Voices from Russia

Monday, 26 November 2012

Celebrations Mark Centenary of the Establishment of the Catholicate of the Malankara Church

00 Malankara Orthodox. 26.11.12


On Sunday, Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso addressed the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church centenary celebration, saying that India’s an example for the world because many religious sects co-exist in the country today. He noted, “Spiritually, the country occupies a very important place and its tradition is relevant today. Harmony can be more effective if love and compassion are practised in daily life. Now, everyone talks about money, which is important, but one must not forget peace of mind and spirituality”. Addressing the gathering, former Indian President A P J Abdul Kalam said that people should embrace a fusion uniting economic prosperity and a spiritual way of life. He also emphasised the importance of imparting moral values during early education.

Releasing a Centenary souvenir on the occasion, Chief Minister of Kerala State Oommen Chandy {a Malankara Orthodox believer: editor} said that the social responsibility of religious organisations gives stability to society. Delivering the presidential speech, Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose Paul, Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan, said that Malankara Orthodox people never wanted quarrels or undue privilege, only justice and the rule of law, observing, “We’re a peace loving community. We appeal to the government to act courageously, to give justice per the law of the land, to resolve conflicts in the community”. He added that the Church would set aside 1 billion Rupees (556 million Roubles. 18 million USD. 13.8 million Euros. 11.2 million UK Pounds) for social welfare schemes, including assistance to heart and cancer patients, building homes for the homeless, and providing financial aid to poor students. Union Minister K V Thomas {a Catholic believer: editor}, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Kerala Hibi Eden (INC/Ernakulam District), General Secretary of the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam Shri Vellapally Natesan {a Hindu believer: editor}, Metropolitan Mar Aprem Mooken (Chaldean Syrian Church of the East in India), Rev Thomas K Ommen (Church of South India), and Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany (INC) were present at the fete.

26 November 2012

Times of India



The Catholicate of the Malankara Church was established in 1912. Metropolitan Moran Mar Baselios Paulose Bava of Kandanad became the first Catholicos in 1912. To mark the centenary of the establishment of the Catholicate of the Malankara Church, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church announced that it’d carry out a billion Rupee programme of charitable work in the centenary year. The Catholicos, Baselios Marthoma Paulose Paul, who made the announcement at the launch of the centenary celebrations here on Sunday, said that the works would include building houses for homeless Church members, meeting the wedding expenses of widows’ daughters, providing education assistance and health insurance for the poor, and relief to farmers in debt. The Catholicos said that aid would also go for the treatment of cancer and heart disease, and for dialysis. In a veiled reference to an earlier split in the church, he called for peace and unity in the Syrian church, saying, “We hold the same beliefs; we should be in the same camp”. He said that St Thomas the Apostle founded the Malankara Church in AD 52; hence, the Church was now celebrating its 1,960th anniversary, together with the centenary of the Catholicate.

A large number of religious, political, church, and community leaders… including Archbishop Emeritus Mar Joseph Powathil of the Archdiocese of Changanassery (Syro-Malabar Catholic Church), Metropolitan Mar Aprem Mooken (Chaldean Syrian Church of the East in India), Union Minister K V Thomas, General Secretary of the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam Shri Vellapally Natesan, and Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany (INC)… attended the public meeting. Tens of thousands of Orthodox believers from throughout Kerala showed up. A huge rally in the city marked the centenary. In view of the huge crowd expected to attend the meeting, the police announced traffic restrictions. However, there were disruptions of traffic on the key roads in the city.

26 November 2012

The Hindu



Sunday, 2 September 2012

Presence of CPI-M Politburo Member at Church Altar Kicks Up Row


Some of the laity at St George Malankara Syrian Orthodox Cathedral in Thiruvananthapuram are up in arms following what they termed “a violation”, which took place when Communist Party of India-Marxist Politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan walked up to the altar to greet the bishop. The incident took place at end of last month, when Balakrishnan, a former Home Minister and CPI-M legislator, was at the church to attend a wedding. When Metropolitan Gabriel Mar Gregorios was at the altar, Balakrishnan came to the altar and had a brief chat with him before leaving the church.

On Sunday morning, after liturgy, parishioners signed a petition expressing anguish over this incident for submission to the supreme head of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church at Kottayam. A member of the church who didn’t wish to be identified said, “Today (Sunday) morning, after service, a member of the church came with a letter addressed to our supreme head citing this incident. I put my signature on the petition because what happened is a serious lapse as far as the tradition of the church is concerned. We wish that such incidents wouldn’t take place. I saw that numerous people had signed the petition”.

According to the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church’s traditions, apart from priests, those who enter the altar of the church must first receive a special blessing. A senior priest of the Orthodox Church, who requested anonymity, told IANS that he too heard of this episode, but found it pointless to blow it up, saying, “Yes, the rule is that only those who receive special blessings can be at the altar. At the same time, there’s also a rule that only those who are baptised can enter our church. But tell me, can that happen? We have so many people from other faiths coming to our churches, especially for weddings and funerals. This controversy is needless”. Incidentally, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy attends Sunday liturgy at St George Cathedral.

2 September 2012

New Kerala.com


Editor’s Note:

This illustrates the proper enforcement of the canons throughout all of Orthodoxy… both Eastern and Oriental. The canons aren’t straitjackets, they’re guidelines. The priest involved here showed good sense… most probably, the bishop and the politician were friends. Trust me, this has gone on since Day One.

In the time of the Great Persecutions in the late pagan Roman Empire, Bishop Mensurius of Carthage (one of the wiliest foxes of Church History, and a hierarch well-worth emulating) was able to deflect the worst of the pagan persecution from his Church because he was friends with the pagan magistrate. Foxy Ol’ Mensurius even finessed the pagans when he received orders to turn over the Scriptures. He did… he handed over heretical copies without the slightest demur. Some disappointed pagans tried to argue with the magistrate, but he told them, “Bishop Mensurius was ordered to turn them over, he did, I took them, and I burned them, and that’s that” (no doubt the magistrate wrote up a fulsome report to his superiors, happy as a clam that he got to look good). Now, that’s how a bishop “bishes” and spares his Church.

By the way, a sorehead priest by the name of Donatus got seriously pissed off that Mensurius wasn’t “strict enough” with those who sacrificed during the persecution. Let’s cut to the chase… the Church ruled on it, and it found Donatus was chock full of shit. It praised Mensurius, and condemned Donatus. Donatus gave his name to a heresy… Donatism. It means anyone who’s TOO gung-ho and wants to apply the letter of the canons, not their spirit. That describes all of the konvertsy that I’ve ever met, wouldn’t you agree?

This smells like a setup to me. That is, a faction opposed to Mar Gregorios is trying to raise a stink. That impression is heightened by the priest’s reply to it all. Indeed, it smells very much like an old faction that keeps repeating the same stale arguments and accusations (they do sound like the konvertsy, don’t they?).


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