Self Proclaimed Catholicos & Malankara Metropolitan
George Alexander & Kisha D Dorado
Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE
Vatican elevates Self Proclaimed Catholics of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Rite as Cardinal.
Global/India:Vatican in a recent announcement elevated a number of Roman Catholic Bishops to the status of Cardinal, which also include Mar Beslius Cleemis the Major Archbishop of Syro-Malankara Catholic Rite which is a broken away group from the Indian Malankara Orthodox Church in 1930.
In the year 2005 this Church was elevated to the status of a Major Archiepiscopal Church and suddenly the Church began to address its Primate as Major Archbishop Catholicos. Catholicos title has not been granted by Vatican and that has been clearly mentioned in the letter (Port.N. 2581/2005/h) sent on 18th June 2005 by His Excellency Cardinal Walter Kasper, the then President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity to the late Metropolitan Philipose Mar Eusebius , the President of the Ecumenical Relations Department of Indian Malankara Orthodox Church.
But the Syro-Malankara Catholic Rite continue to use the title Catholicos along with tile of Major Archbishop. Apart from that the Primate of the Syro-Malnkara Catholic Rite claims the following titles such as “The Successor of the Apostolic See of St Thomas In India and Malankara Metropolitan” (www.malankaracatholicchurch.net/major_archbishop.html).
Both titles are exclusive privilege of the primate of the Indian Malankara Orthodox Church. So presently Major Archbishop Beslius Cleemis being a Cardinal confuse the situation further as he holds three tiles Major Archbishop, Cardinal and “self proclaimed Catholicos”. The original title is nothing more than His Excellency/His Beatitude Beselius Cleemis – Major Archbishop of Trivandrum of the Syro-Mlanakras (now a Cardinal).
Below mentioned are some doubts:
- How does the title of Major Archbishop/Cardinal and self proclaimed title of Catholicos go hand in hand? How shall the Roman Church explain the relation between these three titles?
- Is there a Vatican bull/official decree mentioning the confirmation of the title of Catholicos to the Major Archbishop of the Syro -Malankara Rite?
- Does Vatican accept the fact that Major Archbishop Baselius Cleemis has equal status with that of the Pope of Roman Catholic Church?
- Does the Syro-Malnakra Rite has the sole authority to take up the tile of Catholicos even though it has not been awarded by Vatican since the title of Major Archbishop and Cardinal has been officially awarded by Roman Church.
- Does the authority and decision of Major Archbishop/Cardinal Catholicos of the Syro-Malankara Rite considered final in canonical, ecclesiological , faith and administrative aspects of the Roman Catholic Church, because according to the Roman Catholic hierarchical structure, the decisions of the Pope alone are final.
- Does the Roman Catholic Church recognize the existence of the Throne of St Thomas under the throne of St Peter? What kind of explanation shall be given? So are there two Apostolic Thrones within the Roman Church?
The Churches of Eastern Rite are not subject o make any decision against the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (CCEO). But the Syro-Malankara Rite keeps violating this rule.
The elevation of Major Archbishop Baselius Cleemis to the status of Cardinal is indeed a direct blessing by the Vatican to enhance the strategies of stealing sheep’s from Orthodox Christian Churches in India.
Readers may wonder why does Orthodox Churches worry about his issue. Its only because we expect some ecumenical respect from the Roman Catholic Church and certain level of courtesy from the primate of the Syr0-Malankara Catholic Rite and also expect Eastern Catholic Rites not to steel the titles and exclusive privileges of Orthodox Churches and at least respect CCEO.
Moreover the Pope himself is the Old Orthodox Bishop of Rome, the Primate of Western orthodox Church who separated from the communion of Orthodox Churches by polluting the original Nicean Creed of the Church, and considering himself to be supreme leader over other sees.
For the kind attention of readers: It shall be noted that Bava comes from the Arabic word, BABA, which is the Arabic version of the Greek word, PAPAS, or PAPA. This is the same as Papa in Latin, which means Pope in the English language. Actually this is the title of the head of a Church. If the Syro Malankara Rite have a Catholicos and if he is under the Roman Pope, are there two Bavas or Popes in the Roman Catholic Church?
Article is written on behalf of the Council for the Promotion of Orthodox Christian unity and Faith – Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE.
OCP News Service