This article by Chor-episcopos Mathai Edayanal is one that must inevitably be read by all Malankara Church members, who have the true genuineness to cleave on to the truth. This article is analyzing in depth the self interests and monitory greed of Antiochene Patriarchs, who ruthlessly devoured the Malankara Church. It awakes interest in the readers when Chor-episcopos Mathai Edayanal leads them into the subtleties of factional feud in Malankara. This series is published in IOH for its readers both in English and Malayalam with exclusive permission from the author.
FACTIONAL FEUD IN THE MALANKARA CHURCH
(Malankara Sabhayile Kakshivazhakku)
It is unfortunate that fights and court cases exist in Malankara for a long time. It can be a very valid criticism against the whole Church in Malankara, who shall be the eternal witness to Jesus Christ, that she does not pay any attention to the spiritual nurture of her children and spends her valuable resources and work force at courtrooms and police stations. Problems continue, as if they are ever not going to end, between the Patriarchal and Catholicose factions as two separate entities. It was only for twelve years, precisely between 1958 and 1970 that peace prevailed in the Church and the progress that has befallen during that period was remarkable too. Nevertheless this peace was obliterated. Children of various parishes of the mother Malankara Orthodox Church started to pitifully fight inside and outside the courtrooms. This is extremely agonising.
Innocent people, who are not in a position to understand the reality, believe the hollow statements and equivocating exhortations of the leaderships and fight against each other. This shameless drama is baptised with a noble nomenclature as ‘safekeeping the faith’. Not many people deliberate themselvesto understand facts or to inquire and comprehend the truth. ‘I would prefer continuing in the Church to which I was born and have grown up to something else’ is what the majority of people have to pronounce. The leadership that knows the truth hides it skilfully from the unpretentious folk and is exploiting their feelings to land to their perverted goals. Standard of many church leaders has gone even below the baseline like political leaders of no scruples. Truth will only be revealed to those, who seek it with open mind and no prejudice forthey will stand firm for the truth. Accusations, ridicule, loss of wealth or any like would not make them cowards. Truth will set them free (Jn 8:31)!
When we closely examine the books, publications, and substantial documents of the two factions, we can find out some facts that both parties unanimously agree. They agree upon that the Church in Malankara was established by St. Thomas, the Apostle of Jesus Christ, and they were called as MALANKARA NAZRANEES or MAR THOMA CHRISTIANS.
Divisions that occurred into the body of the Universal Church have reflected in the Church of Malankara as well. For instance, Nestorians, Catholics and other Christian denominations have entertained their supremacy over Malankara Church. Very Rev. Kurian Cor-Episcopa Kaniamparampil, who is one of the reputed and learned leaders of the Patriarchal faction, elucidates upon the above said facts in his book ’Aluvayile Valiya Thirumeni’ on page 3.
H.H. PETER III, THE PATRIARCH, IN MALANKARA
In 1876, the Patriarch of the See of Antioch H.H. Peter III arrived in Malankara. It was for the first time that a Patriarch of the See of Antioch was visiting Malankara. In the same year he summoned a meeting of representatives from parish churches and thereby formed the Malankara Suriyaani Kristiani Association (Malankara Association) and the Malankara Managing Committee (Managing Committee) for the better administration of the Church in Malankara. It was a Metropolitan, who was administering the Church in Malankara until then and he was known as Malankara Metropolitan.
H.H. the Patriarch divided Malankara into seven dioceses and enthroned seven Metropolitans for the administration of these dioceses. He also conducted Sanctification of Holy Myron (mooron koodasha) for the Church in Malankara and also ordered that all men above 21 from Malankara shall pay reesseessa (head tax) to the Patriarch of Antioch. This evidently accentuates the fact that the Church in Malankara remained under supervision and rule of the Patriarch of Antioch from 1876 onwards. It was the Patriarch alone, who could consecrate bishops and perform Sanctification of Holy Myron (mooron koodasha) for the Church in Malankara (Kurian Cor-Episcopa Kaniamparampil, pp. 16-17). However, it shall also be noted that the status of Malankara Metropolitan as the authority over the Church of Malankara was not abolished.