Peace at Malankara: The Faithful React

Written By: on Jan 12th, 2011 and filed under Columns, Features, Opinions.


At the opinion poll posted by IOH to determine the popular voice, precisely the trend among the laity on factional feud within the Orthodox faith, 57% of voters have preached that both the warring factions shall unite. 37% have opined to separate. 6% of voters have suggested not to doing anything.

IOH invites you to post your opinion on these outcomes spanning not more than two paragraphs. Full details and place shall be indicated in the posting. IOH intends to submit your valuable suggestions with photo as a booklet to all Managing Committee Members for further studies and actions. Emails will be sent to those, who put forward worthwhile suggestions to send in their photo.

One group might say that this is fight for wealth. Another might suggest that this is struggle over power. However, what do you have to say to the Church leadership? What solutions do you envisage? Please write your opinions and suggestions. Serious ideas alone are solicited. Also kindly abstain from reacting to postings.

A friendly note to the members of Patriarchal faction: This is a request to the Orthodox Church members to verbalize their takes on this issue to their Church leadership. Please refrain from writing hereunder.

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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.

11 Responses for “Peace at Malankara: The Faithful React”

  1. George Pappan , Thane , Mumbai

    A survey to be conducted by an outside agency under the supervision of Kerala High Court to find out the exact no of qualified priests ( both factions )and a meeting to be called in. First to find out how many priests are interested in unity. If they are really interested , then it is possible. Otherwise we are helpless.

  2. JOHN K RAJAN says:

    Very few reactions. It seems no one wants peace in Malankara Sabha.

  3. I am sorry to say Mr.Oommen Panicker that your memory is incorrect.Both English and
    Malayalam version of our constitution is right in front of me and may I quote the correct
    wordings in Malayalam.
    clause 1.Malankara sabha—orthodox suriyani sabhayude oru vibhagavum orthodox suriyani sabhayude pradhana meladhyakshan antiochia pathriarkeesum aakunnu.
    clause 2.Malankara sabha—Marthoma sleehayaal sthapithavum pourasthya orthodox suriyani sabhayil ulpettathum pourasthya orthodox suriyani sabhayude pradhana meladhyakshan catholicayum aakunnu.
    clause 3.orthodox suriyani sabhaye chila karanangalal yakobaya sabha ennu koode
    peru paranju varunnathu pole malankara sabhayeyum athe karanangalal yakobaya
    sabha ennu koode peru paranju varunnundenkilum, athinulla poorvikamaya sakshaal
    peru Malankara orthodox suriyani sabha ennaakunnu.
    These are the first three clauses of the 1934 constitution approved by the supreme court.
    From the above it is very clear that there is no wording such as aakamaana and bhagam in our constitution.
    It says VIBHAGAM(Division) and not BHAGAM(Part).It means there are two divisions in the orthodox church out of which one division the Orthodox syrian church of the East is headed by the catholicose and the other division is headed by the Patriarch.The Patriarch can visit Malankara only on invitation by the Catholicose.Malankara church
    will only accept or recognize a Patriarch who is canonically consecrated with the cooperation of the Catholicose as per the constitution.Likewise if there is a recognized Patriarch shall also be invited for the consecration of the Catholicose and
    if he arrives will act as the president of the synod to consecrate the Catholicose with
    the cooperation of the synod(clause114).Otherwise the synod can consecrate the Catholicose.Patriarch’s presence is not at all a requirement.The patriarch is considered as first among equals along with the Catholicose.
    Often the opposition faction refer our constitution as the constitution ‘amended by the supreme court’.Here the supreme court ordered to amend only article 46 and 71 on20 june 1995 which refers number of representatives from each parish to attend the diocesan assembly and the malankara association.Here in place of vicar and two
    members from each parish irrespective of the total members of the parish the constitution was amended to increase the number of representatives depending the
    strength of the parish.Nothing else is amended.

  4. K. T. George says:

    “Also kindly abstain from reacting to postings.”
    This is the instruction from IOH to participants of this column. Please, all of you, reserve your verbal acrobatics to another ring. Sorry for the indiscretion.

  5. with due respect to Mr. Thomas Kuttikandathil, I would like to quote clause 1and 2 of malayalam version of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church constitution as under:-

    cl. 1. Nammude sabhayude peru “Malankara Orthodox Suriyani Sabha” ennu aakunnu. Malankara Orthodox Suriyani sabhayude pradhana meladykshan Paurashthya Catholicose aakunnu.

    cl.2. Malankara Orthodox Suriyani Sabha, aakamana Orthodox Suriyani Sabhayude oru bhagavum, aakamana Orthodox Suriyani Sabhayude pradhana meladykshan “Antiochia Pathriyarkeesum” aakunnu.

    This is what I have read from the malayalam version of the 1934 church constitution and I hope, my memory is correct. Unfortunately I have left the book back at Kerala and shall bring it back during my next visit.

  6. Tibin Chacko says:

    Personally, I also want a united orthodox church in india named as Indian Orthodox Church. But unfortunatlly it will continue as dream. In pure Malayalam “Oru Malarpodikkarente Swapnam” Thats it. Till the time of present catholicose of jacobite church it is not possible.

  7. There is no present clause in the 1934 constitution that ‘ Antioch patriarch is the supreme of universal syrian orthodox church’.
    clause 1 says ‘the primate of the orthodox syrian church is the patriarch of Antioch’.
    clause 2 says ‘the primate of the orthodox syrian church of the East is the Catholicos’.
    That’s all.

