A Note on Nechoor St. Thomas Church Case Order from Hon. Kerala High Court


A Note on Nechoor St. Thomas Church Case Order from Hon.
Kerala High Court

I got a copy of the order on Nechoor St. Thomas Church
Case  from the Hon. Kerala High Court
Website (http://judis.nic.in/kerala/qrydisp.asp?tfnm=122450).
I am surprised to see lot of jubilation on the part of the Jacobite Syrian
Christian Association Church people in this regard. I am afraid there is not
much for them to be happy about in this order. I would give these reasons:

1. Yes the Hon. Court dismissed the petition of the Orthdoox
Church representatives without allowing their requests. But the Hon. High Court
did not do it on question of merit. The Hon. Court found the case registered
not in accordance with the law regarding Trust Properties. The Hon. Court said
the Church is a public institution and therefore any case filed regarding its
properties and the rights of the trustees need to be filed according to the
provisions of Section 92 of CPC.  So the
Hon. Court said “The suit will stand dismissed as not maintainable” (page 50).
The court found it not possible to allow any of the requests of the Orthodox
Church (the question regarding the binding nature of the 1934 constitution can
only be considered in a case executed properly. The court has not said that
the 1934 constitution is not applicable to the Church!).  This does not mean that there is no valid
argument on the part of the Orthodox Church. Also there is no reason to believe
that the Association Church people have the right to hold on to the said
Church. This again is proven by a statement given by the Hon. Court as an
appendix to the order.

2. As said in the last sentence of the previous point, the
court observed that the whole issue is brought to the court because the parties
cannot agree on ‘reunion or togetherness’. The court clearly understood the
spirit of the judgment of the Supreme Court in this regard as unification of
‘two warring factions among the Syrian Christians’.  So the situation in which the Association party
is reluctant for the unity of the Church is indirectly addressed by the Hon.
Court.

3. The Hon. Court also addresses the question of dividing
the Church and establishing it as two separate Churches (In Malayalam they
always say ‘bhagichu piriyam’). The Hon. Court says that it is an ‘ugly’
proposal which will only add to the present situation of rivalry and fighting.
The attitude of the Association Church which asks for dividing the Church is
addressed here as a misuse of ‘fundamental right of freedom to profess and
propagate religion. See the phrases used by the Hon. Court: “some people
believe in the harmony of brotherlihood through dissension; or may be, the
misplaced realisation that there is nothing more powerful than the Plutocratic
clout” (page 51). Will this judgment open their eyes, I wonder!!

This is another call from the highest court of the sate for
the unification of the Church.

I hope the good Lord will open their eyes.

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My Thoughts


These are some of my personal thoughts. I will keep adding to this
1. Sri Budha said: "Do not believe what others want you to believe". I would say do not do what others want you to do. Do only if you want to. Let them do what they want to do. But then Love will come in to the picture. You do things for others not because they want you to do, but because you love them and you want to do it for them. When you do what others want you to do and you do not want, it is not done, it is made to do. There will not be any joy in doing it and no one is going to benefit of it. So do what you love to do.

2. Erase the word obedience from the vocabulary. You do not obey any one. Rather you participate with others in making this world a better place. Obedience comes from force, compulsion, demand, fear and slavery. That will not carry any quality. But when you participate with others you will put all your mind, effort and dedication in to it and every one will be happy. Children do not obey your parents, rather participate with them in making the family a happy and peaceful one. Parents do not make your children obey, they will hate that and will abandon it when then grow up; rather participate them in your struggle to make the family a truly blessed one.

3. Do not fear any thing or any one, Love all.
I have seen in matrimonial columns "God-fearing groom/bride wanted" posting. Jesus asked His disciples and to every one to love God (Matt. 22:37). He called his disciples to consider Him as friend (John 15:15) . Friends do not fear each other, only love. Fear came to this world with the fartherness of human from God (Gen. 3:10). But when Jesus’ birth was announced to Mary the angels said "do not be afraid" (Luke 1:30. The angel addressed Joseph too the same way (Matt. 1:20) because God decided to be with His creation not in a fearsome manner, rather in companionship.  Fear has nothing to do with love. Fear distances people, love binds them. Jesus said "Let them be one even as we are one" (John 17:22) So fear no one, love every one. Let love binds us.
Parents! do not culture fear of you in children, culture love in them. Children do not fear patents, love them.

