Malankara World

Faith of the Church

Malankara's Mythical Minefields

Editor's Note: A few months back, Georgy S. Thomas, a professional journalist from Bangalore, wrote a series of articles in Indian Orthodox forum tiled 'Malankara's Mythical Minefields.' This prompted a prominent priest from Jacobite Church, Very Rev. Kuriakose Moolayil, CorEpiscopa, to write the rebuttal fro these from the Jacobite perspective. It may be interesting to compare these side by side and see where the two sides agree and where they disagree. Knowing the history of this dispute, it is very unlikely that the two sides will agree on anything!

Georgy S. Thomas, Bangalore

The Malankara Orthodox Church's quest for peaceful existence as an autocephalous church, at once proud of its Indian roots, even as it remains in spiritual association with the Syriac Orthodox Church and in communion with all other Oriental Orthodox Churches, is indeed a noble objective. But unfortunately, this noble quest has time and again encountered opposition from one section of our own church, whose energies and God-given talents are spent on the grant project of tethering the church in an unequal relationship with the Syriac Church.

Myths have had a calamitous role in derailing Malankara's journey towards the fulfillment of our search for identity. These myths are also an obstacle against providing a healing touch. The time has come to unravel a few of these myths for our greater common good.

Issue 1: The church is universal. Therefore, to stress on one's national heritage is unchristian

Issue 2: Autocephaly is an exclusively Byzantine (Greek Orthodox) concept and is alien to the Oriental Orthodox

Issue 3: The demand for co-equal status between the Catholicos and the Patriarch cannot be entertained because it is an exclusively Byzantine concept.

Issue 4: Even if the concept of autocephaly exists within the Oriental Orthodox tradition, it would serve no purpose in Malankara, and on the contrary, would only help to divide the church.

Issue 5: The Indian Orthodox Church is legally an autocephalous entity.

Issue 6: The Catholicos of the Jacobite faction in India is the no.2 in the universal Syriac Church.

Issue 7: The Patriarch enjoys only spiritual overlordship and has no temporal authority over the Indian wing of the Syriac Church.

Issue 8: Throne of St. Thomas - The title, the 'Throne of St Thomas', was unheard of before the 1970s, when it suddenly made its appearance in Kalpanas issued by Devalokam

Issue 9: HH Patriarch Abdul Masih II didn't have the authority to consecrate a Catholicos for Malankara in 1912.

Issue 10: Ougen Bava conducted himself in utter disregard to the pledges given by him at the time of consecration

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