  8. I am sorry, I am late to react, as I was busy with my own personal issues.

    I put forward hereunder my proposals for the consideration of the Church Managing Committee for a a permanent peace settlement with the Jacobite faction of Malankara Orthodox Church:-

    A special meeting of Malankara Syrian Christian Association should be called by the Malankara Metropolitan in order to make following amendments in the Church constitution:-

    1) The name of the Church “Malankara Orthodox Church” should be amended to be called as “Indian Orthodox Chruch”. This is required in view of the fact that the church has grown up now to become a Universal Church in its size and population and it is no more to be called as “Malankara Church”.

    2) The name of head of “Indian Orthodox Church” should be amended in the church constitution, to be called as “Indian Patriarch” and not “Catholicose”.

    3) Provisions should be made in the church constitution for the ordination of 5 Catholicoi to be stationed at (1) Bombay (2) Delhi (3) Madras (4) Calcutta & (5) USA and all the 5 Catholicoi should report to the Indian Patriarch.

    4) The present clause stating that “Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church” is a division of Universal Syrian Orthodox Church” should be deleted from the church constitution.

    5) Also the present clause stating that “Antioch Partiarch is the supreme of Universal Syrian Orthodox Church” should be deleted from the church constitution.

    6) Disputes between the 2 warring groups at various churches in Kerala and outside Kerala are to be settled in the following method :-

    (a) Ownership rights of churches should be decided on the basis of majority. The ownership of churches having disputes should be given to either group having population of 60% and above and the minority groups should be paid their share of money, in order to construct another church of their own.

    (b) In those churches which are having equal strengths, equal ownership rights should be maintained and 2 separate timings should be fixed for Holy Qurbana, etc.

    (3) Equal rights should be given to both groups for the use of Cemitary for funeral and entry rights should be given only to Achens and not to Bishops.

    Put up for consideration.

  9. JG says:

    Matthew 22:36-40 tells us very clearly what we need to do. Progress is not possible until we begin to behave and love one another in the Way of Christ. This path toward God is through unity. We can not expect The One Holy Apostolic Church to be sustainable in the current conditions. The Malankara Syrian Church has a rich, deep, and storied cultural heritage. Our future generations deserve better than what we have currently and we must re-establish the foundations of Christianity lest they pursue “greener pastures”. My brothers and sisters, it is already happening!

    Consider the suffering being endured by our Coptic Orthodox brothers and sisters in Egypt. Let us also consider our Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq. As they suffer, we continue to bring misery upon one another through litigation, words of anger, violence – all for what? What has been accomplished in all these decades upon decades? I will end with the words of prayer by H.G. Kuriakos Mar Gregorios (Pampady Thirumeni) “Our effort should be to restore peace in the church, not to run away from the church. Our suggestion is that both sides should make some compromises so that the integrity of the church is not affected. We should not try to aggravate our differences by going on litigation. We exhort you to pray hard for peace and unity in the church, this being the season of lent. May the grace and blessings of the Almighty continue to be showered on us.”

  10. K. T. George says:

    The experience of communion and peace accidently occurred or heavenly designed among two congregations – one belonging to Jacobite and the other of Orthodox – in Greater Toronto, Canada on the New Year eve is projected here as an example of what could be achieved between the two factions. The Orthodox congregation wanted to conduct the New Year service and could not easily find a place of worship. Finally it secured place (a mainstream church) for 8:00 PM service on December 31, 2010. But the altar servers did not come on time and achen kept on prolonging the service until they came at around 9:30 P.M. (One altar server picked the second one and lost his way). By that time, the Jacobite congregation started coming for their planned 10:00 P.M. service. It is their regular place of worship and the church authorities somehow got it all mixed up. By an ironical grace, both achens were classmates at our seminary, and remain friends too. So the Orthodox achen became the main celebrant of Qurbana and the Jacobite achen took over the special New Year prayer with all of us holding lighted candles. Each faction effortlessly adjusted the slight variations in tune and syllables of the other faction. Later on, all of us shared the refreshments brought by all. The most important aspect of the evening was the unanimity of opinion among the participants that the factional fight is a mad waste of our time and resources and that we should have such kind of interaction between the two factions.

    We all wondered with two questions?

    One: Was it heavenly designed that the two altar servers lost their way?

    Two: Is it a forerunner to what is going to happen in Malankara? It was the best New Year Service we ever had.

    Here in the story lies my suggestion to the leaders. People in both factions longs for peace. Given the opportunity, people will gladly break bread together.

    What we need to do is to create the opportunity for likeminded and peace loving people to come together and share in the communion.

    What the leaders have to do is to facilitate such opportunities as confidence building measures.

    All inflammatory talks must be avoided during this phase. After sufficient time of such fellowship, let the leaders meet and explore the possibility of peace with or without unity.

    After all, if we cannot have peace after coming together, our efforts will be wasted. Peace among the factions is paramount – with one entity or two entities.

  11. Georgekutty says:

    During the first ‘Samudaya Case’ There were a lot of Godly Bishops on the Patriarchal side who loved the undivided Church. That factor combined with the piousness and divinity Mar Basalius Geevarghese II made the union possible in 1958.

    I truly beleve after the passing of Thomas I, the majority on bothe sides, who loves the undivided Chuech, will definitely come forward and defeat the power/luxury hungry faction in the leadership of both factions. I do beleve that.

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