The Catholicate Centenary Celebrations: Significance and importance.

Written By: on Sep 15th, 2012 and filed under Articles, We Believe.


The Malankara Orthodox Church, established by St. Thomas, disciple of Lord Jesus Christ, Apostle and Patron Saint of India in AD 52 has sustained so far in its original charisma only because of God’s special care, abundant graces and blessings.

Many Churches which came into existence in almost the same time of the inception of Malankara Church, which became prominent and influential later, disappeared from the face of earth in course of time. In this context, the greatness of the graces and blessings bestowed upon our Church becomes significant.

Malankara Orthodox Church is one among the few Christian Churches in the entire Christendom, which could claim to have plenty of ancient and unique traditions, rich heritage, magnificent system of heavenly services, holy and attractive worship orders and blessed and meaningful rituals of very high standards. It is a truth that it enables us to get proud of our Church. It is well known to one and all that our Church remains as a National Church since its inception till date. Still many foreigners who reached India were only interested to dominate and to take control of our independent Church. All of them succeeded in their attempts. The history proves that the Portuguese, who reached in 15th century, the Syrians who reached in the 17th century and the British who reached in the 19th century had the same intention and aim.

As a result outbreaks happened in the Mother Church and new churches came up combining the faithful who were attracted to their faith and who had surrendered their identity and liberty to the foreign Churches. The children of Malankara church, which longed and still longs to remain loyal to the local heads of the Church, attributed the titles like leader of the tribe, Arkadayakon, Metropolitan etc. to their heads of the Church from time to time.

No one could deny the truth that there were all signs and symbols of the Catholicate visibly or invisibly in the Church from the day of inception till the establishment of the Catholicate in AD 1912. From 17th Sept 1912 the Catholicate remains visible in the Church with all sorts of due significance and brightness. As and when the Catholicate was confirmed by H.H. Moran Mar Ignatius Abdul Messiah Patriarch and elevated H.G. Murimattathil Paulos Mar Ivanios as the first Catholicose in India, on the throne of St. Thomas, with the title “H.H. Moran Mar Baselios Paulose I, Catholicose of the East”, there started the new era of the Church. It enabled the church to attain steady progress and development. The growth of the Church, both in the religious as well as the secular fields was the net result of the establishment of the Catholicate. As a result of the establishment of the Catholicate, our Church confirmed that she could elevate Catholicose or Metropolitans, at any venue in India or at any time, and also to consecrate the Holy Chrism as and when required. The Church has achieved a tremendous growth as a full-fledged one, having Dioceses and Parishes not only in each continent, but also in every nook and corner of the globe.

The Church as a whole pay the tributes to St. Dionysius Vattasseril, LL HH Moran Mar Baselios Augen I, Catholicose, who had struggled and sacrificed much for the establishment of Catholicate in India and to all their Holinesses the Catholicoses who had reigned the Church efficiently from time to time.

On 17th Sept 2012, it completes the centenary of the establishment of Catholicate in India. The present Catholicose H.H. Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulos II, is the 8th Indian Catholicose. At present the Holy Church is blessed to have more blessings with the presence, prayers and benedictions of the previous Catholicose, H.H. Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Didimose I.

Here comes the significance and importance of the Catholicate, Centenary and the related celebrations. For an average member of the Church, it is a great and golden opportunity to take part in the centenary celebrations and to express his or her love and reverence to God for all the blessings we gain from and through the Church. The Church is to be understood as the body of our Savior and we the members are the tiny parts of the great body. It is the privilege and prestige of one and all members of the Church to participate in the centenary celebrations in a way or other or at least through the continuous prayers for the Holy Church so that they could praise God Almighty for enabling all to be the proud members of this ancient and spiritually rich Church.

Many Programmes, which had been chalked out, have been implemented in the parish, regional, diocesan and Church level, aiming the spiritual, social and general progress of the Church. The Logo of the centenary celebrations was released at Niranam Church on 21st Dec 2010 and the official inauguration of the celebrations was held at Parumala on 2nd Nov 2011, the first event of the program was the celebration of the Catholicate day of the year with more colors and glory. It was desired to celebrate the day as the flag day of the Church and Catholicate flags were hoisted in Parishes, Church institutions as well as houses of members of the Church.

