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Church News Features News

General Secretary to Ecological Commission


KOTTAYAM: Fr. Biju Mathew is appointed as the General Secretary to the Malankara Orthodox Church Ecological Commission.

Fr. Biju Mathew is vicar of St. George Maha Idavaka, Konni and member of Mar Baselios Gregorios Orthodox Church, Mannarakkulanji, Thumpamon Diocese.

Contact: 0091.944.706.3949

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Features News Uk And Europe

Mar Themothios declares Sana’a Congregation, as a Church


YEMEN: Metropolitan Dr. Mathews Mar Thimotheos declared Sana’a Congregation, as a Church in the diocese of UK, Europe and Africa on July 9, 2010 at 4 pm . The congregation will be known hereafter as St. Mary’s Orthodox Church.

There was a meeting thereafter, where the official welcome to the Metropolitan was extended by the spiritual organizations of the Church. A small cultural program by the Sunday School children made the evening colorful.

Earlier on Tuesday, July 6, Vicar of St. Mary’s Orthodox Congregation Fr. Blessen Varughese, managing committee members and the parish welcomed the Diocesan Metropolitan Mar Thimotheos into their midst. There was evening prayers at 7 pm at the Church followed by intercessory prayer of St. Mary, the Mother of God, which around 60 faithful attended.

Metropolitan Mar Thimotheos and Fr. Blessen Varghese visited Fr. George, Vicar of the local catholic church after evening prayers on July 7th. On the same evening there was a reception to the Metropolitan hosted by the St. Mary’s Orthodox Congregation at Mysore Palace Hotel, to which the Vicar, Managing Committe members, spiritual organization leaders and other dignitaries were invited.

July 8th evening marked the St. Mary’s Orthodox Congregation members welcoming the Metropolitan to the Church with lighted candles, which was followed by evening prayers. The Metropolitan also blessed the newly constructed ‘St. Mary’s and St. George’s shrine’. Secretary of St. Mary’s Church, Saana, M.S. Saji designed the shrine.

On July 10 principal of the Indian Embassy School invited the Metropolitan for a small function in the School Auditorium and the bishop addressed all the students. His speech was welcomed widely as one with a strong morally inspiring character.

“This is for the first time a that bishop visits Yemen. The St. Mary’s Orthodox Church as a whole is proud to be a part of it and we thank God for having given us this golden opportunity to be with His Grace during these days in Sana’a, Yemen. We also thank everyone, who prayed for us for the sucess of Thirumeni’s visit”, reflected Fr. Blessen Varughese on the Metropolitan’s visit.

Metropolitan Dr. Thimotheos returned to Kerala on July 10th in the afternoon.

News sent in: Miju Mathew

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Videos

GOYC Video Bulletin

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Videos

Fr.Idayanal’s speech at Kottayam Maha Sammelanam

Edayanal achen’s Speech (Part 1) at Kottayam Maha Sammelanam

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Columns Features Opinions

Factional Feud In The Malankara Church

This article by Chor-episcopos Mathai Edayanal is one that must inevitably be read by all Malankara Church members, who have the true genuineness to cleave on to the truth. This article is analyzing in depth the self interests and monitory greed of Antiochene Patriarchs, who ruthlessly devoured the Malankara Church. It awakes interest in the readers when Chor-episcopos Mathai Edayanal leads them into the subtleties of factional feud in Malankara. This series is published in IOH for its readers both in English and Malayalam with exclusive permission from the author.
Editor


FACTIONAL FEUD IN THE MALANKARA CHURCH

(Malankara Sabhayile Kakshivazhakku)

It is unfortunate that fights and court cases exist in Malankara for a long time. It can be a very valid criticism against the whole Church in Malankara, who shall be the eternal witness to Jesus Christ, that she does not pay any attention to the spiritual nurture of her children and spends her valuable resources and work force at courtrooms and police stations. Problems continue, as if they are ever not going to end, between the Patriarchal and Catholicose factions as two separate entities. It was only for twelve years, precisely between 1958 and 1970 that peace prevailed in the Church and the progress that has befallen during that period was remarkable too. Nevertheless this peace was obliterated. Children of various parishes of the mother Malankara Orthodox Church started to pitifully fight inside and outside the courtrooms. This is extremely agonising.

Innocent people, who are not in a position to understand the reality, believe the hollow statements and equivocating exhortations of the leaderships and fight against each other. This shameless drama is baptised with a noble nomenclature as ‘safekeeping the faith’. Not many people deliberate themselvesto understand facts or to inquire and comprehend the truth. ‘I would prefer continuing in the Church to which I was born and have grown up to something else’ is what the majority of people have to pronounce. The leadership that knows the truth hides it skilfully from the unpretentious folk and is exploiting their feelings to land to their perverted goals. Standard of many church leaders has gone even below the baseline like political leaders of no scruples. Truth will only be revealed to those, who seek it with open mind and no prejudice forthey will stand firm for the truth. Accusations, ridicule, loss of wealth or any like would not make them cowards. Truth will set them free (Jn 8:31)!

