Who Was Patriarch Elias III : An Undercover story

Written By: on Jul 8th, 2010 and filed under Columns, Opinions.


Did you know that the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Elias III Shaker secretly got paid by Turkey to deny Seyfo and to stay loyal to the republic? New documents previously classified show that our church leaders played a bigger role than we have known, when the Assyrians were deprived of their minority rights in Turkey. Journalist Augin Kurt has taken a closer look at what has been revealed in the new documents.

In 1892, nearly 300 000 Syrian Orthodox Christians in Afghanistan converted to Islam. Reason: The rivalry between the Patriarchates in Mardin and Turabdin.

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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.

13 Responses for “Who Was Patriarch Elias III : An Undercover story”

  1. Philip A.C says:

    “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers”

    This is what St.Dionysius faces even today from many a quarters, due to which God blesses him and his faithful.
    Wheras all those Saints from Sheema are never mocked or persecuted so you decide who is benefited according to the above bible verse.

    So let us not get worried about people criticising our Saints, becaues if they are not criticised they will never inherit the above name. Whereas the Saints of Sheema does not need to inherit heaven, because they are already in this earthly heaven in a better position than their creator.

  2. When Viswasa samrakshakan wrote all sort of derogatory utterances against saint Vattaseril thirumeni several times in that yellow paper and still continueing that where were all these people who are attacking O.H.for publishing a fact against Elias iii written by a foreigner.Who says that all those who came from ‘sheema’ and etombed in malankara are saints?

  3. Suraj Iype says:

    Some time back some parts of the diary of Mother Teresa were made public. In some extracts , Mother seems to doubt her faith , some of the passages are very dark and full of doubt. Does it make her any less of a saint?

    Saints like us all, suffer from temptation and sometimes even fail (I am not saying this in regard to HH Elias III). That does not make them less saintly.

    What makes them saintly is that even when in failure they do not give up hope and continue on.

  4. Suraj Iype says:

    I think we need not rush to condemm anybody. For ex under the heavy yoke of Communism the Orthodox Churches in Russia and in the Warsaw pact countries have to go along with the State to ensure their own survival. Many priests , and bishops and laity who would not “understand” were sent to the Gulag by the soviets.

    In such cases some bishops and Patriarchs compromised. Many russians outside the USSR called these people Communist servants and formed a new church which till recently was extremely inimical to the Russian Orthodox Church.

    After the USSR fell, many such bishops confessed their collaboration with the regime and sought forgiveness like Patriarch Teocist of Romania. Others tried to defend themselves. Whatever the case we must understand that theirs was an unenviable position. There was heavy pressure and some gave in.

    To forgive would be the best way forward.

    Similarly the case with the Syriacs, Greeks, Armenians and Nestorians in the Ottoman empire. Faced with heavy pressure, persecution and enimity from the Islamic majority, same might have given in. A number of Greek Ecumenical Patriarchs were deposed by the Truks, one was hanged from the doorway of the Phanar (the palace of the Greek Patriarch). In such cases , some might have compromised.
    If we in India were subjected to such treatments, such things might have hapenned with our hierarchy also.

    That said.
    To argue that is derogatry and is devilish is all bunkum. Even saints make mistakes. To base oneself on this article and to say that Elaias III cannot be a saint is not true, but it is also untrue to say that because he is saint these sort of articles are false.

    For ex, one many websites it is said that Elias III Bava came to India for the sake of peace, but due to Vattasseril thirumenis admant attitude it was not achieved.
    What is not said is that the Patriarch had been expelled by Kemal Ataturk and was leading a nomadic life travelling from Aleppo to Jerusalem visiting communities unable to enter Turkey.
    So the fact is that peace was one of the reasons to come to India.
    What is also not said that both Mar Dionysius VI and Mar Geevarghese II had travelled to the Middle East for the sake of peace. The Syrians were not the only ones who travelled over the seas for peace.

    The Syriacs by the 16th century were in a extremely bad shape, most bishops were becoming Syrian Catholic. Their clergy were badly educated and in general the church was in trouble. Every Muslim and European commentator testifes to that .

    From the behaviour of some Syriac bishops in India during that period, one can make that out also.
    So divinizing every Syriac priest who came to India is a bit incorrect.
    Patriarch Abdulla travelled around Malankara selling Myron when he was a Bishop, the bishops including Parumala thirumeni wrote to the Patros III that Gregorios Abdullah is going around begging. Even when Patros III issued a bull for Gregorios to return, he did not comply. Is this not the truth?

    Such a person excommunicated a Metropolitan because he would not comply with an unlawful request. Why are we fighting because of this.

    Why can we not accept that mistakes were made. Our own forefathers had so many prejudices, today do we follow all that.

    We must accept that such were the times, at that time people did such a thing. Now we must move forward.

    It is human to commit mistakes, but as Christians we must forgive and move on. And that should not prevent us from having an open mind to critically examine facts.

  5. AC Philip says:

    This is not to question anybody’s faith. As the Holy Bible says, let every person’s faith save them.
    Any idea how many years it took Antioch to recognize St.Yeldo Baselios and St.Gregorios as Saints after MOSC declared them as Saints in 1947.