4. Believe in God. But your faith should not make you a slave to God to tell you that God is going to do every thing for you. Believe me, He is not. Believe that the power in you is given by God and you can use it only in relation to God. Electric power will not do things for you. The machines that you make to do things for you will have to do the work. But it has to be connected to the power source for it to work. Jesus wanted us to be co-workers. He said "I do not call you servants any more, I rather call you friends" (John 15:15). Even in creation God, by bringing the animals He created before human to be names, this attitude of God to make human His companion and co-worker is seen. There are several other examples to that in the Bible both in New Testament and Old Testament.

5. There are leaders and leadership. To have leaders in a community has nothing to do with having a leadership. Leaders can happen by election, selection, nomination, appointment, coup, and many other means some legitimate and some not so legitimate. But to have leadership in a community has nothing to do with having leaders. To have leadership is evidenced in the functioning of the community. Having leaders can some times help to have leadership and some times can be a hindrance too.

6. Why I am … ?

There are people who say ‘I should follow the path of the
predecessors’. My question is, then why do I need my own legs?

There are people who say ‘I should echo the opinions of my
predecessors’. My question is, then why should I have my own mouth?

There are people who say ‘I should think as my predecessors did’. My question is then why should I have a brain of my own?

My final question is, if that was
the case why did God sent me to this world? God could have just extended their
lives to live through my life time too.

Judgment on Vattai St. Mary’s Church case


Dear all
I am giving below the relevant portions of another landmark judgment from a court in Thrissur on our Church case. Vattai St. Mary’s Church was functioning peacefully until 2002 with a priest Rev. Fr. Paulose Chettiayara appointed by me. He was forcefully evicted by few anti social elements in the Church. We approached the court. The case was not successful on technical reasons. We rectified it and filed it again. Now we have the judgment. A victory of truth and justice. The result of this judgment will not be seen in the Church soon as they have applied for time to file appeal. Time was allowed, but no stay to the judgment. But we can not enter the Church due to fear of closure of the Church and of the same anti social elements. We have to wait some more time until the appeal is heard and the judgment is executed. But this is the beginning. We will finally see the end of the tunnel for sure as we stand for unity, justice and peace.