When we closely examine the books, publications, and substantial documents of the two factions, we can find out some facts that both parties unanimously agree. They agree upon that the Church in Malankara was established by St. Thomas, the Apostle of Jesus Christ, and they were called as MALANKARA NAZRANEES or MAR THOMA CHRISTIANS.

Divisions that occurred into the body of the Universal Church have reflected in the Church of Malankara as well. For instance, Nestorians, Catholics and other Christian denominations have entertained their supremacy over Malankara Church. Very Rev. Kurian Cor-Episcopa Kaniamparampil, who is one of the reputed and learned leaders of the Patriarchal faction, elucidates upon the above said facts in his book ’Aluvayile Valiya Thirumeni’ on page 3.

H.H. PETER III, THE PATRIARCH, IN MALANKARA

In 1876, the Patriarch of the See of Antioch H.H. Peter III arrived in Malankara. It was for the first time that a Patriarch of the See of Antioch was visiting Malankara. In the same year he summoned a meeting of representatives from parish churches and thereby formed the Malankara Suriyaani Kristiani Association (Malankara Association) and the Malankara Managing Committee (Managing Committee) for the better administration of the Church in Malankara. It was a Metropolitan, who was administering the Church in Malankara until then and he was known as Malankara Metropolitan.

H.H. the Patriarch divided Malankara into seven dioceses and enthroned seven Metropolitans for the administration of these dioceses. He also conducted Sanctification of Holy Myron (mooron koodasha) for the Church in Malankara and also ordered that all men above 21 from Malankara shall pay reesseessa (head tax) to the Patriarch of Antioch. This evidently accentuates the fact that the Church in Malankara remained under supervision and rule of the Patriarch of Antioch from 1876 onwards. It was the Patriarch alone, who could consecrate bishops and perform Sanctification of Holy Myron (mooron koodasha) for the Church in Malankara (Kurian Cor-Episcopa Kaniamparampil, pp. 16-17). However, it shall also be noted that the status of Malankara Metropolitan as the authority over the Church of Malankara was not abolished.

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Features Gulf News

“JESUSKIDZ DUBAI” a children’s quarterly Released


DUBAI: The maiden issue of “JESUSKIDZ DUBAI” a children’s quarterly publication of St. Thomas Orthodox Cathedral Sunday School ,Dubai was released on last week by Metropolitan Dr. Zacharia Mar Aprem.

“This is one of the milestone of this Sunday school. The Magazine is unique by itself as it is first of its kind in the Gulf Region” said Mar Aprem after releasing the first copy of the quarterly .

The Magazine is focused on encouraging the children to depict their multi talents and impart in them the faith and practices of our church.

The first issue contains; Articles which vary from high order things to light subjects of orthodox faith, Bible Quiz and crossword puzzle, Poems of Students, Bible stories with moral lessons, On-Looker (eye –opener to current issue), Master’s Voice (moral Teaching of a wise man), Saying from church fathers-(Serial), Church History – (Serial), Teacher’s Corner, Jokes & Cartoons and Counseling corner.

News sent in by: Rinu Thomas

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Features News World News

Metropolitan Yuhanon Mar Meletius calls for holistic approach towards development


BANGALORE : “Togetherness can be meaningful and Christian only when it involves participation in the struggle for a better world or something aimed at liberating from all kinds of slavery. We can never be better in a isolated way where only one or two faculties alone are addressed. This is where a holistic approach with regard to development becomes relevant. What we see around us in terms of development is beneficial for just some and most of the time at the cost of the majority,” said Yuhanon Mar Meletius, Metropolitan of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Diocese of Thrissur.

Metropolitan was addressing the youth on the special occasion of the centenary celebration of the United Theological College (1910-2010) in Bangalore recently.

The metropolitan addressed the audience for an hour on the theme talk — “Christian Youth in a post-modern World.”

The Metropolitan who gave modern examples to expound his theory pointed out that a relevant question at this point would be whether if postmodern world would help us to be with others? One of the philosophical positions of postmodernism is negation of communities and emphasis on individuals. This promotes the evolution theory slogan “survival of the fittest” which is carefully implemented through market economy.

Metropolitan quoted two Biblical verses for those working with Christian principles. “Where ever one or two are assembled I am in their midst” (Matthew 18:20) and “Whoever causes to stumble one of these little ones shall be thrown into sea.” (Matthew 18:6).

Dr Mar Meletius rightly mentions postmodern world having brought with it numerous blessings into our lives. But it has also placed challenges too. “The question is are we ready to share our resources with others or use them just for us and leave others aside unattended. If you follow this culture of “survival of the fittest” there will arrive people “smarter” than you are and will throw you aside on day, he predicted and warned…

“Define your life with a Christian perspective of love, sharing, caring and togetherness. Luxury and lavish life style, which we are advised to follow is a myth and will not last longer. Sharing and caring will sustain our lives and those of others too.

