Is The Catholicate Of The Romo-Syrians In India Canonically Genuine Or Bogus?

Written By: on Jun 21st, 2009 and filed under Editorial.

“Other Pontifical Acts.
“Vatican City. February 10, 2005 (VIS). The Holy Father elevated the ‘sui juris” Metropolitan Church of the Syro-Malankara to the rank of Major Archiepiscopal Church, and he promoted Metropolitan Archbishop Cyril Mar Baselios Malancharuvil, OIC of Trivandrum of the Syro-Malankara , India to the dignity of Major Archbishop. (He was) born in Ullannor, India in 1935, and was ordained a priest in 1960. He was ordained a bishop in 1978 and was appointed Metropolitan Archbishop of Trivandrum of the Syro-Malankaras in 1995. …” Readers, can you find any mention of a Catholicos here? Definitely Rome has never dreamt this title for the head of the Romo-Malankara Syrians.

Then where could be the source of this irresponsible falsehood? Indeed it comes from the audacious and ambitious leaders of this group.
After the announcement, someone had the courage to say without any scruple that a major archbishop is a Catholicos according to the Antiochian tradition. If the Romo-Malankarese belong to the Antiochian tradition, why did they receive an alien title (major archbishop)? Why were they not given a Catholicos by the Pope with patriarchal functions, just like any uniate patriarch. Of course Rome never foresaw this trap.

There is no precedence in the Roman Church to justify that a major archbishop is a Catholicos. There is a saying: “while truth is putting on her boots, untruth and deception have traveled around the earth”. What else can I say about this blatant falsehood!

Is there any precedence or canon in the Eastern Church to substantiate the assumption that a major archbishop is a Catholicos? You will never find it. Why is a major archbishop so enamored of the Antiochian tradition, when he does not follow anything essential that belongs to the Antiochian tradition? Please answer the following question?

  • Does the Antiochian tradition permit a priest to offer Eucharistic liturgies on week-days during the Great Lent, and during the Holy Week, except Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday?
  • Does the Antiochian tradition permit you to use unleavened bread for the Eucharist?
  • Does it permit Eucharistic adoration and benediction outside the Eucharistic Liturgy?
  • Does it have a belief that elemental change takes place just by pronouncing the words of institution?
  • Do her priests celebrate the Eucharist without the skull cap which is the symbol of the crown of thorns borne by Christ when offered His sacrifice on the cross?
  • Does the Antiochian tradition justify an all celibate clergy?
  • Does the Antiochian tradition entertain Marian devotions outside the Liturgy and canonical hours?
  • Does not the Antiochian tradition require all her priests to wear black habits (under their vestments) during the times of performing sacraments and liturgies?

These questions can go on. If the Romo-Malankarese do consider the above practices unimportant, why are they so particular that a major archbishop should be a Catholicos? There are two obvious answers; unjustifiable craving for power, and inordinate desire to confuse the faithful of the Church of Malankara. Please do not create new practices when it has no foundation in history or canons.

The story from the fables goes like this: A jackal had a dream to become the king of the forest. He found a way to realize his dream. When somebody left a large bucket of colorful paint behind his house, the shrewd jackal sneaked and jumped into the bucket. He found himself handsome with the colorful paint all over his body. He pretended like a king. He went to the assembly of all wild animals and claimed to be king over them. All animals were very happy that they got a new king. In jubilation every animal shouted in its own natural voice. The self-proclaimed king of the forest could not control himself. Out of his extreme joy, he also shouted along with the rest of the animals in his own natural sounds just like any other jackal. Immediately the rest of the animals realized he was the old jackal, and not a real king… One can imagine what would have happened then. This writer deeply apologizes if this story offends anyone.

A week ago, one of my relatives in India emailed me about the festivities upon the news that the Romo-Malankarese have a “BAVA”. I wondered if they would call their new so-called Catholicos a “BAVA”. Bava comes from the Arabic word, BABA, which is the Arabic version of the Greek word, PAPAS, or PAPA. This is the same as Papa in Latin, which means Pope in the English language. Actually this is the title of the head of a Church. If the Romo-Syrians have a Catholicos and if he is under the Roman Pope, are there two Bavas or popes? Think about it seriously.

To conclude: A major archbishop is not a Catholicos. If the Romo-Syrians still insist that their major archbishop is a Catholicos now, his position is un canonical and has no foundation in Church history. The so-called Catholicate of the Romo-Malankarese is phony. It is indeed BOGUS.

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