    The faithful of Malankara knows HH Elias III for how long? For what purpose did HH come to Malankara? Did he serve the purpose of his visit? How many of us are aware of the circumstances that led to the visit? If he had to pass away in Antioch and buried there will we still revere him. If that was the case Patriarch Abdulla should be revered first because he made Malankara the bread and butter of all the Patriarchs who reigned after him.
    There is no point in entering into a debate on these. Afterall the topic in question is only a matter of less than 100 years in modern history and there is recorded evidence for most happenings in the world
    Jews still believe that Messiah is yet to come and we the so called Christians who find hard to practice Christianity are debating on a happening that has been independently proved true by an agency.
    Can we call it silly or ignorance if someone tries to question the Sainthood of a person who lived amidst us all through his life? Somehow we have a miniscule amount of people who always go to any extend in defending anybody and sundry provided they are the white colored from Middle East. But at the same time they lack enthusiasm in defending a person from the same place who preached gospel for the first time in India.

    And here we see a person with an ecclesiastical order trying to counter attack the findings about HH Elias III with a person who left this world about 1940 years ago.

    Let us keep our faith on our Saints to ourselves. Let us not market it. The Saints, who ever it may be doesn’t need it, neither Lord Almighty. Because the Lord says, ‘daughters of Jerusalem don’t cry for me, cry for you and your children.

    I have heard the Hindus who go to Sabarimala on their maiden visit goes to Erumely to the mosque of Vavar a muslim, then they go and take the blessings of Lord Ayyappa and on their return many go to Arthugal Church to remove their special clothing’s they worn for their trip to Sabarimala. Now these faithful are convinced that they are blessed and they are not bothered with where they got the most from. But when it comes to we the elite club, we come out with facts and figures with the number of visitors, the number of miracles, the amount of what not to market our Saints. Are we living in a modern world or in some dark ages?

  6. samkodiyattu says:

    THe Antiochean Partriarchs can do some sort those things.The Abded Masiha Partriarch who re-established the Catholicate in Malankarsa1912 was toppled by his successor by giving more money to Turkish ruler to appoint him as Partriarch. Thus Abded Mesiha paertriach lost his position and later The syrian orthodox heirarchy said he was ex-comminicatd(?). ex-communicated by whom? for what reason,or the wrongs he committed to syrian orthodox church was never revealed!The successor Abdulla Partriarch, later joined Cathiolic church, aftersometime went back to his mother church. In The syrian Orthodox heirarchy there were this kind of manoeuvres/tricks even before power and position!

  7. Joseph says:

    Editor

    I can get what you are coming to.
    My request will be to sensor these articles as highly deregatory
    Whom are you trying to do research with ? What is our final output from this.
    If you feel many will read and then get audience I feel only myelf,AC Philip,Tom,Anup etc wll read,Thats all.You will not get that sort of “research you are expecting”
    By the way what you should do :
    Start a matrimony column,Start a prayer request column,Start a e-com site with MGM songs,start a “daily godly thiughts” column etc etc.
    ont put seeds of hatred .It will bite us back as we know from Gurgaon incident.

    I hope no priest will do this.

  8. Editor says:

    Dear Joseph:

    this article is not written by any Indians. It is by one Augin Kurt , Journalist and published by Assyrian Genocide Research Center. He is presenting the article with ample evidences.

    If you do not agree with that some one should counter the article with Assyrian historical documents.

    IOH never made any comments on that, instead we reproduced the article for further research.

    Editor

  9. Seems to be there is some sort of BIG Crime getting commited here
    Whoever is this behind the article will surely go to hell along with his famly members
    I will pray to forgive .I beleive this is the worst than the “chopping off” hand icident at muvattupuzha.

    There are many orthodox who beleive in Manjankkara and Parumala.

    Hope you will not classify Parumala Thirumeni as another crook!

    Stop making deregatory commands about people who are died and living in heaven

    God bless you to forgive your sins,never get blurred by your anger or loose of control

    osephj@yahoo.co.in

  10. Philip A.C says:

    Dear Editor,
    Can you please publish an article on the status of Turkey & Syria – the religious freedom people have etc. Also it would be nice if you could give an idea about the population. When was it at is peak. How many Christians are there now and in what denomination they fall into. Just to get an overall idea of the people who talk too much of Bible to us.
    Hope you will kindly look into this.
    Thanks

  11. AC Philip says:

    Here comes the True Nazrayan. Talks about calm and peace.
    When somebody thrashes us all around they are never seen. And when century old truth is brought to light, then IOH is the lines of VS and MTV. Please try to compare the so called VS to any top 100 worst publications in the world, I am sure VS will rate 1 and the next will be 101 because no one can even imagine falling into the gap between 2 and 100. Even Joseph Gibels will be shocked at the amount of gossips VS makes.
    What we need is to reveal the truth and as the Bible says that Truth will make you free. How did people like late Rev. Fr. V.C.Samuel and many came out of the clutches? They studied the truth. So what IOH is trying here is to reveal it. It is just for the takers. Even our Lord says, those who want to hear, let them hear. This is exactly what IOH is doing.

  12. Tom NY says:

    Orthodox Herald is stooping to the level of VS and MTV. This is not the way to attract viewership. With Pulikottil thirumeni as the patron, OH should rise above yellow journalism. If on one hand we tarnish their hiarachy and their saints, and on the other hand we hold an olive branch preaching unity is not going to work out. Who from their side will unite??? It is high time we decide what it is that we actually want.

  13. Philip A.C says:

    I first felt like laughing at this news. Because this is a very old story which I have read long time back and when I thought of the impression it will carry amongst the Antiochian clad, what more can I do?
    Tomorrow if HH Zakka tells them, children let us put an end to this infighting, the kids will tell HH that, we will go and find another Patriarch may be even get Gurgon himself, who can lead the fight against the Orthodox faction in India. What is important is fight nothing else and shots like ..koolaa….. In short ‘reciting vedas to these fighting bull’ is of no use.

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