Three colorful ‘declaration rallies’ are planned to be held soon.

The first one will be from Thiruvithamcode Church, and it will end at Niranam Church, (these two churches were originally established by St. Thomas.) When the rally will cover the Diocesan centers of the southern Dioceses, special public functions will be arranged at various centers. The rallies are to publicize the rich St. Thomas heritage, traditions and the real glory of the Church.

The second rally is to start from the northern corner of Kerala and will end at Pazhaya Seminary, Kottayam. It will also cover all important stations and centers in between.

The third rally will start from Mylapore and will end at Mangalore. Various programmes have been organized in the Parish, Diocesan and regional levels. The Lenten period in August (from 1st August till the 15th ) was observed as the meditation days of preparation.

In the main cities in India and abroad, public meetings, seminars etc. were arranged with leaders of the local religion, other denominations, WCC. KCC. and NCCI. It is proposed to undertake key essential social services as the memory of the centenary celebrations. The project under consideration will be finalized and announced among our members shortly.

The spiritual organizations of the Church, in their central and diocesan levels are in the attempt to introduce their own remarkable and unique contributions in these regards with a sort of competitive spirit. There are schemes to provide houses to the homeless in the Church and to provide benevolent schemes for the poor and needy. Conducting memorial processions through the places which are the cradles of Nazrani heritage, arrangement of historical exhibition which might declare the Nazrani, Bible classes in Parishes, Presentation of documentary at various locations, and arrangement of competitions are taking place everywhere.

H.H. Moran Mar Baselios Paulos II, Catholicose has released a Kalpana in which exhortations have been placed to observe 100 hours continuous prayer chains from 11th Sept 2012 to 15th Sept 2012, in the Church Head Quarters as well in various Diocesan Head Quarters. The spiritual organizations in various parishes could follow the call and implement the same in their parishes successfully.

The newly constructed Secretariat complex in Devalokam will be named after the Centenary Celebrations’ memorial. The new church under construction in the place of the previous Coonan Kurish Church will serve as the memorial of the celebrations.

The sub- committee from the Holy Synod, consisting of about seven Metropolitans are earnestly engaged in the publication of a few authoritative and solid books on Canons, Liturgy, Faith, Traditions and rituals etc. and it is expected to be a five year project, as a part of the centenary celebrations.

Various committees are working in full swing for the success of the great event on 25th Nov. 2012. The Souvenir Committee is committed to bring out a book type souvenir, which would serve as a guide to our faith, traditions, history and all other needy topics. In addition to this, it is planned to bring out a pictorial souvenir, presenting certain unique and uncommon pictures.

The valedictory function of the celebrations will be held with a Nazrani Sangamam at Baselios Marthoma Nagar, at Marine Drive, Ernakulam on Sunday, 25th Nov 2012 in a large scale where tens of thousands of faithful are expected to attend. The public meeting chaired by H.H. Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulos II, Catholicose of the East and Malankara Metropolitan, will be officially inaugurated by H. E. Dr. A.P.J. Kalam, Former President of India and the renowned Scholar, highly talented Scientist and pride of India has kindly consented to inaugurate the same. Central and State Government Ministers as well as religious leaders like H.H. Dalai lama; H.G. Mar Joseph Powathil will grace the occasion and offer a few words of benediction.

The prayers and co-operation of all members of the Church in every nook and corner of the world are earnestly solicited for the blissful functioning of all events.
May God bless us all

Author Jose Kurian Puliyeril is the Secretary of the Catholicate Centenary Celebrations Central Committee

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11 Responses for “The Catholicate Centenary Celebrations: Significance and importance.”

  1. Cherian says:

    Oommen G Panickar from Philadelphia – You mention that you know the history of the church, but you got one fact wrong… Jacobite Church born in 2002? Lol…
    From a very neutral point of view:
    a. I really appreciate the passion that every member of the IOC shows – you deplore Jacobites at every possible occassion and with such passion.
    b. However, you also bend facts – latest eg being syrian orthodox church was born in 2002… i mean come on.. play fair.. I don’t intend to stand on any side, but facts are facts right… what was koonan kurishu satyam? was that in 2002?

    so while your passion is well appreciated, your twisting of facts is terribly deplored, dear 61 year old warrior!

