Delivering the presidential address, Catholicos Baselius Marthoma Paulose II of the East said Malankara Church had to fight for 400 years to protect its rights.
|Catholicos of the East His Holiness the Baselius Marthoma|
Paulose II delivering his presidential address.
Photo credit: Catholicosate of the East
Kochi, November 26, 2012: His Holiness Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, Catholicos of the Holy See of the East and Malankara Metropolitan, Supreme Head of the Universal Orthodox Syrian Church of the East which includes the Malankara (Indian) Church on Sunday 25th November 2012 extended an olive branch to the Rebel Jacobite Syrian Christian faction (Jacobite Syrian Christian Church-2002) in the church, saying, “There is no reason for those having the same faith and liturgy to stay apart.”
Addressing a mammoth gathering of the faithful at the centenary celebrations of the re-establishment of Catholicate and the 1960th anniversary of the Malankara church at the Marine Drive, here, the pontiff said, “I am all for unity in the Malankara Church. I don’t know why it’s still a far cry, and who all are blocking it.”
“We never wanted quarrels and litigation. We never sought power and possessions, but only justice. We are not seeking any undue privilege or rights, but only what we deserve,” the Catholicos said.
“We want to worship God together as a single body. But who are the ones who violates the agreements that were made? Who prompts us to degenerate the holy tradition of St Thomas?” he said.
The Catholicos said a few evil perpetrators were standing against the unity. “However, our struggle for freedom should not make us bitter or hateful,” he said.
He also urged the members of the Church to restrain from hating oppressors.
Recalling a brief period of unity, Mar Baselios said he had the fortune to taste that unity once and he was longing for it again. “The Supreme Court had ruled in favour of us and what we sought was only what was due for us,” he said, referring to the church case.
He said that the Malankara Church was founded by St. Thomas the Apostle in AD 52 and hence the church was now celebrating the 1960th anniversary together with the centenary of the re-establishment of the Catholicate of the East.
The Catholicos also declared Rs 100 crore-worth of welfare projects at the diocese and parish levels, to mark the centenary of the re-establishment of the Catholicate of the Orthodox Syrian Church.
This included the setting up of the Parumala Gregorious Cancer Centre, various projects for treating heart ailments and kidney diseases, building houses for the poor, extending help for marriage of poor girls, helping farmers caught in debt trap, and implementation of a health insurance project.
Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who inaugurated the celebrations, said India showed the path for peaceful coexistence of various traditions and other countries should follow this model.
He also said that only faith in God would bring inner peace. “Material values and inner values should be combined for a peaceful life. In fact, a healthy mind is vital for physical health as well.”
Former Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who gave the main address, recalled the contributions of the Christian churches for national causes. He said people should embrace a combination that will unite economic prosperity and the spiritual way of life. He also emphasized the importance of imparting moral values during the early years of education.
The Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who released a souvenir on the occasion of the Catholicate centenary celebration, said the biggest achievement of the Christian Church in India was the adoption of Indian values. It also carried out its social responsibilities well.
A large number of religious, political, church and community leaders—including Indian Union Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies K V Thomas, Archbishop Mar Aprem, Metropolitan of the Assyrian Church of the East in India, Marthoma church head, Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan, Archbishop emeritus of Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Mar Joseph Powathil, Rev Thomas K Ommen, Church of South India, CPI-M Politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, BJP state president V Muralidharan, World Council of Churches Asia secretary Dong Sung Kung, National Council of Churches in India general secretary Roger Gaikwad, SNDP Yogam head Vellapally Natesn and mayor Tony Chammany—attended the public meeting. Tens of thousands of Orthodox Church faithful from all over the State showed up.
A huge rally was taken out in the city to mark the centenary.
In view of the huge crowd expected to attend the meeting, the police had announced traffic regulation. However, there were disruptions of traffic on the key roads in the city.
The Catholicate (Catholicosate) was re-established on 15th September 1912 by consecrating Mar Ivanios, the Metropolitan of Kandanad as the first Indian Catholicose of the East with the title Mar Baselios Paulose I. The Catholicate was headquartered in Persia until the end of the 19th century. The Patriarch of Antioch St. Ignatius Abdul Masih II (1895-1915) relocated the Catholicate to India in 1912.
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama joins in prayer at the opening of the centenary Celebrations of the re-establishment of the Catholicosate of the East and the 1960th jubilee of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in Kochi, Kerala, on November 25, 2012. Also seen are Kerala Chief Minister His Excellency Shri Oommen Chandy (1st left), His Holiness Catholicos Baselios Marthoma Paulose II of the East (3rd left) and Former President of India His Excellency Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. —Photo courtesy of Tenzin Choejor/The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama[OHHDL])|
World should follow India’s example: Dalai Lama
India exemplified how different religious faiths and traditions could live in harmony.
|His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, delivering|
his inaugural address. His Holiness Dalai Lama is both the
head of state and the spiritual leader of Tibet.—Photo courtesy
of Tenzin Choejor/The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama[OHHDL])
The Dalai Lama said that a fine matching of physical comfort with mental comfort was essential for the well-being of humankind. material comfort led only to physical comfort. But physical comfort alone could not guarantee an individual’s overall comfort. For this, a combination of physical comfort and mental comfort was necessary. The mental comfort would come from spiritual values.
He pointed out that a healthy mind was essential for a health body because a disturbed mind would upset physical health. He emphasised the importance of inner peace.
“We ourselves should create inner peace,” he said. Practice of love and compassion would help create inner peace, which would lead to non-violence. Non-violence was “very, very necessary” in the present world. “First, look into your inner world and create inner peace; then, verbal and physical actions will become non-violent”, he said.
Orthodox Church of the East celebrates Re-establishment centenary of Catholicate of the East
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