By Liju Cherian – (OCP Delegate & Chief Correspondent)
OCP News Service- 25/1/15
OCP Media Network Exclusive
AHMEDABAD, India: His Grace Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Ahmedabad Diocese Metropolitan of Indian Orthodox Church, has come out openly in expressing his displeasure on unity and cooperation among Oriental Orthodox Churches.
In an exclusive interview with Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE (OCP) Society & Media Network recently, the Metropolitan said he was not satisfied regarding unity efforts. The Metropolitan went on to say that “Oriental Orthodox Churches should learn to respect and honour each other.”
Supporting the cause of a global Orthodox Christian unity, Mar Yulios said it was a wonderful concept and very much the need of the hour. “Orthodoxy is being discussed more often as a life-style more than just practicing a religion,” he lamented.
On the continuing schism between Syriac Orthodox Church and the Indian Orthodox Malankara Church and whether it can be successfully resolved on an inter-Orthodox platform with support from sister Orthodox Churches, Mar Yulios emphasised that the Malankara Church was only ready if they (Syriac Orthodox Church) were to honour the identity of the Indian Church.
When asked on how the young Metropolitan would like to organize a second conference for Orient Orthodox Churches, the Bishop said such meets will go a long way in remembering the past and to analyse the fraternal relationship with and within other Orthodox Churches, Christian communities and also interfaith issues.
The first conference of the Heads of Oriental Orthodox Churches, which was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in January 1965. The meet was undoubtedly an event of prime importance in the history of the church. For the first time it brought together in a formal meeting the heads of five of the historic Churches.
The Metropolitan also hailed the contributions of Late Lamented Metropolitan Dr Pauolse Mar Gregorious of the East, Fr Dr V C Samuel, Archbishop Theophilos of Mumbai, former Catholicoi Baselios Geevarghese II, Baselios Aughen I, Baselios Mathews I who went out of their way towards Orthodox unity and inter-Orthodox cooperation. “They all served with great vigor and enthusiasm, but I do not see if the legacy is being continued now!”
When asked about his views on the future of theological dialogue between Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches, Mar Yulios admitted that there had been virtually no growth or progress for a couple of decades.
When asked to specify the challenges for the global pan-Orthodox conciliar unity, the Metropolitan called for respect between Churches and to keep the territorial and ethnic boundaries. “Intruders should be discouraged and such issues should be spelled out,” His Grace pointed out.
However, on the flip side, the Metropolitan expressed his happiness about the activities of Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE (OCP) Society, which is the only registered organization dedicated to pan-Orthodox movement and has been founded by the members of the Indian Orthodox Malankara Church.
Dr Mar Yulios also expressed his openness towards supporting an independent pan-Orthodox NGO like OCP Society towards boosting pan-Orthodox cooperation in future and urged to keep the vigor and commitment towards upholding its unity.
OCP News Service