Episcopal Election 2010: 14 Candidates Shortlisted by the Screening Committee

Written By: on Dec 28th, 2009 and filed under Church News, Episcopal Election, News.

election-2010
KOTTAYAM: The screening committee has reviewed all the candidates in their final sitting on December 28 and finally shortlisted 14 candidates as decided earlier. The official list of the 14 candidates will be published on December 30, 2009. This list will then be forwarded to the Church Managing Committee that is scheduled to meet on January 22, 2010. The Managing Committee will further shortlist 11 candidates out of 14 who will then be presented to the Association to be held on February 17, 2010. Three of the candidates will get eliminated in the Managing Committee election process.

An unofficial list of candidates was received in our office today from Kottayam. They contain 14 names and most likely the same will be published from the Catholicate Office this Wednesday as the final official list of the Screening committee.(The names are mentioned below according to descending order of age).

1. Fr. Dr. John Mathews
2. Fr. O. P. Varghese
3. Fr. V. M. James
4. Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Ramban
5. Rev. Thomas Yohannan Elavukattu Ramban
6. Fr. Zacharia O.I.C
7. Rev. Geevarghese Ramban
8. Fr. Mathukkutty Chengamanadu
9. Rev. Yoohanon Ramban
10. Fr. M. K. Kurian
11. Fr. Dr. Sabu Kuriakose
12. Fr. Dr. George Pulikottil
13. Fr. Dr. P. C.Thomas
14. Fr. Dr. V. M. Abraham

Few Church loving people from Kottayam who were closely watching the screening process told IOH that, “the exclusion of Fr. Dr. M. O. John (the Chief Editor of Malankara Deepam and a Professor of Church history in UTC, Bangalore) from the list was a political move from the Metropolitans and some of the nominated priests on the Screening Committee.” Many expressed their regrets for not seeing Rev. M. S. Yuhanon Ramban’s name on the list. Both of them were considered outstanding candidates for the 2010 Episcopal election.

The names of the final 11 candidates will be announced as the official panel of the Church for a secret ballot to elect 7 Bishops for the Malankara Orthodox Church on the 22 January, 2010 at Sasthamkotta. 4000 plus members of the Malankara Syrian Christian Association eagerly await the out come of the Church Managing Committee and will then decide who to vote for.

Many observers think that there is little possibility of getting 7 bishops in the 2010 election. One of them told IOH that, “4 or maximum 5 candidates has the chance to win in the association elections.”

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Disclaimer: Indian Orthodox Herald does not moderate or edit the comments posted in this column. All opinions are solely of the writers and IOH holds no responsibility what so ever for the views written here below.

38 Responses for “Episcopal Election 2010: 14 Candidates Shortlisted by the Screening Committee”

  1. It is clear that the authorities are not interested in skillful,knowledgeable and challenging personalities to lead the church. It is understood that some bishops and priests in the committee were dead against this priest.

    Once again the highest democratic system of our church is being vandalized by some of the self proclaimed rulers of the church.

    Hope God will forgive, .

  2. Fr.Varghese Yohannan Vattaparampil says:

    Dear Varghese Dombivili, I have been your Vicar since June 2007 and possibly till May 2010,as my tranfer is due, have you anytime heard of me revealing somebodies confession,if so bring the proof.As a priests he is not supposed to reveal a penitents confessions to others,which I always say to the penitents who come for confession to me.Don’t compare Exit Poll with confessions.Kindly read what I have written and if you are the Member of St.Marys O S Parish Dombivli,have you seen me going for any purposes which I am not interested.Also I have clearly mentioned that I am not going for the Feb 17 election to Sashthamkotta.For more clarifications you can meet me as i am likely to be the vicar of Dombivili Parish till the end of May 2010.Also it is not necessary that a penitenet should only confess with the vicar ,he/she has the freedom to confess in front of any of the priests of MOC, but if he/she has to attend the GB mtgs of the parish he/she should bring a letter from the priests before who he/she has confessed, if not in his/her parish.

  3. Prof.K.K.Mathew, Mumbai says:

    I feel the 11 candidates shortlisted are all fully eligible.We as members should pray to see that minimum 7 gets the required votes of both category.Rev.Fr V.M James & Rev.Fr John Mathews in my view could have been bishops minimum 10 years back .