  2. JOHN K RAJAN says:

    In reality, MA Achen or Fr.P.M. Geevarghese , later become Geevarghese mar Ivanious , then seprated from church in 1930 and formed malankara catholic church must have been a major influence in the events that lead to the formation of 3 factions in Malankara.

    Firstly Fr.PM Geevarghese took the initiative in bringing the Patriach Abdel Masih, who was actually not heading the syrian orthodox church at that time for whatever be the reasons , in Kerala in 1912 and established Catholicate.

    Patriachial faction is saying that the establishment of catholicate is not legal but seriously did anyone thought of what happened that time ? Is events that lead to the division in the church could have been avoided ? Nobody has the answer. Fr. PM Geevarghese who received the Patriach Abdel Masih in Bombay and took all initiatives in establishment of catholicate. He was a disciple of vattasseril thirumeni at that time.

    Later he took initiative in coronating IInd cathlicos and next day he himself was coronated as Geevarghese Mar Ivanious by the catholicos . Whether vattasseril thirumeni was happy for this coronation is not known to us. Mar Ivanious was given charge of Bethany ashram.

    Later Synad decided to contact Pope may due to problems from Patriach faction, however , did not stick to this decision because of the verdict of Royal court which ruled in our favour.

    However, Ivanious stick to his task and formed Malankara Reeth and took away lot of properties . 3 of our bishops later joined him. This church flourished with great support from rome.

    The present successor of Ivanious has already got 3 titles and he told a newschannel that he has plans to establish a Patriarch in Kerala and he is ready to be subordinate. He probably is taking over this post at a later stage.

    Having gone through these events, I strongly feel that Geevarghese Mar Ivanious had played a major role in the happenings in Malankara during the last century.

    Now things have changed, Malankara Catholic has much more political importance than us , whatever we say. Therefore we can not complain. The politician feels that this is a fight for worldly supremacy and nothing spiritual in our fight with Patrichial faction.

  3. Reni Daniel says:

    Climmsi Thirumeni will donate two houses to Hindus and Muslims as an expression of his magnanimity.

    WILL HIS CHURCH DARE PUBLISH THE BUDGET DETAILS AND SHOWE TRANSPARENCY?

    IN ROME NOW ALL CATHOLIC BUSINESS AND BUILDINGS WILL HAVE TO PAY TAXES LIKE ORDINARY PEOPLE. I EXHORT ALL CHRISTIANS TO FIGHT FOR CHURCH TRANSPARENCY AS THIS IS IMPORTANT FOR TEH FUTURE OF CHRISTIANITY IN INDIA

  4. Reni Daniel says:

    The actual number of followers in Malankara Catholic (Syro Romans) is much fewer than what is projected by them. It is generally said that it is a media-driven organisation.

  5. Mar Cleemis, head of Malankara Catholic Church, having a faithful lesser than 4,00,000 is Major Arch Bishop, Cardinal & Catholikka Bawa, according to the leading Malayalam daily ” Malayala Manorama”! I believe, it is the only leading Malayalam newspaper, which gives undue publicity to Mar Cleemis by calling him by name “Major Arch Bishop Cardinal Mar Cleemis Catholikka Bawa” ! All the THREE in ONE! And no other leading dailies of Kerala, say , “Mathrubhumi” and “Kerala Kaumudi” does this!

    “Malayala Manorama” – You follow no ethics and your eyes are only on circulation!

  6. Reni Daniel says:

    Mar Climmis said recently that he would lead communal harmony in the state. It would be better if Mar Climmis stops his church’s practice of stealing sheep from other church by offering a few material things.

    I had read a book ‘Kattholikkar Rakshitharo?’ by a priest in Mar Climmis’s church. He was lamenting that Pentecostals are stealing their members after offering material things.