THE RELEVANT PORTIONS OF THE JUDGMENT
The plaintiffs (applicants) are Rev. Fr. Joy Pulikkottil, the vicar appointed by me to Vattai St. Mary’s Church and five other lay members of the Church.
The defendants are the present unauthorized priest Rev. Fr. Issac Karippal of the Jacobite Syrian Christian Association Church headed by Thomas I.
The relevant portions of the judgment is given below.
Para 8. Issue No. 1. This case is the result of a dispute between two groups of Christian community know as Catholicos group and patriarch group coming under the denomination of Malankara Orthodox Suriyani Sabha. The plaintiff’s case is that the St. Mary’s  Church Vattai is a Church of Malankara Suriyani Sabha. His claim is that he is the vicar of the above church duly appointed by the diocesan metropolitan of thrissur. HG Yuhanon Mar Militios, as per his order dated 15-10-2005. This church is one of the 1064 churches included in the second round of litigation ending in AIR 1995 SC 2001 and was when included in cochin diocese, Yuhanon Mar Militios is th epresen tdiocesan metropolitan of Thrissur diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Suriyani Sabha and he alone is having the authority to appoint vicar for the above Church. …
Para 9. The defendants’ case is that, first defendant is the duly appointed vicar of the St. Mary’s Church Vattai. He was appointed by Thomas Dionysius, presently know as Yousebius Kuriakose the diocesan Metropolitan of their association and Yousebiyous Kuriakose alone is having authority to appoint the vicar of St. Mary’s Church, Vattai ….
Issue No. 1. … (Para 19). …  So the above evidence would go to show that the plaint Church i.e. St. Mary;s Church Vattai, is the church belonging to Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.
Para 20. Now the next question is whether the plaintiff is the vicar of the plaint church duly appointed by the diocesan Metropolitan or whether the first defendant is the vicar of this church duly appointed by the concerned authority.
Para. 22. Defendents’ case is that, Yuhanon Mar Militios is not a legally appointed bishop and he cannot appoint a vicar to the plaint Church. Their case is that, he was first suspended and subsequently expelled from bishopship by His Holiness Ignatius Zaka 1st patriarch. To prove this aspect, defendants have produced Ext. B11 and 12. These documents were marked subject to objection. Ext. B11 and B12 claimn to be the copies of the orders made by Ignatius Zaka 1st, patriarch. These two documents are not even properly attested. It is seen signed by the secretary of Jacobite Syrian Christian Church. It is not stated that this copy was compared with the original. As per section 63 of Indian Evidence Act, only a copy made from and compared with the original can be admitted as secondary evidence. So, I am of the opinion that Ext. B11 and B12 cannot be admitted in evidence and they cannot be looked in to. So, there is no evidence to show that Yuhanon Mar Militios was suspended, and later he was expelled from bishopship. As per the judgment of the Supreme Court reported in 2002 (1) KLT 125 (SC) with the consent of both parties, 1934 constitution was amended and election was conducted to the Malankara Association, under the supervision of the observer, Chief Justice Malimat. Of course, the election was boycotted by the patriarch group headed by Thomas Dionysius. But, in the election it was decided that Mar Baslius Marthoma II is the Malankara Metropolitan. In the election, as per Ext. A4 the Plaint Church also participated. The Ext. A5 report was accepted by the Hon’ble Supreme Court and it has become final. So, as per the election held on 20//3/2002. Now Moran Mar Baselius II is the Malankara Metropolitan of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Christian Church. As per Ext. A2 order, Mar Baselius Marthoma II has appointed Yuhanon Mar Militios as Metropolitan of Thrissur Diocese. As per Ext. A3 Yuhanon Mar Militios, Metropolitan of Thrissur Diocese has appointed the first plaintiff as the Vicar of the plaint Church. Ext. A1 is the 1934 constitution of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Christian Sabha. As per Ext. A1, only the metropolitan can appoint, remove and transfer a vicar of Vattai Church. So it can be seen that Yuhanon Mar Militios, Metropolitan of Thrissur Dicoese of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Christian Church was appointed by Mar Baselius Marthoma II, Malankara Metropolitan and Catholicos, only Yuhanon Mar Militios can appoint a vicar in the Church of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in Thrissur diocese.
23. The learned counsel for the defendants has argued that the plaint Church is a public trust and independent in character. The parish assembly of plaint has accepted Ext. B3, 2002 constitution. So, according to him, 1934 constitution is not applicable and Yuhanon Mar Militios has no control over the plaint Church. As per the documents produced by the defendants, from 2003 onwards, the first defendant was functioning as the vicar of the plaint Church. Ext. B2 order issued by Athanasius Geevarghese Metropolitan. As per Ext. B5, in the General body meeting of the plaint Church on 2002, the first defendant was recognized by the parish Assembly as the vicar. In the same meeting, they have decided to accept 2002 constitution.
24. According to the learned counsel for the defendants, since the parish assembly has accepted 2002 constitution, then 1934 constitution has no application. Yuhanon Mar Militios is not having authority over the plaint Church. He argued that, the plaint Church can disassociate from Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and to form or accept any other association. He further argued that, in 1995 Supreme Court 2001, the rights of the parish Churches were not determined by the Supreme Court. Church has the right to form a separate association by leaving Malankara Association under Articles 19, 25 and 26 of Indian Constitution. He further argued that Yuhanon Mar Militios has already filed a suit Ext. B13, OS 943/02 before Sub-Court, Thrissur, about 37 Churches including the plaint Church. There, he filed I.A. 4768/02, for temporary injection. But it was dismissed by Hon’ble Sub-court, as per Ext. B14 order. Against that order Yuhanon Mar Militios filed CMA No. 74/2003 before District Court, Thrissu and it was dismissed, as per Ext. B15 order. Relying on Ext. B13 to B15, the learned counsel has argued that, there is already a pending suit before the sub-court, by Yuhanon Mar Militios regarding the plaint Church and the present suit is filed by the vicar appointed by the said militias, regarding the plaint Church. So according to him, the suit itself is not maintainable. I am not inclined to accept the above argument of learned counsel for the defendants because, the pendency of Ext. B13 suit is not a bar to entertain the present suit. The principle of resjudicata Us/ 11 of CPC will apply only when the other suit was finally decide. Ext. B14 and B15 are the orders in interim application and civil miscellaneous appeal. By Ext. B14 and B15, the court has not finally disposed the case. So the decision has not become final. Moreover, Ext. B15 is based on the ruling reported in 2003 (1) KLT 780 Moran Mar Baselius Marthoma Mathews II Vs. State of Kerala. But in 2007 (3) KLT 349 (SC) Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that “any observation made by the High court in the above ruling should not influence the courts concerned in arriving at their independent decision in respect thereof, all contentions of the parties shall remain open”. So it cannot be held that the Church has the right to form a separate association and is entitled to leave the Malankara Association. It is also cannot be held that in the decision AIR 1995 (SC) 2001, Hon’ble Supreme Court has not determined the rights of the parish Churches. So, in my view the above ruling of the Hon’ble High Court 2003 (1) KLT 780 will not help the defendants.