  4. Varghese T V, Dombivili says:

    Respected Varghese Yohannan Achen,

    the bishop elections are done through a secret ballot voting and a decorum has to be maintained in the whole preocess. As a representative who is entitled for a vote, you should not publicly announce your wish list on any forum. the best thing is to go with prayers and vote in the election. As your shepherd, how is it that we believe you will not disclose our confessions to anyone if you are so open-minded.

  5. V.Varghese Mathew says:

    It would be worth considering candidates who have a back ground being in a monastic community like a member of a Dayara, Asramam or a monastery who have joined at a younger age, before his 20’s. I am not saying all will be Saints. Last time we had only 4 candidates attached to monastic community ie. Bethany, Mt. Tabor, Vettickal & Holy Trinity. Fortunately three got elected. If you look at the present lot, only two are from an authenticate monastic order, three are from some name sake and the rest are there because they are celibates.

    Four out of the seven who became Bishops in 2009 had either bought property in their own name or are about to sign a deal. The reason, they are not part of any monastic community so they need to set up one! What a lame excuse? The people who support their move says that, the property after their demise will become the church’s property. Many know what happened to the property Makarios Thirumeni accumulated for the Church with such intention. But my concern is if they are so selfish in having a property under their control, what genuine interest they will have for the poor sheep. They have not even completed a year in office.

    This happens because, the church take only a name sake deed from the applicants for the property they hold and they accumulate during their career. Whereas in Puthencruz society, the present rate is Rs.20 Lacs to get the red rob. So the Bishop aspirant had to even take personal loans or pawn property to get this money.

    In our case, the Church bears all the expenses, last time including the car. Many a generous people after seeing their known candidate becoming a bishop give generously. They have reservations in giving it to the Catholicate fund or to the mission board. But to be in good relation with a Thirumeni, they give. And the so called Thirumeni goes ahead and do whatever he wants.

    So my request to the Suriyani Christiani association members is, please look at the candidates. See their track record. Do they have any monastic training? I was surprised at the exit poll trend in seeing Fr. Sakaria OIC of the Perunad Bethany Ashraman, known to be a very good administrator and transparent in maintaining accounts especially of the Bethany Ashraman properties which includes their estates and schools, at the bottom of the table. The reason is, only limited people know him and he had not ventured out to market himself.

    Let the Holy Spirit elect the right ones.

  6. Editor says:

    A New exit poll has been launched.
    Now you can select your 7 best candidates.
    also welcome your thoughts and comments on election

    Editor

  7. Thomas John says:

    I really believe that dirty politics played this time also about Rev.Dr.M.O.John’s candidacy. He is a prominant and dedicated person in our church. We want knowledgeable person like him to be leaders of our chruch. I lost confidence in the screening committee. It should be reorganised.

    Thomas John
    New York

  8. Yesudasan,Ireland says:

    The managing committee through their votes has selected 11 candidates.Here is a request to start a new exit poll for the february 17 election.

  9. Fr Varghese Yohannan Vattaparampil says:

    Let the malankara syrian association elect the seven candidates first,then the present Bava thirumeni retire,let Milithios Thirumeni be consecrated as Bava, after that if the church needs an assissstant to Bava the concerned authorities may think of electing a catholicos designate.

  10. Yesudasan,Ireland says:

    Santhosh if a priest of the church like fr.v.george knows the fact then it is crystal clear about the heart ,mind, thoughts of our spiritual fathers.First they try to be a bishop by loopholes, after that the next position of elevation as catholicos.Same happened with Thomas Athanasios of Chengannur, whose dream is in air now.Some of the bishops are a real curse for the church.

  11. fr.v. george says:

    ya i too support mr.yesudasan its true tht a tough tug of war is going between the mentioned bishops. but one only question arises in my mind is tht these bishops r not success in their own diocese then how can they adminster the whole malankara church, anyway god will choose the right one

  12. Yesudasan,Ireland says:

    Dear Santosh what I Have mentioned is a true fact,if not enquire with any one in kerala.It is a tough of war between Mathews Severios,Geevarghese Coorilos,Yacoub Ireanios as all the three are found in all functions that are taking place in all dioceses of kerala to gain popularity.Any way let Paulose Milithios get elevated to the highest office.Nobody should expect an immediate Malankara Association before March 2012 after February 2010, where the tenure of the present managing committee gets over.

