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A Malayalee from California receives Award in television broadcasting

LOS ANGELES: Jobin Panicker of Los Angeles, California won an Emmy® Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Jobin is a television reporter and anchor for NBC in Fresno, California. He won in the area of writing and he has been honored with seven television awards dating back to 2010.

Jobin Panicker, son of Fr. Yohannan Panicker (Mecherayil Veedu, Kundara) and late Lilly Panicker. Jobin is married to Jenni Panicker.

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Managing Committee Proposes to Appoint Mar Nicholavos as Metropolitan of NE America

KOTTAYAM: The Malankara Managing Committee met on Thursday, February 24, 2011 proposed to the Holy Episcopal Synod to appoint Zachariah Mar Nicholavos as Metropolitan of North-East American Diocese.

The Holy Episcopal Synod that meets on February 25 will take a final decision upon this issue and thereafter the Malankara Metropolitan will issue necessary orders to this effect. The meeting accepted the proposal that Pulikkottil Dr. Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Metropolitan of Ahmedabad Diocese, has put forth.

Malankara Metropolitan and Catholicos of the East Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulose II presided over the meeting. The Malankara Metropolitan thankfully acknowledged and appreciated the efforts of Metropolitan Mathews Mar Barnabas, who had recently retired from all administrational duties of the Diocese of North-East America. “Metropolitan Mar Barnabas led the diocese for more than 18 years commendably”, observed the Pontiff.

Metropolitan of Ahmedabad Diocese Pulikkottil Dr. Geevarghese Mar Yulios led the meeting with a thought provoking meditation. Malankara Association Secretary Dr. George Joseph read out the Notice Order from Malankara Metropolitan and presented the minutes of the previous meeting.

The meeting condoled over the demise of Prof. E.J. Thomas Chor-Episcopos, who had been vice principal of C.M.S. College Kottayam for many years. The meeting also congratulated Dr. Alexander Karackal, who successfully served the Malankara Managing Committee for more than 40 years, Raju M. Varghese, Chairman FOMA, and Dr. Shaji Varghese, who secured the Mar Philoxenos Kashiro Award for best teacher. The meeting unanimously decided to let no stone unturned to make the ‘Nazrani Meet – 2011’ on April 10 at Marine Drive, Ernakulam a grand success. Ranchiladi Estate, Karnataka, will from now on come under the administration of Brahmavar Diocese.

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Move to Consecrate Bishop Gurgan as Patriarch

ATLANTA: Malayala Manorama, the leading Malayalam daily, reports that there is a move within the Antiochene Syriac Orthodox Church to consecrate Bishop Mor Severios Moses Gurgan as the new patriarch. At present, Bishop Mor Severios Gurgan is at the helm of the Antiochene Syriac Orthodox Church.

The report also says that there is move to consecrate five more priests as bishops. Mor Severios Moses Gurgan had recently consecrated two priests as bishops. Last week, Fr. C.G. Mathews, who was member of the Orthodox Church, was consecrated as Mathews Mar Gregorios and Ramban Youhanon, who belonged to the Patriarchal faction, was consecrated as Youhanon Mar Thimotheos.

There is report in the Malayala Manorama of the same day that another priest was professed as Ramban. This report is also causing raised eyebrows.

One Metropolitan from the Patriarchal faction is also alleged to join the five already existing bishops of the Antiochene Syriac Orthodox Church. It is also understood that there is possibility of another Catholicos from Kerala after the Patriarchal consecration.

Bull from the Catholicos of the East that clearly stating the stand of Malankara Orthodox Church on this issue is already on its way to Chrurches.

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Women’s Reservation Bill And Its Implications

After 14 years, the controversial yet historic Women’s Reservation Bill, ensuring 33% reservation for women in Parliament and state legislative bodies, was passed in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, 9th February 2010. The Catholicose and Malankara Metropolitan Baselious Marthoma Didimos I, welcomed this bill and described the measure as “momentous and historic”.

Women’s reservation in parliament and state legislatures would change the “culture of the country because women today are still caught in a culture prison. In the name of tradition, stereotypes are imposed and we have to fight these every day”.

John Calvin the Reformer of the Western Church wrote in his commentary to the first letter of St. Paul to Timothy in the following way: “Whatever hypocrites or wise men of the world may think, God is better pleased with a woman who considers the condition God has assigned to her as a calling and submits to it, not refusing to bear the distaste of (cooking) food, the illness, the difficulty, or rather the fearful anguish associated with childbirth or anything else that is her duty — God is better pleased with her than if she were to make some great display of heroic virtues and refuse to accept the vocation given her by God.” (John Calvin on I Tim. 2:15).

Eastern Fathers have expressed more than a thousand years back from Calvin very progressive and revolutionary ideas on liberation of women. Let me quote from St. John Chrysostom. “A woman undertakes no small share of the whole administration, being the keeper of the house. And without her not even political affairs could be properly conducted. For if their domestic concerns were in a state of confusion and disorder, those who are engaged in public affairs would be kept at home, and political business would be ill managed. So that neither in those matters, as neither in spiritual, is she inferior.”

The role of the woman is a much discussed issue in the world at large, and especially in modern society. We live in the day of women’s liberation, women’s rights, and the feminist movement. Women are clamouring for equality with men and are seeking fulfilment not in the home and not in raising a family, but in the profession, and careers traditionally occupied by men. The women’s movement has become highly organized, a political force to be reckoned with. It is not surprising, therefore, that there is also a parallel movement in the churches pushing for the admittance of women into the special office, the offices of minister, elder, and deacon. Women are enrolling in the seminaries. And some churches are actively ordaining women into the offices.