25. In the judgment reported in AIR 1995 (SC) P.M.A. Metropolitan Vs. Moran Mar Marthoma, Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that “1934 constitution was approved at a validly convened meeting of the Malankara Association, which association was created by the Patriarch himself under the resolutions of Mulanthuruthy Synod. The defendants in the present suit (patriarch group) cannot question its legality and validity, in view of the acts and conduct of Patriarch and members of his group subsequent to the judgment of this court in AIR 1959 (SC) 31, Ext. A19 Kalpana was issued by patriarch Yakub with the full knowledge of the revival of Catholicate. Ext. A14 and 1934 constitution and the various claims and contentions of the both parties put forward in Samudayam suit and the decision of this court in Air 1959 (SC)31. It must therefore be held that the patriarch has thereby accepted the validity of the revival of Catholicate. Ext. A14 and 1934 constitution and abandoned and gave up all or any objections they had in that behalf. Several members of his group including some of the defendants also accepted the constitution. They cannot now turn around and question the same. So far as the declaration of the Malankara Church being Episcopal in character is concerned, all we need to hold is that it is Episcopal to the extent it is so declared in 1934 constitution. The said constitution also governs the affairs of the parish churches and shall prevail”.
26. So, as per the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court only 1934 constitution will prevail. As per the article 23 of the above constitution, for purchase and sale of the Church properties, the parish assembly has to obtain the written consent of the Metropolitan. As per the article 14, only the Diocesan Metropolitan appoint and remove the vicar of the Church. So, on going through the 1934 constitution, a church belonging to Malankara Orthodox Suriyani Sabha cannot disassociate from the Sabha and form a new association. They are all bound by the 1934 constitution and Moran Mar Baselius Marthoma Mathews II is the Malankara Metropolitan and Yuhanon Mar Militios is the diocesan Metropolitan of Thrissur. Only he can appoint a vicar to the plaint Church.
27. The learned counsel for the defendants has argued that, plaintiff has admitted that he is the vicar of St. Mary’s Church Mannuthy. He is working there as vicar for the last 20 years. Relying on the above admission, learned counsel has argued that, he cannot seek a declaration to declare him as the vicar of the plaint church. I am not inclined to accept the above argument because the plaintiff’s case is that the diocesan metropolitan has appointed him as the vicar of the plaint church, as per Ext. A3 order. He was not allowed to enter the plaint church by the defendants and so he could not function as the vicar of the plaint church. So he has approached this court for a declaration and consequential injunction. I do not think that since he was working as a vicar of St. Mary’s Church Mannuthy, he cannot seek for a declaration on the basis of Ext. A3 order.
28. From the above discussion, I came to the conclusion that Mar Baselius Marthoma Mathews II is the Malankara Metropolitan as decided in the election conducted under the supervision of retired chief Justice Malimat. Yuhanon Mar Militos was ordained by Malankara Metropolitan Mar Baselious Marthoma Mathews II as the diocesan Metropolitan, Thrissur. The first plaintiff herein was appointed by Yuhanon Mar Militios as the vicar of the plaint church, as per Ext.A3 order dated 15.10.2005. Therefore, I hold that the first plaintiff is entitled for a declaration that he and his successors appointed by Yohannan Mar Militios alone are entitled to function as the vicar of the plaint Church, i.e. St. Mary’s Church, Vattai. The issue is answered in favor of the plaintiff.
29. Issue No. 2. I have already found that the plaintiff is entitled for a declaration as prayed for. His further prayer is to restrain the first defendant and his successors from functioning as the vicar of the plaint Church and from obstructing the functioning of the first plaintiff and his successors as the vicar of the Church. The defendants claimed that the first defendant is the vicar duly appointed and defendants 2 and 3 are the trustee and secretary of the parish of the plaint Church. But I have already found that the first defendant cannot function as the vicar of the plaint Church since, he was appointed by Thomas Dionysius a bishop who has been restrained by Hon’ble High Court from functioning as a bishop. Moreover, only the diocesan metropolitan of Thrissur Yuhanon Mar Militios alone is competent to appoint a vicar to the plaint church. PW1 has deposed that he was prevented by the defendants from functioning as the vicar of the plaint church. He being the legally appointed vicar of the plaint church is entitled for an injunction against the defendants from obstructing his functioning as the vicar of the plaint church. He is also entitled to restrain the first defendant and his successors from functioning as vicar of the plaint church. If an injunction is not granted, the first plaintiff can never function as vicar of the plaint church even though he was legally appointed by the diocesan metropolitan of the Malankara Sabha. The first defendant a vicar not legally appointed by the metropolitan of the Malankara Sabha will be functioning as the vicar. So, the balance of convenience and injury aspect are also in favour of the plaintiffs. So, I am of the opinion that plaintiffs are entitled to get an injunction as prayed for. This issue is also answered in favour of the plaintiffs.
(Para 30) Issue No. 3. In view of my findings on issue no. 1 and 2 the suit is liable to be decreed.  Accordingly the suit is decreed.
It is hereby decreed that the first plaintiff (Rev. Fr. Joy Pulikkottil – appointed by Yuhanon Mar Militios) and his successors appointed by Yuhanon Mar Milithios alone are entitled to functioning as the vicar of the St. Mary’s Church, Vattai, and the first defendant and his successors are hereby restrained by way of a permanent prohibitory injunction from functioning as the vicar. The defendants are restrained from obstructing from functioning of the first plaintiff and his successors as the vicar of the St. Mary’s Church, Vattai. Having considered the facts and circumstances the parties are directed to bear their respective costs.
(Directed to the confd. Assistant, transcribed by her, corrected and pronounced by me in the open court on this the 16th day of October, 2009).
Sd/.
K.T. Nisar Ahmed
II Adl. Munsiff