  13. Santosh Kuttanadaan says:

    How can yesudan say that the bishops are canvasing to become niyuktha catholica.Don’t make such iresponsible statements.Bishops named by yesudan are of good reputation.

  14. Yesudasan,Ireland says:

    Along with election of Bishops it is seen more than that some of the existing bishops are hurriedly canvasing for the catholicos elect, eventhough the selected incumbent is not elevated.There are names of Mathews Severios,Geevarghese Coorilos,Yacoub Ireanios as the main contenders.All of the same age with that of the selected incumbent without much difference.

  15. Yesudasan,Ireland says:

    Where is the exit poll table gone

  16. samkodiyattu says:

    The Screening committee is not a body to select or vote to find suitable candidates for Bishop Election.

    The screening Committee can evaluate by grading/rating candidate’s eligibility and their report should be submitted to Holy Synod for Final Approval .

    The holy Synod should publish the List of suitable candidates to Managing committee.The Church hierarchy should implement necessary law/rules to this effect. What was done 2009/2010 by screening committee was Gimmick/mocking church democracy as well as spirituality.

    As A Layman I am not supposed to Criticize our Church hierarchy,however The hierarchy(not all) do not have any spirituality at all. The Church need spiritual leaders/fathers and not mere administrators.May Almighty God Give us Spiritual Leaders with vision/mission for our church.
    What we need now to pray to God for those candidates to be wise shepherds for the flock.

    Sam kodiyattu
    New York

  17. Yesudasan says:

    Mr.Varghese I say that V M Abraham is too young, because of him some other candidates have to be out through the polls of the screening committee which is totally unfair,as the screening committee is to scrutinize and give 14 candidates to managing committe and it is not by their polling from 18 candidates.The malankara association and manging committe has the polling rights through the catholicos’ bull.V M Abraham would have got the chance next time.Anyhow it is gods wish.Man proposes God disposes.

  18. Mathew.T. says:

    14 candidates were selected by the screening committee on the basis of the votes casted by the screening committee members showing their likings and dislikings for the candidates.The list should have been made on the basis of the merits,qualifications,and standings of the candidates.Because of this the ultimate sufferers may be those candidates who are having more relation,connection and proximity with the screening committee members though they may be innocents.The committee should have allowed the holy spirit to act by taking a lot by writing names of all 18 eligible candidates on separate slips under the supervision of the monitoring commitee.Next time the monitoring committee should be enpowered to monitor not only the candidates but also the screening committee members.

    Mathew.T,
    Houston.

  19. Varghese says:

    Mr.Yesudasan,
    According to Bava Thirumeni’s Kalpana , the age limit for being a candidate was 40-55 and V.M Abraham Achan already crossed 40.Screening committee has Scrutinized each and every candidate and Abraham achan is shortlisted.As long as he is following the principles of law there is no matter he is the youngest of the lot.If God decides no matter young or old he will be a bishop.David was young sheperd when God anointed him.

  20. C.Thomas says:

    Now that the inner working of the Selection Committee(According to one member there was no screening;just selection by voting when the majic number for-anyone but Johnachen Cabal mustered enough strength)is public ,we have nothing to be proud of.According to Church constitution,there is only one Selection committee–Malankara Syrian Association–,though,ways were designed to usurp this exclusive power.
    Promises made by the Cabal include joint Kandanad diocese for one member,offer of Sectretaryship for a lay member at the next election or at the forceing out of the presant Secretary,direct order to Seminary employees on the committee etc fan the fire of improprietes.Of course we all hide behind the utopia of ‘Gods Will’
    The saying that”Kerala is the Land of gods,but devils(crooks) run it ‘may be apt for our Church also.
    C.Thomas
    Member.Malankara Syrian Christian Association.
    PS.Congratulations for your Exit Poll. Unfortunately,it doesnt mean much as Overseas opinions are not counted .,till our Church Administration moves over to 21st century .In this age of Technology,it is easy to have all Association members express their choice remotely without having to spend thousands of dollars to travel to Sasthamkotta>,

  21. Yesudasan says:

    What is the intention of our fathers, is it destruction, by naming incapable candidates instead of capable ones like M O John.V M Abraham is an young guy he may be given a chance next time.

