Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios makes scathing attack against Thomas I Bava

Written By: on Apr 19th, 2012 and filed under Church News, Features, News.

#Malankara Jacobite head agitating the minds of innocent people
#Media must play an important towards exposing injustice
#MOSC surprised by stand taken by the state government
#True believers left out and criminals gaining upper hand
#Court order must be implemented at the earliest

MUSCAT : The Kolencherry issue which was at its height in September last year had taken a worse turn with claims and counterclaims by both the groups. Even now, it looks like there is no solution in sight. As support to the hunger strike undertaken by the Malankara Metropolitan and Catholicos, many Diocese Metropolitans had come out openly against the Jacobite faction who had claimed their right to worship at the St Peters and Paul Church at Kolencherry.

Ahmedabad Diocese Metropolitan Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios who spearheaded the campaign by holding many street rallies and made fiery public speeches, has once again denounced the stand of the Jacobite faction, its ‘so-called’ Catholicos H B Thomas I and his cronies.

In an interview with Malankara Orthodox TV (M.TV) during his visit to Muscat, Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios has come out openly against Thomas I Bava and has questioned the very position he holds as the head of the Jacobite group.

Says Dr Mar Yulios rather sarcastically. “Thomas I Bava is arguing not for the sake of the true believers and questions about the position of the Bava himself? There is only one true Catholicos in India, which is the Malankara Metropolitan. Thomas I is creating factionalism which is not based on truth and principles. Courts have already pointed out that there is only one Church which is the Malanakara Orthodox Syrian Church……”

Dr Mar Yulios points that Thomas I Bava was using the Antioch Patriarch for his own personal ends and was misleading the public. “He is clearly deviating away from churches and agitating innocent minds. It is not merely property dispute between the two churches at all…” he reasons.

“If Thomas I Bava is the true head, why cannot the Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch HH Ignatius Zakka I who is aged and ailing, make him as the supreme head,” asks Dr Mar Yulios.

The wrangling between the two main Christian factions in Kerala over places of worship and its many valuable real estate properties is very old. Despite several efforts at reconciliation between the two, nothing concrete has come out so far.

Venting his anger, the Metropolitan says ‘criminals and goons’ should not be dragged into the Holy Church issue. True believers are left out and criminals and thugs have a say in their affairs. He cites the case of an individual having at least 18 criminal cases who was actively dominating the scene during the height of crisis. The Orthodox faction has rightly claimed its authority over its ownership due to the High Court verdict which fell in its favour.

The silence of the state government is baffling on this vexed issue. The Metropolitan notes that there is a political agenda which is involved. Three key ministers of the UDF government had taken the initiative since September but no settlement has come out of the dialogue between the two parties.

“The Orthodox group has already requested for the ministerial committee report to be published. Let the people come to know the reality about what is happening. It is a waste of time. Media has an important role to play in this issue and they have to expose the injustice meted out to Malankara Orthodox Church,” His Grace reasons.

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8 Responses for “Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios makes scathing attack against Thomas I Bava”

  1. Joe G. says:

    Mr. Panicker – I wouldn’t say I’m on top of the fence as you implied. I don’t think anyone is sitting on the fence. People like myself, are just tired of the strife. Whether bishops and bavas are illegally or legally installed (on both sides extremists like to claim the other as such) the synod of the Jacobite Syrian Church and synod of the Malankara Orthodox Church are what we have and if both are claiming more legitimacy than the next then I don’t really know where legitimacy comes from anymore. I just don’t see the point in pursuing the current stance. As you rightly say, even Christ attacked scathingly the tax collectors and pharisees, however, some of the closest people to him were in fact tax collectors and pharisees (i.e. Nicodemos, Joseph of Araimathea, Zacchaeus, etc). Clearly however, both factions have decided to pursue political recourse to resolve its dispute, and prefers the positions of individuals like yourself. Whether I agree or not, it is what it is and it is obvious our leadership doesn’t want to listen to an alternative. The “media” outlets folks like yourself have made yourself clear. I will not be posting any further reply.

  2. Mr.Joe G,

    I saw your comments and I am sorry to accept your contention that ” I can go on and on, but the when we read and are preached to by our shepherds such as HB Thomas I Bava and HG Geevarghese Mar Julios”.

    The above is just because of the reason that I do not and cannot personally accept the illegal entity “HB Thomas I Bawa” as my shepherd!

    Further, Lord Jesus Christ, who taught his disciples to to forgive the enemy “not seven times, but seventy-seven times” , never hesitated to make “scathing attacks” on the Jewish community, particularly the pharasis and the tax collectors!

    Therefore my sincere advice to the present day fence-sitters of Malankara Orthodox Church is that ” be on either side of the fence and not on the top of the fence, which is a dangerous proposition!

  3. Bibin says:

    My self Bibin Varghese a member of Nellimolam JSO Church and a Sunday School Teacher. I would like to post some of my views on “Malankara Sabha Case”.

    We, both the members of Jacobite and Orthodox faction, have to re-think on sabha case and have to find out a permanent and solid solution for eternal peace and togetherness between the churches. Both factions may have their reason for the fight. But when ever the case is discussing in the public we are loosing our face. ultimately Christianity is loosing its face. we have to consider the following.

