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There are two Indian Orthodox parties. One that is loyal to the Syrian Patriarch whom we commemorate in Liturgy and the other to a Catholics. Both sides claim legitimacy; and condemn one another as heretics. With regard to the Independent Malankara Church, I learned the following:
Its first patriarch is St. Thomas, thus having legitimate apostolic succession.
I was told there was an Oriental Orthodox Council of which our blessed (who we all consider saint even if he's not canonized as one yet) Pope Kyrillos VI in Addis Ababa in 1965, of which all the patriarchs of the Oriental Orthodox, including the Syrian, recognized the independence of the Malankara Patriarch Augen, the successor of St. Thomas.
That same Syrian Patriarch (Mar Yakub) wrote a letter to the Catholicos Augen and told him that their patriarchal system is not a true successorship and that St. Thomas wasn't even a priest!!!
That Catholicos Augen sent a letter back to the Syrian Patriarch further explaining his position on why St. Thomas wasn't a priest. Instead the Syrian Patriarch ordained a counter Catholics and some bishops of which are loyal to the Syrian Patriarch. According to the Independent Malankara Church, this is against Oriental Orthodox canon in that a sister church must not interfere in the affairs of another church.
The Independent Malankara Church is now accusing the Syrian Orthodox Church of believing in Petrine Primacy like the Roman Catholic Church does, and is also accusing this sister church of ordaining bishops and priests of rich men and sometimes "illegitimate" men, that is those who haven't even completed their elementary school education. The Syrian Church is also accused of using the Protestant Mar Thoma bishops and Melkite bishops in the Eucharist services.
I haven't found much of the Syrian defense against the claims of the Independent Indian Church. They claim however that the Catholics that was ordained by a bishop that was excommunicated in the Syrian Church, which is why they see the Independent Church as illegitimate. Also, the Syrian Church does talk about the rudeness of the Indian Independent Church, such as Indian priests and bishops forcing themselves in a Jacobite Church even though they know they are not in communion. There're also other incidences of violence in Kerala, India between the two Oriental Orthodox churches. In reading many email forum messages, all I see is nothing but insults between the two types of Orthodox Christians. They are both Oriental Orthodox, and they are both in communion with us the Coptic Church, but they are both not in communion with each other, and everyday, the situation gets worse. We even have Oriental Orthodox liturgies that invite the Syrian Church and their "obedient" Malankara bishops, but not the independent. The Independent Church sees this as an insult to them, as if they are rejected from the Oriental Orthodox COMPLETELY. The situation is so sad, that it is ripping families apart, and making people of the Orthodox faith leave the Church or at least become negligent of the Church teachings, as I have witnessed myself. Is there anything done by the other Oriental sister churches, INCLUDING us the Coptic Church to study and solve the situation? What is the Coptic view of this situation? Are any of these accusations valid? Is it true that the Syrian Patriarch is teaching Petrine primacy and that St. Thomas wasn't a priest? Is it true that the Independant Malankara Church is "rude" and illegitimate in its priesthood?
Regarding our Sister Churches:
Indian: ' What is the name of their Pope?
Armenian: ' What is the name of their Pope?
What are the differences between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Church? I know there isn't much of a difference, but what was the political aspect of the split between the churches?
What are the primary theological differences between the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Churches under the Ecumenical Patriarch? Are these two groups currently engaged in a dialogue over these differences? Can we be cautiously optimistic that there will be a reconciliation and communion between these two groups in the near future?
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