Episcopal Election 2010: Eleven Candidates to Malankara Syrian Christian Association

Written By: on Jan 21st, 2010 and filed under Church News, Episcopal Election, News.

KOTTAYAM: Sabha Managing Committee held at Kottayam Old Seminary today finalized the official panel of the Episcopal candidates for the 2010 election.

The Committee began at 11.30 am and presided by the Catholicos Baselios Marthoma Didymos I. After completing the regular business affairs, at 12.15pm voting was conducted to select 11 candidates from the 14 names submitted by the screening Committee. Fr. Dr. O. Thomas, Dr. George Varghese and Adv. Biju Oommen Muringasseril represented the Sabha managing Committee in the Screening Committee.

Rtd. Justice John Mathews was appointed by the Catholicos as the Chief election officer to conduct the election in the managing Committee.

After the lunch break the counting was started. Finally at 4.40pm the names of the first 11 candidates with highest votes were declared as the official candidates of the Church.

Candidates declared as the official panel of the Church were as follows.

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

Trikkunnathu Seminary issue was also discussed in detail at the Sabha meeting.

Catholicos Elect Paulose Mar Milithios, Metropolitans Thomas Mar Athanasius, Dr. Mathews Mar Severios, Geevarghese Mar Ivanios, Dr. Thomas Mar Athanasius, Yuhanon Mar Milithios, Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Paulose Mar Pachomios, Kuriakose Mar Clemmis, Dr. Gabriel mar Gregorios, Mar Anthonios, Dr. Yuhanon Mar Chrysostomos, Yuhanon Mar Polycarpos, Mathews Mar Theodosius and Abraham Mar Epiphanios attended the Sabha Managing Committee.

Sabha Secretary Dr. George Joseph, Priest Trustee Fr. Dr. Johns Abraham Konatt and lay Trustee M. G. George Muthoot gave leadership to the proceedings of the Managing Committee.

Other than the Metropolitans, 85% of the 129 elected and 30 nominated members of the Sabha managing Committee were present in the Managing Committee

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28 Responses for “Episcopal Election 2010: Eleven Candidates to Malankara Syrian Christian Association”

  1. KS PHILIP says:

    This process of election is not good.There will be one panel of Thirumenies under Supreme Head.No election required there at all.They will select the suitable bishops.All these candidates are going around and canvasing.This is not a good process for our church.

  2. I’m with you every step of the way. You have a legal entitlement to your opinion, and you must never let other people tell you anything different. Well done!

  3. shibin says:

    CONGRATS FR V.M JAMES wish you all the best.

  4. the 11 final candidates are cream of the priests now we have,but how the voter (church nember) know the ebility of these candidates by their profile.they should be allowed to speak for 3-5 minutes on 17th to the members on a subject given by the election committe(select 15 topics )so the members can assess each one.only few people know everyone.

  5. Thomas Kuttikandathil says:

    This is a reply to various comments appeared in these columns regarding the episcopal election process.

    1. first of all no church member is against any candidate.But some of the screening committee members were against certain candidates.The screening committee should have been impartial,counting only the merits of the candidates.Instead they acted with prejudice and used their votes to outst the candidates showing their liking and disliking for the candidates.

    2.This is the reason why the managing committee unanimously rejected outright a resolution put up by the priest trustee to the effect that the managing committee is agreeing and endorsing the selection process of the screening committee.So the result started showing against the candidates who have proximity with the screening committee members and other high offices.More such results may be expected on 17 Feb.also.
    3.Some one commented that the ousted candidates can not be compared with Osthathios thirumeni and Gregorios thirumeni.But nobody came out with such statement when they were rejected by the synod.They proved their mettleness after they became bishops.And they were not barred because of any personal grudge or enmity.The senior bishops of that time had doubt about their integrity.A publication of the opponent of our church has recently revealed that an orthodox bishop approached the patriarch in 1990s to join syrian orthodox church.IF IT IS TRUE guess who could be that ?