    Mar Climmis should know that Catholic Church is losing followers in US and Europe. The number is maintained in US simply by the illegal poor immigrants inflow from Latin America. Now there are 36% Latin American Catholics in US Catholic Church So Mar Climmis should leave the Roman Catholic Church at the earliest.

  7. @ Nidhin,

    This of course, was due to an error that my comments were posted here, which was in fact my reply to the comments posted by one Mr. Jose, a Malankara Catholic member, under column “The Catholicose of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church”.

    However, I believe that Nidhin, a Jacobite boy, who should be below 30 years, should have no business to enter here and post his nasty comments about me! I wish, he should also understand the fact that myself is 61 years old and my knowledge about Church history is much more deeper than him and that of Jose Thomas! At last, I am not a dog to bark, my dear son!

  8. NIDHIN says:

    Mr Ommen,
    What was your intention in spending this much time. First please understand the reality and start barking like this

  9. എട്ടും പൊട്ടും തിരിയാത്ത, മലങ്കര റീത്തു സഭാക്കാരന് ജോസ് തോമസ് എന്നാ സ്വയം പ്രക്യാപിത പണ്ഡിതന് ഇവിടെ കയറി വന്നു വിട്ടിതതരങ്ങള് പുലംബിയിരിക്കുന്നു. ഇദ്ദേഹം പറഞ്ഞത് ഒന്നിനും യാധര്ത്യവുമായി യാതൊരു പുലബന്ധം പോലും ഇല്ല. മലങ്കര റീത്തു (കത്തോലിക്കാ ) സഭ എങ്ങനെ ഉണ്ടായി, എന്നുണ്ടായി, അതിന്റെ സഭാ തലവന്റെ ശരിയായ പേര് എന്താണ് എന്നീ കാര്യത്തെക്കുറിച്ച് ജോസ് തോമസ് എന്നാ മഹാന്റെ അറിവിലെക്കായി ചുരുക്കമായി പ്രതിപാദിക്കുന്നു:-

    1) 1912 – യില് മലങ്കര സഭയില് ആദിയമായി “കാതോലികേട്ട്” സ്ഥാപനത്തിന് പ. വട്ടശ്ശേരില് തിരുമേനിയോട് സഹകരിച്ചു എല്ലാ ഒത്താശയും ചെയ്തു കൊടുത്ത മാവേലിക്കര കല്ലറക്കല് കുടുംബാങ്ങമായിരുന്ന പണിക്കര് അച്ചന് (പിന്നീട് ബതനിയുടെ മാര് ഇവാനിയോസ്), മലങ്കര സഭയില് കാതോലിക്ക സ്ഥാനം ലഫിക്കില്ല എന്ന് ഉറപ്പായപ്പോള്, സഭയിലെ കുറെ അചെന്മാരെയും, അമ്മെനികളെയും കൂട്ടി 1930 – കളില് മലങ്കര സഭയില് നിന്നും പുറത്തു പോയി, റോമന് സഭയുടെ അന്നത്തെ കൊല്ലം ബിഷപ്പ് ആയിരുന്ന ജെറോം ഫെര്ണണ്ടാസിനെ അഫയം ചൊല്ലി, റോമന്‍ കത്തോലിക്കാ സഭയില് ചേര്ന്ന്, “മലങ്കര റീത്” എന്നാ പ്രസ്ഥാനം ആരംഫിച്ചു. ആടിനെ കൊടുത്തും, പശുവിനെ കൊടുത്തും ആള് കൂട്ടി ഉണ്ടാക്കിയ ഈ പ്രസ്ഥാനം, ഒടുവില് വിദേശ പണത്തിന്റെ സ്വദീനത്തില് വളര്ന്നു വലുതായി ഇന്ന് ഏകദേശം 5 ലക്ഷം ജന സന്ഗ്യ ഉള്ള “മലങ്കര കത്തോലിക്കാ സഭ” എന്നാ പേരില് അറിയപ്പെടുന്നു.