Questions and Answers


Respected Thirumeni,
It’s been long since I wrote to you. How are you and where are you these days?
The dark shadows of the global recession seem to have waned. No more staff was
laid off in our company and I thank God for it. Thank you for your prayers in
this regard.
I have a couple of questions to ask you. I would be deeply grateful to receive
replies to these questions that have puzzled me for long.
1. Is man alone in the cosmos? What does the faith teach us? What do you
personally think?
2. Also, in the teachings/words of Jesus Christ, does He speak of the different
inventions or the developments that followed His life on earth 2000 years back?
As far as I know, no holy books, be it the Bible, Quran, the Hindu holy books
or any religious books, make any mention of such things. Why is it that these
holy books have dwelt only on the things that were in vogue during the
lifetimes of their founders?
Please remember us in your prayers.
With warm regards, (Name ?)

Dear  (Name ?)

Hope you are keeping fine by the grace of God.

Regarding your questions:

We have to understand religion first. Religion does not tell
us about every thing in advance. Those people who talk to us saying every thing
is foretold by the religion or those who initiated religion or in those sacred
books of the religion, are trying to shut us up in a box.

For Christian religion, Christ is the source of our
information. He worked with a framework of the Jewish religion and what it
taught and developed further. Jewish religion talks about human as God’s
purposeful act in history. That is the starting point and that is the end
point. The whole religion is centered on human and their environment. It is for
human to further the questions regarding any thing that concerns humans
trusting in God’s mercy. Otherwise it will be just against the way human was
created. Human was created according to Genesis account, not as a slave rather
as a co-creator and co-worker. This is evident in several statements in the
Bible both Old Testament and New Testament. Some of the questions human would
ask in the course of history will be answered by God in due course.  This is why God when asked by Moses what His
name was in Exodus 3:14 said “I shall be that I shall be” (the English
translation “I am that I am” [Malayalam: njan akunnavan njan akunnu should be
njan akan pokunnavn] is a wrong translation as there is no present tense in
Hebrew language. Hebrew language has only past [perfect] and [imperfect]. In modern Hebrew they have started using present tense). They
create present through participle forms (this statement of God is not in
participle form). The phrase ahiyer asher ahiye is a hiphil (causative) form of
imperfect (future) form. This means that God will in the course of time reveal
to us what his name or personality shall be and what are His plans with us and
the world. This again is said in the saying of Jesus when he said, “when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth;” (John 16:13). So it is
not that God gives everything in advance and one time, He, bit by bit, will
reveal to us truth about us and our world in history. If He gives everything
just one time we will not be able to hold it. Many of the things Jesus said and
did, His disciples did not understand at that time. So how can they or we
understand more serious things if He had told us about (See John 13:7. Also see Matt. 15:16; 16:9; Mark 4:13; 9:32; Luke 2:50; John 8:27 etc.)? Just as
in the case of old times, He reveals things to us through human beings, nature
and natural forces. So what we see in history should be understood as God’s
revealing to us. This includes new inventions in the world of science and
technology, psychology, sociology, medicine etc.