  22. Editor says:

    Our Web developers are working on it..in few days we will launch it..
    Editor

  23. Yesudasan says:

    Give a chance for the church members to predict the would be bishops of their choice through exit poll as mentioned by one fr varghese.Open an exit poll counter in this site.

  24. Fr.V. George says:

    Everyone has the freedom to express his/her opinion, and in our church the association will elect the right candidate from the final list, ya its true that our church does not allow the talented priest to grow because some of the bishops do not want that, and the result is tht priest like M.O.John achen is out. Anyway we should be abided with the decision of our catholicose.

    Secondly I would request that we should not compare ourselves with the patriarch side, at least in the election procedure. usually when a candidate is selected he is ordained as a ramban and atleast 3 to 4 months they spend in prayer, meditation, and learning scraments etc. But we know what happend with patriarchal side. Only a gap of a day between ramban and bishop and we cant justify this. Any way lets all the curch faithful may uphold the same in our prayers so that the spirit of God may work to choose the right person.

  25. John Varughese says:

    Most of the Screening Committee Memebers in the last election have found places this time also, which causes doubts in the minds of memebrs about their impartiality. Those, like Fr Dr M.O John, who were omitted last time were omitted this time also as the majority members remained same. Hope the structure of committee will change next time other than Ex-Officio members ( Priest Trustee, Lay Trustee & Association Secratary)

  26. Yesudasan says:

    Sorry to find some good candidates dropped by the scutiny committee.When will the church fathers improve.Be Transoarent in what ever you perform,even ready to face any untoward incidents.

  27. Varghese Kuwait says:

    Finally the 14 candidates for Bishop has been shortlisted.As expected omission of certain names created Controversies.

    First and foremost we should be keep in mind that that next time onwards we should avoid these kind of unhealthy competition.Certainly we need to have criterias to select the best but it should be sole responsibility of diocese metrapolitan to shortlist 1 or 2 of his priest from his diocese.

    Second suggestion is that the priest who are willing to get ordained as Bishop must be a member of a DAYARA.This will help him to lead a simple life , more prayful and the dayara life enables him to work with downtrodden and poor people of our church.

    Like Preseminary training we should have Pre-Bishop training for 2 years.All the candidates should have a 6 months tenure outside kerala mission like Yacharam ,Macodia etc. People should feel like this Achan is leading a Prayful Life.

    Bishops first quality should be his Prayer and Service to poor not his family or education.Our young generation should learn from them

    Varghese Kuwait

  28. C.Thomas says:

    Finally the Horsetrading is over and few “Thoroughbreds’are eliminated and few lame and limp ones are paraded as winners.Thanks to MTV News, laity overseas were posted with details of the Screening deliberations. Venemous character assasination from some of the Cancerous mouths at meetings put us all in shame.

    Even Pynarai Vijayan will be envious of the trickery and backstabbing of our”Kuppaya Thozhilalikal”in the Screening Committee.I wonder how they face the Holy Altar every Sunday with’ clarity of thought,simplicity of mind pure and divine love ‘and touch the blood and body of the Lord.Can any one in the Screening Committee truly say in Gods name that they reached the decision with out personal vengence and petty jealousy?.

    Always remember what Kurichi Bawa said”Truth will triumph’Your Shenanigans will eventually come to haunt you.

    I am ashamed of our leadership of the Church.Look at Patriarch Faction.They elect Bishops frequently without any mud slinging and Catholicose is routinly given approval to pick the right people.The reason is Laity has full confidence in their Catholicose making the right decision for the “benefit of the church”.Can our leaders claim that trust from laity?

  29. Fr.Varghese Yohannan Vattaparampil says:

    Everybody has the freedom to express his/her views, it is the association who is electing.I say there should be opinion poll of the church members with regard to the election of candidates,like that of the exit poll in other elections held in India.