    4.No priest can become the king maker of this great church and clear the way for the catholicose post.The path will be cleared at an appropriate time by itself.Regarding the gossip in the inner circle about the would be catholicose designate as Fr. Varghese revealed,no one may oppose if one more coorilose thirumeni become the future catholicose as nothing adverse heard about his grace so far.

    5.We have no bishop production factory like the one in Puthencruz where even the raw material rejected by the orthodox church is being churned out as a new product of that brand.

    Thomas Kuttikandathil,

  6. Dr Sishaj P. Simon says:

    We pray to our Almighty that only the deserved should be given the position.This can be requested in our daily prayers.The “Wrong Person in the Right Place” and “Right Person in the Wrong Place” will be a curse for the Sabha.

  7. V.Varghese Mathew, Auckland says:

    In one of the internet forums I read, this year turning out to be a year of more Bishops.
    The innings has opened with two from the Puthencruz Society Church followed with two from the Chaldean Church and yesterday four for the Malankara Rite Church. Shortly the dissident who left our church in 2004 is going to be commissioned as a Bishop of the PS Church.
    Many of us feel happy that our church does not follow any of the above churches in selecting a Bishop and we proudly boast that we follow the most possible democratic way of election on earth.
    One of the internet publications from U.S is running an exit poll to find out who will be the next seven Bishops. Incidentally, the top seven are the ones who had a stint in U.S and we use this sort of yardstick to measure the ability of the candidates.
    Some compare the ousted candidates to HG Dr. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios and L/L Dr. Paulose Mar Gregorios. Do we have one in our church who can stand in the shadow of these stalwarts of our Church?
    Meanwhile, it would be worthwhile to silently evaluate the performance of our recent bishop incumbents and also the rest of our Bishops in general.
    1. How far they have deviated from the enthusiasm, vision, mission etc. they had before they got into office less than a year ago?
    2. How many of the Bishops who assumed their new offices have managed to get a transparent account from their precursors?
    3. How many of them have gone on to accrue personal property under the pretext they are not part of any monastery and wanted to set up one?
    4. How many of them set up a full fledged Diocesan office or bothered to pay back the outstanding loan of the diocese?
    5. How many have gone on to appoint their own choice of Priests from other dioceses and reprimand the ones who were supposedly closer to their precursor?
    6. How many went on to criticise and deviate from the work done by their precursors?
    7. How many have exploited their contacts for foreign trips?
    8. How many have tried to be at peace with the warring faction?
    9. How many sets of personal accessories like Kappa, Cross, Staff, Pedants have they accrued apart from the church have given them?
    10. How many are satisfied with the diocese they have got?
    11. How many are waiting for the next reorganisation of dioceses?
    12. How many have tried to take a real stock of their diocese and the possible development work that can take place in the diocese?
    Please don’t consider this as criticism. Try to analyze the situation.
    Knowingly or unknowingly we are all responsible for this state of affair. When a Priest or High Priest requests something we feel it as a request from God Almighty and give whatever possible and what they do with it is upto them. We have Bishops who keep very transparent accounts similar to their accounts in Heaven, but at the same time we have some who keep accounts to impress people for which their will be no trace in heaven. Some would say, you should be only giving and not concerned with what they do with it? But I would say the reason for increased requests is, “we don’t want to teach any how to fish”, as a result there is no end to requests.
    If we look at the charitable projects of Mata Amritanadamayi, most of them are financed by foreigners and managed by them. She has also got many a Swamijis who are well known speakers and better than her when it comes to handling current topics. They don’t have any individual agenda other than the organizations interest. I had a talk with one of their Swamiji’s recently and he says that they hardly have a problem for funds. About 10 to 15 years back they had to convince people with their activities. But after seeing them and advertising through their website and magazines highlighting their projects many got impressed and wanted to take part. As a result today they have a waiting list of donors who wanted to be part of their forthcoming projects. The projects they undertake are time bound and encourage partnership of the donor. He has silently acknowledged the fact that most of the donors from abroad are Christians.
    The status of the Bishop today is turning out to the number of foreign trips they make. For some if they don’t go to a foreign country to conduct the Holy Week, it is as good as no Holy Week. We have HG Zacharias Mar Anthonios Thirumeni still in good health inspite of not having a passport.
    Even though we say that we follow the same tradition and what not to wherever we go, when it comes to the interest of the Church, doesn’t our vested interest prevail first? During the recent international meet of our entrepreneurs at Cochin Ramada resort, there was a request for our Bishops from them. ie. if our Bishops can stop their individual drives for generating funds for their pet projects and present it as the project of the church, the entrepreneurs will ensure that all such projects will be accomplished in a time bound period. I am not sure whether it is in the minutes and will there be any decision on this.
    In short if our church had to show any sign of growth, it has to curtail all VESTED interest.
    In my life of more than seven decades I have been in contact with many a Bishops, Priests and laymen from different churches. I have seen laymen appreciating other laymen, but when it comes to priests they hardly acknowledge their counterparts and when it comes to bishops there is no question of acknowledgement for their counterparts at all.
    Today our Bishops are turning out to be fly-by-night executives. They don’t have time to spend at the diocesan office. It has turned out to be dogma, if the Bishop is at his diocesan office, he does not have any work. As such he is keeping himself busy with trips after trips to conduct baptisms, marriages, funerals, feasts etc. One can understand, if it is within ones diocese. When they can do many a creative work for the church and society, we are reducing the position of our Bishops to be chief celebrant of such occasions
    Let us hope our faithful have an afterthought at the way they foresee their Bishops. Unless we change our attitude and the way we look at things, even if all the celibate priests becomes Bishops in our church, nothing is going to change. “Vanchi Thirunnakkara thannay”.