Regarding
whether there are other life forms in the cosmos, I do not know. If there are,
then God will reveal to me in course of time and when God knows that I am ready
to accept that information. Regarding the teaching of the Church in this
matter, I do not think, the Church has made any proclamation on this.

Hope I
have answered your questions.

With
regards and prayers

Thirumeni.

On Sat, Oct 3, 2009 at 8:42 AM, (?) wrote:

1) Is the Priest (Kasseesa) a Priest (Kohono) or is he only an elder?

2) If he is only an elder (as some bishops teach); what right has he
got to offer the Sacrifice? Or exercise the right of absolution.

3) Is it because of the concept that Kasseesa is only an elder; that
most of the bishops treat the priest with scant respect and care?

4) Why as soon as one is elevated as a bishop, (most of them) their attitude towards priest and people change?

5) Why spirituality/spiritual revival is no more the priority of the Church and its leadership?

6) Institutionalism has become the greatest sin of the Church.

7) What is correct; to bless the Bread and Wine using the cross (as
done by bishops); or the hand? Why the cross is used by the high priest
even in Holy Qurbono; when even the Lord used His hands.

8) Brought up outside Kerala and belonging to the Orthodox
faction; I don’t subscribe to the division in the Church. For me
H.H.the Patriarch is the spiritual head and all these problems have
occurred in the Church because we have not done justice to H.H.the
Patriarch or the northern diocese.

9) If the bishop candidates are elected diocese wise it would have been
much better; giving proper justice and proper representation to the
different parts.

10) After all Theocracy is what the early church practiced, not
democracy (today it is demon-crazy). Democracy is destroying the
Church; where the dynamic corrupt minority rules over the passive
spiritual majority. What is the solution?

Answers:
regarding your questions:

Historically speaking there has been a development in the offices of priest and bishop. This is not he office of deacon we see in the New Testament.

Churches were established initially in homes where several people came to one home for worship. They met in one home and an elder was selected to lead the worship and to break the bread. This is what we call Kasiso. There was no concept of Khohno initially which was added later. This position elder developed in to episcopacy/priest. Episcopo became the supervisor and kasiso became vicar or some one on behalf of episcopos. Being a supervisor he has authority over kasiso or priest. But he is not a servant of episcopos. Primary functions are the same. Now it has come to a stage that without an episcopos a priest can not function. But an episcopo can function without a priest. Episcopos as ordained by other episcopo, but priest by an episcopo. Kasiso is elder but elder with a function to carry out certain duties. It is not an elder in it dictionary meaning of the word. This is no reason for the episcopo to treat a kasiso without respect. He is his vicar and has to take him seriously and with respect at least for the smooth functioning of the system.

Question about spiritual has several dimensions. I do not know what you mean by that. Generally speaking to me spiritual means togetherness and relationship. With the material growth of the communities, in almost all religious communities this element was lost more or less in varying degree.  Usually spiritually will be revived when there is challenge or a crisis. In the Orthodox Church we always took things in a negative way and hence could not revive it when we faced challenge. So here we are.

Hand held cross of the bishop is the scepter (adopted from monarchy background) and it is used to bless people and things. Bread and wine are blessed by the hand held cross. Of course when Jesus did that there was no cross.

Division in the Church is part of the lank of spirituality in the Church. Patriarch need to be respected. But not as an administrator but as the chairperson in worship. This is the system in the Orthodox Church. But following the Latin way of the Catholics, patriarch started claiming administrative authority with a pyramidal structure of administration. This is not acceptable in the Church. So we have different understanding about the role of the patriarch in the Church. This will create division. If he was wise enough, there was a golden opportunity to get united in 1995. He did not use it, on the contrary rejected every move in that direction. So we continue to be in a divided Church.