    2) മലങ്കര കത്തോലിക്കാ സഭയുടെ കഴിഞ്ഞ സഭ തലവന്‍ സിറില്‍ മാര്‍ ബസേലോസു ഉളപ്പടെ ആരും തന്നെ “കാതോലിക്ക ബാബാ” എന്നാ പദവി ഒരിക്കലും ഉപയോഗിച്ചിട്ടില്ല. ഈ പദവി ആദിയമായി സ്വയം പ്രക്യാപിച്ചത് ഇപ്പോഴത്തെ സഭ തലവന്‍ ആയ ക്ലീമിസ് മാര്‍ ബസേലിയോസ് ആണ്. ഇങ്ങനെ ഒരു പദവി വത്തിക്കാന്‍ പോലും അദ്ദേഹത്തിന് കൊടുത്തിട്ടില്ല എന്നും, അദ്ദേഹത്തിന് കൊടുത്ത പദവി “മേജര്‍ ആര്‍ച് ബിഷപ്പ്” എന്നാ പദവി മാത്രം ആണ് എന്നും വത്തിക്കാന്‍ തന്നെ മലങ്കര ഓര്‍ത്തഡോക്‍സ്‌ സഭക്ക് രേഖാമൂലം എഴുതിയ കത്ത് സഭ നേത്രുതിന്റെ പക്കല്‍ ഉണ്ട്. കാരിയങ്ങള്‍ ഇങ്ങനെ ഇരിക്കെ, സ്വയം പ്രക്യാപിത സ്ഥാനമായ ” കാതോലിക്ക ബാബാ” എന്നാ പദവി, മലങ്കര കത്തോലിക്കാ സഭയുടെ മാതൃ സഭയായ മലങ്കര ഓര്‍ത്തഡോക്‍സ്‌ സഭയിലെ കുഞ്ഞാടുകളെ ചാക്കിട്ടു പിടിക്കാന്‍ വേണ്ടിയുള്ള ഒരു തന്ത്രം മാത്രം ആണ് എന്ന് ആര്‍ക്കാണ് അറിഞ്ഞു കൂടാത്തത്?

    3) “കാതോലിക്ക ബാബ”, ” പാത്രിയര്കീസു ബാബാ” എന്നീ പദവികള്‍ റോമന്‍ കത്തോലിക്കാ സഭയില്‍ നിലവിലില്ല. അവിടെ ഉള്ളത്, ബിഷപ്പ്, ആര്‍ച് ബിഷപ്പ്, മേജര്‍ ആര്‍ച് ബിഷപ്പ്, കാര്‍ഡിനാള്‍, പോപ്പ്, എന്നീ പദവികള്‍ ആണ് എന്നിരിക്കെ, മലങ്കര ഓര്‍ത്തഡോക്‍സ്‌ സഭയിലെ കുറെ കുഞ്ഞാടുകളെ ചാക്കിട്ടു പിടിക്കാന്‍ വേണ്ടി മാത്രം ഉദ്ദേശിച്ചു കൊണ്ട് മാത്രം ആണ് മലങ്കര കത്തോലിക്കാ സഭയുടെ ഇന്നത്തെ പോക്ക് എന്ന് മനസിലാക്കാന്‍ വലിയ ബുദ്ധിയുടെ ആവശിയം ഒന്നും ഇല്ല തന്നെ!

    4) മലങ്കര ഓര്‍ത്തഡോക്‍സ്‌ സഭയുടെ കാതോലിക്കാട്ട് 1912 യില്‍ സ്ഥാപിതവും, 100 വര്ഷം പഴക്കമുള്ളതും, ഇന്ത്യുടെ പരമോന്നത കോടതിയായ സുപ്രിം കോടതി അന്ഗീകരിചിട്ടുള്ളതും ആണ്! ഈ പദവി അവകാശപ്പെടാന്‍ 1930 – യില്‍ ഉള്ഫവിച്ച “മലങ്കര കത്തോലിക്കാ സഭക്കും”, 2002- യില്‍ പുതെന്‍കുരിഷില്‍ ഉള്ഫവിച്ച “മലങ്കര യാക്കോബായ സഭക്കോ യാതൊരു അവകാശവും, അര്‍ഹതയും ഇല്ല തന്നെ! മറിച്ചുള്ളത് എല്ലാം കേവലം ജല്പനങ്ങള്‍ മാത്രം!

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