This, Metropolitan said, is the message of our youth of the postmodern world. “Love one another even as I have loved you.” (John 15:12) A distinguished alumnus of the UTC, Metropolitan Meletius was at home in his forthright speech. He shared the Christian principle of ‘kenosis’ or ‘self-emptying’ which is important in today’s lives.

“Unless you sell what is in abundance with you and give it to those who do not have, you cannot be called a Christian.” (Luke 18:22).
Trusts and foundations can be set up not only by big companies and by wealthy individuals, but also by use, every one of us, however poor that person may be. This is where ‘self emptying’ becomes relevant as he mentioned earlier.

The Metropolitan coined a new term called “human resource management” where in humans are considered just as clay, granite, coal, natural gas or petrol. He says the key word “exploit natural resources” was now applicable in the case of human too. Use them as long as they are useful and throw them away or exchange them for new ones when they cease to be useful.

He also pointed out how young people were looking for a life that is secure and decent. We realize that we have challenges before us. “The development we are talking about has influenced only certain areas and certain people,” he said.

Any talk about Christian should consider some of the fundamental principles of Christian life and for that matter human life in this world. One of the passages that he mentioned was the very first commandment of God. “It is not good that (hu)man be alone (Genesis 2:18 The word used is adam which means human and not ish which means male person) It is not only a talk about creating a partner, rather a commandment for mutuality and community based life of humans in this world, he reasoned.

There was also a buzz time followed by a plenary session during which a feedback was elicited from the groups. Proposals for continuing networking of the Bangalore Ecumencial Youth was also initiated during the seminar.

Earlier, Rev Dr Evangeline Anderson Rajkumar, Dean of Doctoral Studies, UTC and George Varghese, Director, YMCA, UTC coordinated the proceedings. Rev Dr John Samuel Raj, Principal, UTC, welcome the gathering.

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Features News Southwest America

Southern Family – Youth Conference from July 14 to 17 in New Braunfels


TEXAS: The Southern Region Family, Youth and Sunday School Students Conference – SHALOM 2010, of the Diocese of Southwest America, will be held from July 14-17, 2010 at T Bar M Resort and Conference Center, New Braunfels, Texas.

The theme of the conference is “For he himself is our peace”-Ephesians 2:14.

Eminent scholars Dr. Gabriel Mar Gregorios, Metropolitan of Thiruvananthapuram Diocese and faculty member of the Orthodox theological seminary, Kottayam, Alexios Mar Eusebius, Metropolitan of Diocese of Southwest America, Fr. Dr. Thomas Kalam CMI, and Fr. Dr. George. A. Levigyan will lead SHALOM 2010.

This year’s conference, an occasion for spiritual revival and family solidarity, will be hosted by St Gregorios Orthodox Church, Austin, Texas and St. George Orthodox Church, San Antonio, Texas.

For more details contact Rev. Fr. Sam Mathew Kavumkal, Vicar, St Gregorios Orthodox Church (512 779 4676), Austin or Fr. Mathews George, Vicar St. George Orthodox Church (210-995 -7602), San Antonio.

News sent in-Binu and Manisha Tharakan

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Columns Opinions

Who Was Patriarch Elias III : An Undercover story


Did you know that the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Elias III Shaker secretly got paid by Turkey to deny Seyfo and to stay loyal to the republic? New documents previously classified show that our church leaders played a bigger role than we have known, when the Assyrians were deprived of their minority rights in Turkey. Journalist Augin Kurt has taken a closer look at what has been revealed in the new documents.

In 1892, nearly 300 000 Syrian Orthodox Christians in Afghanistan converted to Islam. Reason: The rivalry between the Patriarchates in Mardin and Turabdin.

Read full

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Church News Features News

Some misguided elements trying to embarrass me: Dr Yuhanon Mar Meletius


BANGALORE : “I really do not know who this Mar Severios Moses Gurgan is and what their plans are. If their intentions are to embarrass and do me harm, I may have to resort to other steps,” said Bishop Yuhanon Mar Meletius, Metropolitan, Diocese of Thrissur.

”I cannot issue kalpanas for all activities or works by some groups against me. I don’t care and least bothered,” was the cool reply which the metropolitan had to say when asked about the recent happenings.

Metropolitan was retorting to various new media reports of his name being associated with the Severios Moses Gurgan group and plans to join them.

There are reports that the Antiochene Syriac Orthodox Church plans to consecrate Severios Moses Gurgan as the new patriarch. At present, Bishop Mor Severios Gurgan is at the helm of the Antiochene Syriac Orthodox Church. Mor Severios Moses Gurgan had recently consecrated two priests as bishops in New Delhi last month.

Dr Yuhanon Mar Meletius who was in Bangalore on a short visit to UTC recently pleaded ignorance on the entire episode.
In a Kalpana dated June 24, 2010, and signed from Mannuthy, Thrissur, Metropolitan has put out a neat reply in Malayalam which explains his points and facts.

”I am with the Orthodox group,” was his answer to a specific query on where he stood at present.