We want to clear up a common misconception and misrepresentation. Often the two sides on this issue are divided into those who are “for” women and those who are “against” women. The position “for” women means that women can do anything men can do, may hold any office that men may hold. All possible distinctions are to be erased. The position “against” women means that women are not allowed to do all that men do, are not allowed to hold every office that men hold, and are called to be in submission to the man in the home and in the church. At best this is a serious misconception; at worst it is a deliberate and malicious misrepresentation. It is our conviction that the Bible does not allow the woman to hold every office that the man holds and that the woman is called to be in submission to the man in home and in the church. But this is not a position “against” women, but a position “for” women, really the only position “for” the women. The Bible is “for” women, that is, the Bible has the woman’s own best interests in view and prescribes what is best for the woman herself. Exactly because the church is motivated by the good of the women themselves, the church must be committed to adhere to the Bible’s teaching on the question of women in office.

Vide Bull 266/2008, the Malankara Orthodox Church allowed woman to attend Parish General Body Meetings. But they have no voting power. It is the high time to think about the voting right in the General Body and reservation for ladies in the Managing Committee. Women play a major role in all areas of life from family to careers. They represent a significant portion of our church membership and are actively involved in many aspects of church operations. However, their exclusion from voting in General Body meetings and Managing committee duties contradicts the principles of equality and fair representation. Our tradition also sends a very negative message to our children about our church’s discouragement of the role of women in the Church. Our children should not be taught that a woman does not have equal opportunity in our church especially for the generations, who are now settled outside of India. In order for the church to prosper outside India, it must be willing to adapt to modern practices as other churches have done. Progress and success only comes with flexibility and practices with a positive vision for the future.

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Malankara Association to Meet on February 17, 2010

KOTTAYAM: Preparations are underway to meet Malankara Association on Wednesday 17, February 2010 to elect 7 more bishops.

The Sabha Managing Committee held today at Pazhaya Seminary finally gave green signal to elect 7 more bishops for the Church of Malankara.

The venue for the Malankara Association will be Mar Baselios Nagar, Sasthamkotta. The event will begin at 12 in the noon.

The Sabha Managing Committee had elected 3 of its members to the Screening Committee. Fr. Dr. O. Thomas, Dr. George Varghese, Delhi (Prasar Bharathi) and Adv. Biju Oommen Muringasseril from Thiruvalla are the newly appointed screening committee members.

The Holy Episcopal synod nominates for the screening committee are Thomas Mar Athanasius (Chengannoor), Dr. Thomas Mar Athanasius (Moovattupuzha) and Dr. Mathews Mar Severios (Synod Secretary) Kandanadu Diocese.

Priest Trustee – Fr. Dr. Johns Abraham Konattu, Association Secretary – Dr. George Joseph and Lay Trustee- M George Muthoot will be the Ex-officio members in the screening committee.

The Catholicose and Malankara Metropolitan nominated two more members from Theological seminaries. Fr Dr T J Joshua (Orthodox Theological Seminary,Kottayam) and Fr.Bijesh Philip ( Nagapur St.Thomas Orthodox Theological Seminary) are the nominated members.

The “largest church parliament in the world,” the Malankara Association, meets this time to elect seven more bishops. More than 4,000 delegates, comprising more than a 1,700 priests and nearly 3,000 laymen, representing the 1,700 parishes of the Malankara Orthodox Church all over the world will participate.

The constitution has clearly defined the composition and representation of the association. In article 71: a priest two laymen elected by each parish general body and the members of the existing managing committee shall be members of the association. This was later amended in time with Supreme Court directive. Now the representation of the lay people is based on the number of parishioners.

The association is the body that elects the members of the managing committee, bishops, the Catholicos and Malankara metropolitan. Malankara metropolitan is the president of the Malankara Syrian Christian Association.

The Malankara Association last met at the Mar Thimothios Memorial Higher Secondary School, Pampakkuda, on Thursday September 11 elected seven bishops from the 10 nominated by the managing committee of the Malankara Orthodox Church.

Those elected were Fr. Alex Daniel, Fr. Christophorous Ramban, Fr. Eldo Ramban, Fr. John Panikker, Fr. Markose Joseph, Fr. Mathew Baby and Fr. Stephen.

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7 More Bishops for Malankara Orthodox Church

holy-episcopal-synodKOTTAYAM: Sabha Managing Committee held today at Devalokam Aramana had decided to hold a separate meeting in September 2009 to discuss further on the recommendation of the Holy Episcopal Synod to elect 7 more bishops for the church in 2010. “This matter will be included in the agenda of the September meeting and the decision will be taken appropriately.” Said Dr. George Joseph, the Sabha Secretary to Orthodox Herald today after the meeting.

Holy Episcopal Synod of the Malankara Orthodox Church convened here on August 26 had decided to hold an Association meeting on Wednesday Feb. 17, 2010 to elect 7 more bishops for the church. This recommendation was welcomed by the managing committee and decided to hold another meeting with this agenda for a final decision. The next managing committee will also decide the date and venue of the coming Malankara Association. The age bar recommended by the Synod is 40 to 58 and Holy Synod authorized the Catholicose for extending the age up to 61 if needed.

The managing Committee also had decided to celebrate the centenary of the re –establishment of Catholicate in India in the year 2012 in Delhi and Kochi Marine Drive.

A committee was formed to revise the salary pattern of the priests of the church.

His Holiness the Catholicose Baselios Marthoma Didymose I presided over the meeting.

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