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Date: January 16, 2022 09:36PM

Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara rites, together with the Latin rite (Roman Catholic Church),form the Indian Catholic Church, one of the most flourishing in Christendom. Future priest soldiers are trained at SAINT JOHN OF DAMASCUS PONTIFICAL INSTITUTE, ITALY but priest Soldiers for Latin rite are trained separately at Russicum Pontifical College and Accademia Alfonsiana in Moral Theology.

The St John of Damascus Institute in Roma is wedged in a dense network of roads between the basilicas of St John Lateran and Santa Croce in Gerusalemme and is reserved exclusively to students belonging to the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church and Syro-Malankara Catholic Church..

A Roman Institute for two Malabar churches

The Institute’s day, begins with a morning Mass at 6.30. It is celebrated in the two rites in the respective chapels : in the larger, for the Malabars in the Syro-Malabar rite, in the smaller for the Malankaras in the Syro-Antiochene rite. “Then Mass is celebrated in the Latin rite"

The Syro-Malabar Church is the largest of the Thomas Christian denominations and the third largest sui juris Church in the Catholic communion, with a population of 4.25 million worldwide

Syro-Malabar Rite 1923

Syro-Malabar is a prefix coined from the words Syriac as the church employs the East Syriac Rite liturgy, and Malabar which is the historical name for modern Kerala.

The Church traces its origins to the evangelistic activity of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century.

The earliest recorded organised Christian presence in India dates to the 4th century, when Persian missionaries of the East Syriac Rite tradition, members of what later became the Church of the East, established themselves in modern-day Kerala and Sri Lanka.

The Church of the East shared communion with the Great Church (Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy) until the Council of Ephesus in the 5th century, separating primarily over differences in Christology and due to political reasons.

The Syro-Malabar Church employs an Indianised variant of the Liturgy of Saints Addai and Mari belonging to the historic Church of the East, which dates back to 3rd century Edessa, Upper Mesopotamia.

The Persian Church of the East Patriarch Shemon VII Ishoyahb's unpopularity led to the schism of 1552, due to the patriarchal succession being hereditary, normally from uncle to nephew.

Opponents appointed the monk Shimun VIII Yohannan Sulaqa as a rival patriarch. Sulaqa's subsequent consecration by Pope Julius III (1550–55) saw a permanent split in the Church of the East; and the reunion with Rome resulted in the formation of the modern-day Chaldean Catholic Church of Iraq.

After the schism of 1552, a faction of the Church of the East came in communion with the Holy See of Rome (Chaldean Catholic Church) and the Church of the East collapsed due to internal struggles.

Throughout the later half of the 16th century, the Malabar Church was under Chaldean Catholic jurisdiction.

Synod of Diamper and Coonan Cross Oath

Through the Synod of Diamper of 1599, the Malabar Church was subjected directly under the authority of the Latin Catholic Padroado Archbishopric of Goa and the Jesuits. After a half-century administration under the Goa Archdiocese, dissidents held the Coonan Cross Oath in 1653 as a protest. In response, Pope Alexander VII, with the help of Discalced Carmelite friars, by 1662, was able to reunite the majority of the dissidents with the Catholic Church.

The Syro-Malabar Church descends from this East Syriac Rite hierarchy that reunited with the Holy See. During the 17th and 18th centuries the Archdiocese of Cranganore was under the Syro-Malabarians, but it was later suppressed and integrated into the modern day Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Verapoly. Till then the Archdiocese of Cranganore Church was known then as the Malankara Church (Malankare Sabha).

After over two centuries under the Latin Church's jurisdiction, in 1887, Pope Leo XIII fully separated the Syro-Malabarians from the Latin Church (the Archdiocese of Verapoly remained as the jurisdiction for Latin Catholics). Leo XIII established two Apostolic Vicariates for Syro-Malabarians, Thrissur and Changanassery (originally named Kottayam), and in 1896, the Vicariate of Ernakulam was erected as well, under the guidance of indigenous Syro-Malabar bishops. In 1923, the Syro-Malabar hierarchy was organized and unified with Ernakulam as the Metropolitan See. The Syro-Malabar Church in effect became an autonomous sui iuris Eastern church within the Catholic communion.

Syro-Malankara Rite 1930

St Thomas landed at Cranganore, Thrissur. Following his arrival many people from Antioch, Armenia, Iraq, Persia followed to Cranganore searching for the Apostle. Archdiocese of Cranganore Church was known then as the Malankara Church (Malankare Sabha).

