7. Are not the Patriarchatriarch and Catholicoseatholicose equals?
The zenith of holy ordination is episcopate. Neither the Catholicose, nor the Patriarch has a status above that of an episcopos. No trained mind would say ’ordination as Patriarch or as Catholicose’, rather would prefer designation or position as Patriarch or as Catholicose to anything else. This is not a position in terms of ordination, but is an administrational designation. Orthodox Churches are local churches. Ethiopian Orthodox Church has her supreme head. Patriarch of Antioch is the supreme head of the Church of Antioch and eastern provinces. ’All the east’ does not mean also the Church all around the world. There is no entity called Universal Syrian Church and nor there exists a Patriarch for the Universal Syrian Church. No Patriarch had ever used such a title. Very recently we come across the new usage ’Head of the Universal Syrian Church’ and such a Patriarchal Designation is not mentioned anywhere canonically.
H.H. the Catholicose is the supreme head of the Oriental Syrian Church. The Patriarch is to consecrate Metropolitans and sanctify Holy Myron for the Church under his jurisdiction and the Catholicose performs these two responsibilities for the Church under his jurisdiction. We address both of them as ’Your Holiness’, where as the Catholicose of the Patriarchal faction is degraded as ’Sreshtha Catholica Bava’. He has no right to sanctify Holy Myron. The Hoodaya Canon, which the Patriarchal faction upholds, also permits the Catholicose to sanctify the Holy Myron. Since the ’Sreshtha Catholicose’ has not been given this right, he is not a canonical Catholicose, but an under-ordinate, who was consecrated for the personal interests of the Patriarch or is only a conditional Catholicose.
The letter No. 203, which denied even the priesthood of Apostle St. Thomas, has indeed addressed the Catholicose as ’to the nobility of our brother’. ’After brotherly kisses and greetings we write’ is the beginning of this letter. All these facts prove that the Patriarch and the Catholicose bear equality within their respective confines. They are brothers, aren’t they? Are they like father and son?
8. Who shall elect H.H. the Patriarchatriarch?
The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Syria elects the Patriarch of Antioch. If the expression ’Universal Syrian Church’ means the combined Church in Syria as well as in Malankara, the Patriarch shall be elected from the combined Holy Synod from Syria as well as from Malankara. Supreme head of the Universal Catholic Church, the Pope of Rome, is elected from the College of Cardinals, in which Cardinals from all over the world are members. However, it is stipulated that no Metropolitan from Malankara shall become the Patriarch. Only a Syrian shall have this dignity. The one, whom they elect from among themselves, will condemn or remove the ones, whom the Church in Malankara elects and he will also appoint the ones here, whom he likes. Alas, what a contradiction! What does this mean? It clearly means that the children of the Church in Malankara shall be slaves under the Syrians. The Patriarch, who has the right to rule over the Church of Malankara, shall only be elected from among the Syrians. Can anyone with an iota of self respect accept this condition? Can the Patriarch and his faction accept the condition that the one, who gets majority from among the Syrians as well as from Malankara, be consecrated as Patriarch? Have the children of the Church in Malankara ever understood this? Why should we bear this shameful yoke? Who can bear this disgraceful shackle that one shall be the slave of a ruler, whom he has no right to elect?
9. Whathat is the true relationrelation between the Church in Malankara and the Throne of Antioch?
In his book ’Aluvayile Valiya Thirumeni’ Kurian Cor-Episcopa Kaniamparampil writes on p.56 as follows: ”Valiya Thirumeni, who knew the truth right from the beginning of revolution had only one insistence”. Yes, it was the particular insistence of a true member of the Syrian Church, namely, the sacred relation with the Holy Antiochene See shall never be broken and that was all. This statement makes it clear that the ’sacred relation’ shall be maintained with Antioch. H.H. Abdul Messiha, the Patriarch, ordered to maintain the ’loving relation’ with Antioch. Does this ’sacred relation’ mean subjugation and servitude? Shall the right to condemn, remove and rule under the feet be called a blessed relation? Catholicose faction was always ready to maintain the ’sacred relation’ with the Throne of Antioch. To maintain this relation with the See of Antioch they have provided two rights to H.H. the Patriarch in the Constitution, which they had passed in 1934. These are rights alone and are no powers. The Antiochenes always wanted to cheat Malankara by converting rights into powers. What are these rights? If a Patriarch, who is accepted by Malankara, exists then:
a. He shall be invited for the consecration of Catholicose; if H.H. the Patriarch accepts and arrives he can conduct the consecration as the president of the Holy Synod. Otherwise, the Synod will consecrate the Catholicose.
b. The Synod, which is being summoned to study allegations against the Catholicose, can be presided by the Patriarch, if he arrives and he can declare the decision too. This clearly shows that the Constitution also recognises ’the sacred relation’. It is shameful to demand that to maintain ’sacred relation’ one shall accept supremacy and endorse subjugation. Does any other Church in the world have this kind of a tragic disaster? Oh’ children of Malankara, don’t you have self respect? Don’t you have even today the courage to unshackle and overthrow subjugation?
TO BE CONTINUED…