    1. If we are fighting like this the case will be a never ending one, so both the churches have to accept the individuality of one another and respect one another as a sister church.

    2. Withdraw all the cases filed against each other.

    3. Conduct meetings of parish assemblies of churches wherever both factions are fighting for power. And let the group having majority to rule and own the church. The major faction have to help the minor to construct new church and finding suitable place to construct the new church.

    i leave this for discussion.


  4. Joe G. says:

    Mr. Panicker – I think you and many like you have missed the point that is so often made. I can’t speak for Mr. Tenny Thomas nor Mr. K.T. George, but I question why we have not pursued the Christ-centered approach? Again, I can go on and on, but the when we read and are preached to by our shepherds such as HB Thomas I Bava and HG Geevarghese Mar Julios such notions such as “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” How does it make sense that they respond to one another in the opposite? I am not posting any blame toward Julios Thirumeni but I merely question the value of “scathing attacks” when so few of our church leaders regardless of factional affiliation, have pursued Christ-centered outreach? There are at least two peace initiatives led by priests and lay-folks of each faction that I’m aware of, yet which one of the Jacobite bishops or the Orthodox bishops have said they support them? To this day, I’m not aware of any! Please, I would be proud to hear I am wrong on this. There is more than enough blame to go around, ALL of us – clergy and lay people, Jacobite and Orthodox – yet the words and actions of our leadership have a lasting impact. All I am wondering is when will we see someone stand up for those weary of this quagmire for the Holy Church!

  5. I am at a loss to understand why all those critics of HG Geevarghese Mar Yuliose for his “just right and bold stand” against all partisan activities that of the Jacobite faction chief Thomas I Bawa, often preferred to shut their eyes and fail to react for all his nasty and hasty acts he has already committed at Kolencherry, Thrikkunnathu, Piravam and other parts of Kerala and the next ‘dharna’ he is planning to undertake in front of Moovattupuzha Aramana on May 5th?

    Is he not a follower of Jesus Christ and all of his ‘dharnas and yagnas’ are not for properties? Will someone from the above trio may please explain?

  6. Tenny Thomas says:

    Walter Martin once said, “A key to strengthening spiritual muscles and enduring hardship is finding strength in the Word of God.” However, the Metropolitans in our Church have deviated so far away from the Word of God and from the Gospel of Jesus Christ that nowadays the poor faithful are confused as to what exactly the true Gospel is. For example:

    St. Mathew 5: 43 – 48 clearly states, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? …” However – we are busy making scathing remarks. HB Thomas I might be misleading his people – but should we also be out on the streets? “For what a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7).

    Secondly, “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” (NIV, 1 Timothy 6:9-11) In spite of Christ having warned about hording wealth – the public display of wealth by our leadership is very sad and sinful in my personal opinion. When 41.6% of the total population of the country you live in falls below the international poverty line, how can you travel in expensive cars, make multiple trips to foreign destinations and organize unnecessary gatherings – that is no way is useful for the building up of the Kingdom of God.

    This is the state in spite of what Christ Jesus said, just imagine what the situation would have been if our Lord never said anything regarding all this. God help us.

  7. K. T. George says:

    I totally agree with J. G. There is not a single strand of Christian principles in the speeches and actions of leaders of both factions. How can one justify actions of priests parading through streets and of bishops going on hunger strike just like our political class to solve any problem when the same problem can be solved through sane advices laid out by the Saviour which our priests and bishops are sworn to uphold, practice and propagate? The Metropolitan says: “The Orthodox faction has rightly claimed its authority over its ownership due to the High Court verdict which fell in its favour.” With due respect to His Grace, it is this mentality of “ownership” of properties, which the Hon. Supreme Court Judge has aptly recorded in the 1995 judgement as the real cause of the century old litigation, is the stumbling block for peace, order and unity in the undivided Church. Let there be a sea change from ownership of properties to rejection of properties and ownership of peace and Christian values. Then we will have permanent peace in the undivided Church.
    Are our religious leaders, priestly or otherwise, prepared to make that change?

  8. J.G. says:

    I have the utmost respect and admiration for H.G. Geevarghese Mar Julios. I think he’s an exceptionally gifted thinker and progressive minded person with so much to offer the Holy Church as well as his fellow Indians and Indian diaspora regardless of faith. . I just think this kind “scathing attacks” are not useful and I wonder why we have not heard statements from our bishops that take a more Christ-centered approach? When will we see one of our bishops take the approach toward extending a hand of peace? I’m well aware that HB Thomas I Bava, is a challenging individual, but then again aren’t we all in some way? The Bible describes in detail how we should live. We can go on and on about statements of peace and reconciliation but also from early Church Fathers as well. Why don’t we use that sound guidance? Today, the Holy Church in India is splintered and continues to splinter with phony offshoots claiming Apostolic succession as well as the wolves in sheep clothing from other heretical denominations continue their harvesting. If the Syriac and Malankara Orthodox wish to see progress, then the factionalism should cease.

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