Among waves of Christian refugees who later settled on the Malabar Coast was a community of 400 Syriac-speaking Jewish-Christian families from Uruhu, near Babylon. That community—traditionally said to have been led by Thomas Kināyi (also called Thomas of Cana), a merchant-warrior; Uruhu Mar Yusuf, a bishop; and four pastors—settled on the south bank of the Periyar River. That arrival of the Malankara Nazarani, as they are referred to in Malayalam (Nazarani is derived from a Syriac term for Nazarene, indicating a Christian),

Historically, not wanting to accept the historical reality of Syrian migration, which happened in 345, under the leadership of Bishop Joseph and the trader Thomas of Canna, a group of Indian Christians in the Church of the East accepted Nestorianism, centred in Persia, practiced a variant of the East Syriac Rite that is known as the Malabar Rite.

However, a decline in communications between the Patriarchate of Antioch (which is the oldest and which claims Patrenal succession) and India led the Saint Thomas Christians to attempt to establish relations with other churches. As early as 1491, the Archdeacon of Malabar sent envoys to the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch as part of an effort to receive a bishop for his bishopless province.

In the end nothing came of the request, and the Patriarch of Antioch eventually sent a new bishop

The Malankara Rite is the form of the West Syriac liturgical rite practiced by several churches of the Saint Thomas Christian community in Kerala, India.

In 1653, a group of Saint Thomas Christians disaffected by Portuguese colonial rule and the drowning of delegate from the Patriarchate of Antioch (Ahatallah) joined Archdeacon Parambil Thoma and Anjilimoottil Ittythomman Kathanar (a priest from the Knanaya Christians), who gave courage to the Archdeacon, in vowing not to submit to Portuguese authority. This avowal, known as the Coonan Cross Oath, led to the formation of an independent Malankara Church with Thomas as its head.

To affirm his consecration as bishop, Parambil Thomas sent requests to several churches including the Syriac Orthodox Church, the only church responded was the mother church. Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Abdulmasih I responded by sending Gregorios Abdal Jaleel to India in 1665, and the relationship between the Syriac Orthodox and Malankara Church got re-established (in accordance to one faction of Indian Christians, who claims the establishment and succession of the throne of Saint. Thomas in India, from A.D 52 itself, this is seen as the birth of a new relation; they claim to be nourished by the Nestorian faith, but unfortunately now they follow the theology and Christology and liturgy of Syrian Orthodox Church).

Before the arrival of West Syriac tradition, Malankara Nazranis were following East Syriac Tradition

West Syriac liturgy was brought to India by the Syriac Orthodox Bishop of Jerusalem, Gregorios Abdal Jaleel, in 1665; in the following decades the Malankara Rite emerged as the liturgy of the Malankara Church, one of the two churches that evolved from the split in the Saint Thomas Christian community in the 17th century.

Syro-Malankara Catholics, who only came back into communion with Rome in 1930. “The difference from our Malabar brethren lies only in the liturgy, ours is the Syro-Antiochene. Whereas that of the Syro-Malabar comes from the Chaldean tradition.

When Malankara Syrians began to accept Antiochean prelates, Roman faction got an opportunity to call Malankara people as Puthenkootukar (new tradition) and call themselves as ‘Pazhyakootukar’ (old traditionalists) to cover up their 54 years of new European relation. In fact, Latin rites introduced in Malankara by Menezes were much more strange and unfamiliar than West Syrian rites for Malabar Christians who were traditionally accustomed with Syrianism.

Popes Latin Catholicism failed to attract Malankara Nazranis, hence Portuguese had to resort to appeasement as well as to pressure tactics to bring Syrians into their fold.

However Pope was able to weed out some West Syrian Malankara people to Roman Catholicism and that rebel group is The Syro-Malankara Catholic Church

The Syro-Malankara Catholic Church

represents the group from this Malankara West Syrian Christian faction that reunited with Rome in the 20th century (1930).

Mar Ivanios started to have negotiations with the Holy See of Rome in 1926 to enter into a new communion. The two bishops including Ivanios, a priest, a deacon and a layman were received into the Catholic Church together on 1930. This resulted in a significant movement of the faithful into the Malankara Catholic Church. Hindus, especially from Nair community,also joined the Malankara Catholic Church.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/16/2022 09:42PM by administrator.

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