  8. Fr.Varghese Yohannan Vattaparampil says:

    There should be an overall change in the whole setup of the church atleast from the centenery year viz in the election process regionwise candidates should be give chances or else outside kerala priests won’t get a chance at all.

  9. Adv Jacob,Coimbatore says:

    The result showing the leading of pulikkotil achen is truly the wave against power lobbying by the present heads due to domestic ego clash in the kunnamkulam sector,who purposefully wants to supress the new spirtual leadership growing there.But our sabha constitiutional democracy will survive with the power of the prayers of our forefathers.It is Gods will and nobody could stop it happen

  10. J.V. George says:

    Rev. Fr.V. George’s comments are a matter of concern. Do we have one Bishop other than our Cathoica Bava & Niyukta Bava who is considering the church as one? I heard recently when our Niyukta Bava H.B Militios was invited for a program in the Gulf, the Vicar while thanking him told the congregation that H.B’s car is old and we need to buy a new car for him. The Vicar went on praising H.B and at the end of his speech H.B took the mike and said, “See, I don’t need any Car, I didn’t come here to seek donation for the Car. If you have money, give it to some noble cause of our church. I am happy with what I have”. How many Bishops can say so?

    The rest of the Bishops we have are busy building their own kingdom trying to impress upon others. What are they going to achive? Are they any different from common people? If they have to stand united and work for the common goal of the church many other churches including the fighting Thomas Pradhaman will be forced to join us.

    Meanwhile, if we look back at the seven bishops who got elected last time, there performances are never according to the votes they got. The 3 elders are on track when it comes to expectations. Amongst the rest, a few went on to buy personal property as they were not members of any Ashramam. They have apprehensions that they may face the same fate of HG Late Makarios! Need to find out what they meant by it. Laying to Rest at Devalokam should be considered as a privilege. However, they were generous in saying that the property they bought will become the property of the church after their death. What a genuine gesture! Hope it will not go the same way like Makarios Thirumeni’s property went! Some have also got into shady dealings with money mafia characters outside our religion. How many such liberal minded pieces will we have in the next lot?