    Fr Varghese Yohannan Vattaparampil
    Bombay Diocese

  30. MATHEW says:

    There should not be a second chance for anyone who failed the last election. It seems like this is just like a parliament election of Kerala.

    Mathew, New York

  31. Abraham Varghese, Dubai says:

    My Candidates:
    Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Ramban, Fr. M. K. Kurian, Fr. Dr. Sabu Kuriakose, Fr. Dr. George Pulikottil, Fr. Zacharia O.I.C
    Fr. Dr. V. M. Abraham,Fr. Dr. P. C.Thomas

    Abraham Varghese, Dubai

  32. Fr.George Abraham, Doha says:

    Out of the lot if selected by the managing committee too – the deserved candidates are :
    Fr.Dr.John Mathews, Nathaniel Ramban, Fr.Dr.V.M.Abraham, Fr.V.M.James, Geevarghese Ramban, Fr.Dr.George Pullikottil, Fr.Dr.O.P.Varghese

    But some of the rest candidates need not be discourged by this and will certainly be in the fray next time. The likes of
    Fr.Dr.P.C.Thomas, Fr.M.K.Kurien

    Let God direct us
    Fr.George Abraham, Doha

  33. Oommen Kappil says:

    Our Church has a process to select bishop candidates. Even if it may not be perfect, we need to respect the process, and trust that everything will happen according to God’s will. Please stop complaining about the process at this stage.

    I humbly request respected clergy and laity to refrain from projecting or suggesting any names of the potential ‘winners’.

    Oommen Kappil

  34. Fr.Varghese Yohannan Vattaparampil says:

    My Predicted Candidates who is likely to get elected ,though I won’t attend the Malanakara Association to be held at Sasthamkotta on 17th February 2010, are :-

    Fr John Mathews,Nathaniel Ramban,Fr V M James,Thomas Yohannan Ramban,Yuhanon Ramban,Fr George Pulikoottil,Fr Sabu Kuriakose.

    Fr Varghese Yohannan Vattaparampil
    Bombay Diocese.

  35. John Maharashtra says:

    Once again the dirty politics of the screening committee has proved fatal to the ommission of M O John Achen from their panel,who is capable and deserving candidate in todays needs.

    The main rivalry seems to be between Mar Sevrerios and M O John Achen.M O John Achen is equally capable to that of Mar Severios.Let us see whether Mar Severios’ candidate O P Varghese Achen will get elected or not.

    V M Abraham Achen should have been given a chance later as he is too young.

    John Maharashtra

  36. Fr.George Abraham, Doha says:

    The screening committee has done its bit as it did in the last election.The Church does not want that the talented lot get a chance. This is what the masses are watching, high and powerful parliament of politics. The game situation was understood when new hurdles were put in to purposely eliminate some of the strong contenders. If for the age problem – this should have been removed lot earlier.

    Like the others have aired their concern and suggestion in this regard – this may be the thought in majority of the minds. Let them be given a chance to be in the election fray as unofficial candidates. Let God deceide rather than man play tarnishing games. It is sure this time it will not be the same result as we had received in the last election.

    More over some of the candidates are too young and fragile, let them be more mature and be proved ones.
    God is watching this politics and will do the rest. Thats for sure

    Fr.George Abraham, Doha

  37. Chacko Abraham says:

    The screening committee has once again shown their ugly politics by barring Fr.Dr. M.O.John. It is clear that the authorities are not interested in skillful,knowledgeable and challenging personalities to lead the church. It is understood that some bishops and priests in the committee were dead against this priest.

    Once again the highest democratic system of our church is being vandalized by some of the self proclaimed rulers of the church.

    Hope God will forgive, .

    Chacko Abraham, Edmonton, Canada

  38. Thomas Kuttikandathil, Houston. says:

    Finally the list is out omitting excellent and outstanding candidates who fell victims to the dirty politics.Candidates who are within the age criteria,having all qualifications,and passed the medical exam,but rejected for silly reason should be given a chance to contest as candidate outside the official panel..

    Let God almighty decide through the people whether they are fit or not.There are Metropolitans in our church who contested and won outside the official panel.

    There are also wonderful Metyropolitans in our church who won the election but rejected by the synod at first instance.

    Thomas Kuttikandathil,
    Houston,Texas,USA.

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