Yes me too think that bishops need to be primarily elected by the diocese. I shared this in the managing committee. I said they should be elected by the diocese and endorsed by the association. Every five years there should be a renewal of mandate by the diocese and if a bishop fails in two consecutive
referendum he should go to a monastery.

To me it was democracy existed in the Church. It is the best administrative system available today for the running of any organization. But as in the case of Indian politics, we also do not understand the correct meaning and practice of democracy. In democracy every one should be considered equal. But in our communities, it is not like that. Wealthy and powerful are getting more attention and they control the system. That is where you have problem. Theocracy will not work in a better way as gods does not speak to people directly, but only through mediators. Those mediators are human beings and their ideas will be interpreted as god’s ideas and instead of theocracy, autocracy will prevail.

Regards and prayers
Thirumeni

(Feb. 24, 2010)  Barekmor May it please Your Grace
Thank you for answering my earlier set of questions; please enlighten me on the following:

1) In the Thaksa as seen in the English version by H.G.Yeshu Samuel Mar
Athanasius of blessed memory; there is a shlomo after the sedro and
before menalohan kabel… followed by the blessing of the censor. I have
seen some priests just making the rooshma to the people. Why in India
this shlomo is deleted.
2) In the liturgy there is a general Hoosoyo prayer after the Proemion;
then why insist on personal Hoosoyo in every Holy Qurbana for the
faithful who wants to receive the holy communion; I can understand
after a confession; but the practice now I believe is mockery and
simply consuming time; this becomes very difficult where we have to
finish everything in two hours.
3) We subscribe to consubstantiation theory and the Roman Catholic to
transubstantiation theory. Why don’t we just limit ourselves to saying
it’s a mystery; when even the disciples did not question Jesus; when
the creator say so it is so; how? We cannot explain .please enlighten
me.
4) Why don’t we adopt fermented wafer like some orthodox churches;
where it is much easier to administer communion and we get well
prepared Lahemo rather than what we get today
5) The Blessed Virgin Mary is always called as Theotokos; how has the
phrase mother of God come in to use. Is it theologically right to
translate so.

Invoking blessings n prayer Spiritual son

Answers:

Dear ?

Sorry it took few days to reply. Hope you are doing fine.

1        
1 and 2 Promion and sedro are meant to be
meditations of the day. In the middle of it Husoyo prayer is inserted for the
faithful to put the matter in perspective and ask for God’s pardon to enable
them to be part of the Holy Eucharist and receive the Holy Eucharist. So after
the sedro the priest need to bless the people with the words ‘from God remission
of sins and forgiveness of offenses be received in both worlds’ so that the
priest and people will be absolved after the penitential prayer. This is a
general penitential prayer where a confession is not required. People come
together for H. Eucharist to receive it and not to be spectators. To receive it,
you need to receive pardon of the sins prior to that. This is the purpose of
the husoyo and the following abosolution. The present practice of personal
absolution is a perversion of the rite and has no meaning what so ever. So the
priest should turn to the congregation after the sedro and should bless the
people with the absolution proclamation and that is sufficient for any baptized person to receive H. Eucharist.

2        
Yes the change that happens on the elements in
H. Eucharist is a mystery. We do not exhaustively explain it as consubstantiation.
It is for those who want to categorize the matter this term is used. It is a
mystery.

3        
When we use the fermented wafer, there are more
than one practical and theological difficulties. Wafer will be individual pieces
and not one. We need to break the single bread and then share it. The wafer is already
broken. Again the fermented wafer will not last for several days due to
climatic conditions in our part of the world.  Again it should be as close to what Jesus did.
If we can make bigger bread that can be broken and shared, it will be still
better. Of course we do not know how to make good bread. But we need to learn
it. There is no short cut for that.

4        
Theotokos came to the vocabulary, as in the case
of many other faith expressions, in the context of a schism which said,
Jesus
was not God. If Jesus was not God, then his mother would not have been
God
bearer. Our father wanted to say that Jesus was God incarnate and his
mother was not the
mother of human Jesus, but Jesus the divine one, because they wanted to
say that at the very moment of Jesus’ conception in the womb of Mary he
was God. So they called Mary God
bearer. The term theotokos can best be translated as God-bearer rather
mother
of God.

Regards and prayers

Thirumeni