  11. V.Varghese Mathew, Auckland says:

    I agree with John Mathew, being the Principal Secretary of HH has turned out to be the reason for non selection of Fr. Sabu Kuriakose who was a much better candidate than atleast 3 who got selected due to their personal charisma in the last elections. Hope this time there will be a turn around.


    SUBI Ahmedabad

  13. Charly V. Padanilam says:

    Now the Managing committee of our Malankara Orthodox syrian Church has declared the short listed candidates and there are 11 candidates, let our representtieves and our clergies think about the candidates and select the best among the selected ones.

    The representatieves are elected from our parishes so the people who knowes the qualities of the candidates have a chance to speak to the corresponding representatieves instead of posting the comments in public. Any of the 7 or less are going to be elected for the post and they will be the Bishops of our Church. If we narrate them in a negative way it will be a bad reputation to our church as the public are watching all the medias irrespective of the fraction and denomination.

    So it is the duty of the faithful members to call your representative of the parish and discuss to whom they should vote as they are representing them and that is not a canvasing but that is a dicission making process.

    Some one wrote here that Fr. Thomas is not in the final list as he is from the American diocese. Does he think that a clergy belongs to the American diocese is not elegible because he served in America? If the fund from the Middle East parishes and the American Parishes did not reach to India the projects of the “Jubba Achayans” may not work.

    If you are describing Rev. Geevarghese Ramban in such a manner then please note that Ramban Geevarghese is appointed by our Spiritual Head of the Church as same as the appointment of Rev. Dr. Fr. Sabu Kuriakose and other clergies. Please do not use the words to degrade our clergies. If there is any minus points then this is not the time to post it in public.

    Let us pray to God to get elected our future Bishops those who are having more spiritual life. I am fully confident that the Holy Spirit will work to select our spiritual leaders same as in olden days and our duty is to pray for that.

  14. John Mathew says:

    I believe the current is much better than the previous one. In 2004, it was worse than a political election, with candiadates & their representatives asking for votes during and before the association meeting. Even though there are phone conversation between the association members, it is far better than before.

    @Joseph Mathew – Only mistake Sabu achen made was obeying bava’s kalpana and becoming the secretary to bava thirumeni, if not he would have been a metran by now.

    O.P. Varghese achen was eliminated because he was Sevarios thirumeni’s candidate, and thirumeni worked in getting rid of some candidates from the 2008 list.

    Fr. Thomas, well he belonged to American diocese, pretty hard to win if you haven’t spend time in Kerala.

    Geevargese Ramban – go see & amp; meet him Devalokam aramana, and see if you will vote for him?

  15. fr.v. george says:

    our church managing comittee has declared the list of 11 candidates and now let us uphold the same in our prayers so that the holy spirit may guide us so tht the right candidates be elected.

    but i want to refelect some light on the interest of our bishops to the church. i meant many of us have heard abt late lamented Alvarios thirumeni whos kabaridum is in panjim church goa. but unfortunately we have not able to start any institution in his grace name even the whole church is not taking the pain to teach abt his grace to our believers because many of the chruch believers dont know abt this great father, if iam not wrong their is no other bishops in our church who have been persecuted so cruely and didnt got the last rights (kabaraddakam) according the orthodox tradition. after his grace death his grace was buried in (themadi kuzhi) and later his remains was shifted to panjim church.

    many of our church members over their approched the churchleaders to start a institution in his graces name but in vain. our church leaders are not interested in the same, it is very pity to tht whenever people from this area approched the church leaders they gave the excuse of lack of money. is our church so poor, its disgusting.

    now what had happened is tht the jacobite fraction have started a small congregation in goa and they have almost purchased a land in goa (around 15 acres) and they planning to start a college over their and tht also in the name of his grace alvarios. after this our church faithful approched the chruch leaders even then no response i dont know actualy where our church is going if this continues then many to our floks will flow away from our church, which have already started, it is a request to our church fathers pls do not let our church ruin in this way. if by this i hurted anyone then iam sorry but someone have tosay this.

