After having done the above said administrational reforms, the Patriarch returned to his native land and he passed away in 1895. Two people contested to the Patriarchal dignity of Antioch thereafter, namely, Abdul Messiha and Abdulla. Abdul Messiha won the contest by the majority of one vote and he was eventually consecrated as Patriarch. It was the law of Turkey that the one, who will be elected and consecrated as Patriarch to the See of Antioch, shall obtain the consent note from the Sultan of Turkey, called ’the Ferman’, which was obtained by Abdul Messiha and he started discharging his duties as Patriarch of Antioch. However, after ten years in 1906, Abdulla, who lost the election by one vote earlier deposed Abdul Messiha and got enthroned as Patriarch. He used his influence in the court of the Sultan of Turkey to withdraw ’the Ferman’ to Abdul Messiha and obtained the same for himself (Kurian Cor-Episcopa Kaniamparampil pp. 16-17). (Z.M. Paret says that Abdulla had quitted from the Orthodox Church after the Patriarchal election that he lost to Abdul Messiha to join the Catholic Church and he remained with the Catholics for these ten years.)
It is unlawful to consecrate another one to the same throne, when one Patriarch without any serious physical disability, mental insanity or heresy is reigning. This convention and custom was here cleanly violated. The breach that occurred thereby in Antioch ended with the death of the two Patriarchs. Nevertheless the breach in Malankara that these two Patriarchs had caused is still continuing and that is the pathetic reality.
Patriarch Abdulla, who had deposed Abdul Messiah and ascended to the throne of the See of Antioch, arrived in Malankara in 1909.It was Vattasseril Mar Dionysius the Malankara Metropolitan at that time. There occurred difference of agreements between the Malankara Metropolitan and the Patriarch. Mar Dionysius and his party alleged that the Patriarch Abdulla was imposing temporal authority over the Church in Malankara as well as demanding the ownership of church properties. Consequently, the Patriarch deposed Mar Dionysius and summoned a meeting of parish church representatives, who were his supporters at Aluva and installed Kochuparampil Mar Coorilose as the replacement Malankara Metropolitan. The Patriarch lived in Malankara for two years and thereafter in 1911 he returned back to his native place. (He died in 1915, on his way back, before he would reach his destination.)
Abdul Messiha, however, responded with a telegraphic message as Patriarchal Order saying that the deposition of Abdulla was void, for it was he, who was the real Patriarch, to imply that there was no necessity to pay any value to the deposition imposed by Abdulla. The confusing result was there were two Patriarchs and two Malankara Metropolitans showing their allegiance to their respective Patriarchs. Both the Malankara Metropolitans demanded authority to rule over the Church in Malankara (Kurian Cor-Episcopa Kaniamparampil p. 20).
STATUS OF CATHOLICOSE IN MALANKARA
There after the Patriarch Abdul Messiha arrived at Malankara with two Rembans in 1912 and in the same year itself he consecrated Mar Ivanios of Kandanad Diocese as Catholicose of the East at Niranam Church. Mar Ivanios hailed from Murimattathil family of Kolencheri in the present Ernakulam district (Kurian Cor-Episcopa Kaniamparampil P. 28). Five important points were noted in the order that he issued along with this consecration, namely:
1. The need to reinstate Catholicate of the East at Malankara to sustain freedom and peace at Malankara was very much convincing.
2. The Catholicose was consecrated as successor of St. Thomas on to the throne of St. Thomas, the Apostle.
3. Catholicose has the right to consecrate Metropolitans as well as sanctify the Holy Myron and in future it is deemed as not necessary to depend upon the Patriarch therefore.
4. The Holy Synod of Malankara has the right to consecrate another person as successor of The Catholicose, when one Catholicose passes away and nobody has the right to impede the Holy Synod therefrom.
5. The loving relation with Antioch shall be maintained unhindered. (Vattasseril Mar Dionysius, Z.M. Paret pp. 458-459) After having reinstated the Catholicate of the East at Malankara that it can remain with freedom, the Patriarch H.H. Abdul Messiha stayed at Malankara for about nine months. Thereafter he returned back to his native place and he too passed away in August 1915.
THE TOMB OF H.H. THE PATRIARCH ABDUL MESSIHA
H.H. the Patriarch Abdulla and the Patriarchal faction had been spreading rumours that H.H. the Patriarch Abdul Messiha was condemned and therefore deposed. However, H.H. Abdul Messiha was entombed at Kurkuma monastery, where Patriarchs of the Church of Antioch were usually entombed.
That tomb is to be seen even today there. We shall understand one important truth from this point, namely, that H.H. Abdul Messiha had no condemnation upon him until his death and entombing. (Had he had been condemned, he could not have been entombed along with the other Orthodox Patriarchs!)
All the contrary rumours are stone studded lies. Nevertheless nobody knows where the tomb of H.H. Abdulla is to be found. Some people say that it is in London and some say that it is not in London, but somewhere else, for nobody is sure about the place of his entombing. It will be good that those ones, who belong to the Patriarchal faction to read this, shall initiate an inquiry about the tomb of H.H. Abdulla!