 March) there was a special program on the life and times of the great Maphrian of the Syrian Orthodox Church, Mor Gregorios Bar Ebraya, at SEERI, Kottayam (a Malankara Catholic institution for the promotion of Syriac studies named after St. Aphrem). The main speaker was Prof. Dr. Herman Teule, a European Catholic historian on Eastern Christianity at the Radbound University, Holland. The program was inaugurated by Bishop Thomas Mar Koorilos of Thiruvalla Archdiocese. Fr. Jacob Thekkeparamabil, the who heads SEERI presided and Prof. Baby M Varghese of Malankara Orthodox Church gave the vote of thanks.
Prof. Dr. Herman Teule's speech which lasted for more than hour was very interesting as well as informative and educative. He started with Bar Ebroyo's ancestral background and explained clearly that the western thought of Bar Ebroyo being the son of a Hebrew is wrong. During his speech he made a passing remark that there were some problems at times between the Patriarch and the Maphrian, except for that mentioning he didn't say much on this. He then continued with Bar Ebroyo's service to the society, the books written by him etc. etc. It was a good speech indeed.
At the end of this speech there was a question and answer session and anybody could ask the visiting Professor any doubts regarding the subject. About 3 or 4 persons asked some relevant questions. Then came the question from Fr. K M George, principal of Malankara Orthodox seminary at Kottayam. When all others asked something about BarEbroyos work etc, this Fr. KM Georges doubt was regarding the so called disputes between Patriarch and Maphrian. He asked "Dear Professor, you in your speech said something about the troubles between Gregorios Bar Hebrews (read Ebroyo) and the Patriarch. Could you explain more about these disputes between the PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH and CATHOLICOSE OF THE EAST". Fr. K M George's intention was very clear. He wants to make it an issue.
Actually I was expecting such a question from this Fr. K M George at the very moment I saw him among the audience. I hope everyone sitting there understood the hidden aim of his doubt. His intention was clearly to make it a great point of discussion and thus to target us. But our European Professor who may not be too much aware about the pros and cons of the question did not bother to explain it too much except saying that at times sadly there were certain disputes like that between the Patriarch and his subordinate and also added that such disputes were some times there between Metropolitans also and that too in all Churches as well. The condense of his reply simply was that there is nothing much to discuss about such disputes that occurred between Maphrian and the Patriarch. With the reply from Professor, the issue ended.
Then two more persons including a Marthoma priest asked certain very relevant doubts regarding the religious and scientifical works of Bar Ebroyo for which the professor explained clearly. Then suddenly our Malankara Orthodox seminary Principal came with another superb question, this time a doubt which has no relevance with the seminar. This was his question "Professor, I belong to Orthodox Church. In almost all the Oriental Orthodox Churches and Byzntine Orthodox Churches, the bishops wear black robes except for the Syrian Orthodox Church which uses Red dresses. Why this is so ? Does that SHOW ANY FEUDAL nature/mentality ? Professor, Could you please explain and compare it with Latins?" .
The Professor who heard this seems to be confused with this question. He didnt understand what this priest was asking at all. So he wanted to repeat the questionnaire and in the end he told that he doesnt know anything regarding it and said sorry. With that the session ended. When this so called principal was asking this doubt, Fr Baby Varghese, another Malankara Orthodox priest and a visiting teacher of SEERI, who was sitting in the stage was seen laughing as if he was expecting the question from him much earlier !. It is certain that these were preplanned questions of Fr. K M George, he seems to have came there to ask these questions only. However with the Professors admittance of ignorance, this achen could not proceed !.
Certainly Kottayam Orthodox Seminary principal's doubts were not in a good sense at all, it was very clear that his aim was to show that Syrian Orthodox fathers are feudalistic in character and also wanted to make bad of Syrian Orthodox Church. He had nothing else in his mind when he came there, or he would not have asked the second question which has no relevance to the subject. It is such negative characters and their negative thinkings that are creating troubles in our Malankara Church. As long as such persons are in the helm of key institutions, disputes are never going to end. They see only the dark side of everything and they seems to simply enjoy in that.
C S Samuel
member ID -2352