  16. Malankara Mail says:

    Bishop Election. Kerala Kaumudhi Flash News


  17. Joseph Mathew says:

    The Malankara Association is the body that have the right to select the Bishops of the Malankara Orthodox church. But to keep the interest of the few people it has been divereted through screening committee which is against the principil of the constitution of the church. Amendaments that did are to keep the interest of someone who is passionate to become the Bishop of the Church and our people stood for that by knowingly or un-knowingly.

    What did the screening committee did? They eleminated the famous and possibly elected candidates to make the way clear to one highly influenced candidate, who intentionally offered to make the path to the Catholicate designate to the throne of the Catholicos and that is the story hearing in the public. Did the standard of our church loewerd that much?

    The appostolic Church in the west elevated a guay Bishop and that Church split because of that. We the Orthodox Church do not accept a guay or homo sexual as a Bishop candidate, that is the faith of the laymen of our Church.

    It is learned that all the candidates are went through a medical check up. I sthe screening committe capable to declare that all those 11 candidates are in good health and none of them had a stroke or none are diabetics or High B.P.

    The Malankara association have all the right to select the candidates and then why should we adopt a screening committe to pre-select the candidates? The service of the screening committe was for selection of candidates or to reject the suitable candidates to clear the way to win Fr. Sabu Kuriakose?

    The laymen and the clergies are able to understand the game and that will reflect in the election. They know whom should they reject. This election will be history of the church.

  18. David K.T says:

    My dear freinds,…Our system of Finding right candidate for such a holy position is far better than any system prevailing in any episcopal churches in the world,now look at the way in which jacobite bishops are being selected, there is no regulations to hold such position by the deserved. I sugest that existing system should be strictly followed and no will and wishes of the individuals to be considered……

  19. Philip A.C says:

    We had people forewarning that the democratic set up of our church will come down like twin towers on Sept 11 2008 (the previous association date) and we will not be able to elect even one bishop candidate. Then surprisingly 7 got elected. Their ability was measured and predicted on the basis of the votes they got. There was even a talk that one of the candidate got elected not because of his ability but because his name was first in the ballot paper and so on.

    Now if we carry out a performance analysis of the seven new bishops, where do they stand? Today we seems to be overconfident of electing seven or more candidates on 17 Feb 10. So be it. I feel there are more equally and worthy candidates outside the election frame.

    Let the Holy Spirit prevail upon our people to elect the right candidates. Let us pray for all the candidates. Let us be wise in not measuring their capabilities and judging there standards by the votes they get. Let them lead our church without vested interest and prejudice.

  20. Yesudasan,Ireland says:

    Mony Kutta Why should one be jealous of the candiddates.Don’t take it as a gossip.People like you maybe taking it as a gossip,where as others take matters seriously.

  21. George Daniel (Mony) says:

    You may hear several types of gossips against the bishops candidates, but always try to understand the fact that why these types of gossips are comming out? Due to jealous. So never be a gossip listner bu be a fact finder.

  22. John says:

    The verdict by the managing committee is a lesson to Mar Athanasios the former synod secretary and Mar Severios the present synod secretary.They pressurised the Malankara Metropolitan to change the norms by increasing the age limit to 58,but what happened, their candidates have failed to get through.Here is a request to sabha leaders to stop this crooked tricks and be honest.Due to this type of dirty tricks the people are leaving the sabha and moving for good pastures.May god almighty change the attitude of the socalled leaders.Request to dreaming wouldbe catholicos candidates, concentrate on the daily activities of your assigned diocese.

  23. 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


  24. Fr. Geevarghese says:

    As per the constitution, The Malankara Association only have the right to elect the Catholicos, Malankara Metropolitan, Metropolitans, Managing Committee members, and other major decisions like amendments of the constitution. Our bishops shall be elected by popular majority vote instead of this representative system.

    But what happened now. Most of the Screening Committee Members in the last election have found birth this time also. They are the king makers. A small group is planning, changing the rules and manipulating it in each election for their hidden agenda. Last year election they have changed the rules as per their agenda. This year also they implement new rules for their vested interest.

