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Rift in Jacobite Syrian Church over Territorial Jurisdiction of Catholicos

Protest is brewing among Jacobite Syrian Christians against the alleged illegal activities of Catholicos Baselios Thomas I. Jacobite Almaya Forum, an organisation of the Jacobite Laity has come up with a demand that Catholicos should follow the constitution of the Church before taking crucial decisions.

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KOCHI: Protest is brewing among Jacobite Syrian Christians against the alleged illegal activities of Catholicos Baselios Thomas I. Jacobite Almaya Forum, an organisation of the Jacobite Laity has come up with a demand that Catholicos should follow the constitution of the Church before taking crucial decisions.

The Almaya forum leaders have also filed a petition before the Munsiff Court, Ernakulam, seeking to declare that the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church and Catholicos Baselios Thomas I have no authority to establish any diocese outside India and depute priests or bishops to those dioceses.

The forum leaders alleged that the Catholicos was not following the orders of the Patriarch of Antioch, the supreme head of the church.

“Catholicos is the head of the church in India, and his powers are limited to the territorial jurisdictions in India. He is appointing/removing bishops as he wishes, and present it as the decision of the synod. We suspect that the Catholicos’ aim to convert the church as an independent church,” they said.

“The Malankara Church in India is also part of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church under the supremacy and control of the Patriarch of Antioch. Therefore, the Catholicos cannot have independent powers to function,” they pointed out. The forum leaders specified that the Catholicos did not issue an order to remember Patriarch during qurbana, as per the traditional practice.

3 replies on “Rift in Jacobite Syrian Church over Territorial Jurisdiction of Catholicos”

Jacobite Shrestha Thomas I Bawa was ordained by the late Antioch Patriarch Zakka I as the Catholicose of India, and hence he has got jurisdiction only within India. This is the reason why the American Diocese of Jacobites, is directly under the rule of Antioch Patriarch.

The readers of Orthodox Herald may be stunned to know that there are already 4 persons called as “Catholicose”, do exist in Kerala now and they are:-

1) The very first and 101 years old “Catholicose of the East”, belonging to the Malankara Orthodox Church with HQ at Kottayam, who is the only one legitimate Catholicose, having approval of the Supreme Court of India.

2) The Shrestha Catholicose of Jacobite Syrian Church with HQ at Puthenkurishu, who was ordained as the Catholicose of India, by the Patriarch of Antioch, almost 25 years back, to counter the Malankara Orthodox Church.

3) The Catholicose- cum- Cardinal -cum- Major Arch Bishop of Malankara Catholic Church with HQ at Trivandrum, a contraversial post self created and held by Clemis Bawa, so as to to counter the divided Malankara Church!

4) For name sake, he is the 4th Catholicose of “Bharathiya Orthodox Church” with HQ at Quilon, whose name is Baseliose Yakoob I. He was previously an ordinary priest of Malankara Orthodox Church, who was elevated to the post of other 3 priests, having very few followers:

And How Many More to Follow? Only God knows!

The British was ruling India and with great struggle we got independence. There are still people around wants British supremacy and subservient to a foreign power. We have our own Constitution of The Indian Orthodox Church, those who cannot follow terms and conditions are free to leave. Any court case will only create strife among believers for the egoistical upper class hidden agenda. The world is getting smaller by the day, when the issue of appointment of Bishop is NOT confined to the Supreme Head of ONE church !!! The time has come for the members to have a say who should be their Bishop according to the Constitution at any part of the world.

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