    Finally the list is out by omitting excellent and outstanding candidates who fell victims to the dirty politics. Their ugly politics is very clear by barring Fr.Dr. M.O. John and Fr.Dr. M S Yuhanon Remban, who are capable and deserving candidates in today’s needs. The same has happened in Dr.Geevarghese Mar Osthathios and Dr.Paulose Mar Gregorios Metropolitans case. They are also rejected by the Holy Episcopal synod at first instance. It is clear that the present leaders are not interested in skilful, knowledgeable and challenging personalities to lead the Church. Once again the highest democratic system of our church is vandalized by some of the self proclaimed fanatic rulers of the Church.

    Now the Managing Committee has rejected Mar Severios’ candidate Fr. Dr. O P Varghese and Fr. T J Joshua’s and Mar Ivaniose candidate Fr. Dr. Thomas. They are good candidates. But why they are rejected. It is because of the dirty politics, the innocents are crucified. This is the clear verdict against the screening committee especially to Dr.Mathews Mar Saverious. Now Fr. Dr. George Pulikottil is in first position. That is also a warning to the Catholicos designate, who opposed Fr. Dr. Pulikottil last time. It is clear that The Managing committee is also lost confidence in the screening committee.

  25. Manoj Mathew, Jeddah, KSA says:

    I hope that let us leave this election to the verdict of the Malankara Association. As we know, it is GOD’s wish to elect either st. Peter or Judas.

  26. Fr Varghese Yohannan Vattaparampil says:

    The Final and official Panel of bishop elect candidates is out.Now let there be a fresh exit poll to choose the candiddates of ones choice, eventhough they are elected in the malankara syrian christian association on 17th February 2010 at shastamkotta.This choice through the exit poll is of the members who aren’t able to vote, by which one can see the whom they like to be bishops.

  27. This is the clear verdict against the screening committee especially Dr.Mathews Mar Saverious. Fr.Dr.George Pulikottil is in first position. That is also a warning to the Catholicose designate.

    1. Rev. Fr. Dr. George Pulikottil Nagpur Seminary (43) BSc, BD, M.Th, PhD Profile(144 votes)
    2. Rev. Fr. Dr. Sabu Kuriakose Devalokam (43) B.Sc, BD, M.Th, D.Th (136 votes) Profile
    3.Very Rev Yoohanon Ramban Ranny (47) MA, BD, MTh(135 votes) Profile 4.Rev.Fr. Dr. John Mathews, OTS, Kottayam (57) MRE, PhD Profile (135 Votes) (135 votes)
    5.Rev. Fr. Dr. V. M. Abraham MGOCSM (40) BD, M.Th, D.Min. Profile (128 votes) 6. Very Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Remban, St. Paul’s MTC, Mavelikkara (56) BA, BD, M.Th, D.Th.(124 votes)
    7. Rev.Fr. V. M. James Mount Horeb Asram, Sasthamkotta (57) GST, BD, M.Th Profile: 1 2(114 votes)
    8. Very Rev. Geevarghese Remban (Thomas Yohannan) Elavukattu (57) M. Com, BD, M. Th., M. Phil Profile: 1 2 3(106 votes) 9.Rev. Fr. Skaria OIC MA, M. Th. (Bethany Asram) (106 votes) Profile
    10.Rev. Fr. M. K. Kurian B.D M.Th(103 votes) Profile
    11. Rev. Fr. Mathukkutty Chengamanadu BA, BD (95 votes) Profile Fr. Mathukkutty Chengamanadu BA, BD (95 votes)

    Votes of other candidates

    Rev. Fr. Dr. P. C. Thomas, Njaliakuzhy Dayara(93 votes),
    Very Rev Geevarghese Ramban Devalokam(92 votes),
    Rev. Fr. Dr. O. P. Varghese Meembara Aramana(86 votes)

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