“Thomas myth” raked up by the Kerala Church to suppress the multi-crore land scam racist, liturgical and  catechetical problems (1)

“Thomas myth” raked up by the Kerala Church to suppress the multi-crore land scam racist, liturgical and  catechetical problems (1)

Saint Thomas myth book - Tamil and English

Why “Thomas myth” raises head then and there?: Definitely, 120 or 130 crores of Indians, hardly few lakhs would be worried about the myth, fable, legend, story, tale, parable etc., about Thomas, doubting Thomas, doubtful Thomas or saint Thomas of any category, character or thing. However, the fanatic Christians, in spite of unhistorical nature, then and there used to repeat like parrot, “St. Thomas visited India”! Even, I  did not know anything about this. However, when the nuisance interfered with academic curriculum of the schools, I brought out a book “Saint Thomas myth in India” in 1989[1], exposing the useless, utter nonsense and unhistorical narratives spread not in accordance with history or with historical analysis. Ishwar Sharan brought out “Mylapore Siva Temple and Myth of Saint Thomas” in 1991[2] and 2010[3] [these books can be downloaded from the links provided at the footnotes]. As 90% of Indians have been secular, they do not bother about such myths, as they are concerned about their livelihood, attending to family affairs and other important work. Yet, the Christians used to disturb them with the fairy tales. So now, in 2018, the myth has started exploding again for unknown reasons. First, the rivalry among the “Thomas church” groups was reported, later turning into multi-crore land scam involving cardinal, bishops, and other Christian priests. As Indians used to think, “It is all their internal affair,” they read, heard and ignored the news and reports. But, the Christians want to draw attention of others. So the myth-debate has started.

Attack on Chidananda sami and promoting Ghulam Ali

Attack on Hindus, Hindu religion etc: Unlike other states, in Kerala, not only, the Hindu population is less, but, also, Hindus are targeted by the dominant, Communist, Mohammedan and Christian forces by many means. Now, everything is viewed in political perspective as 2019 General elections are nearing. Moreover, in Kerala, the power has gone to the Communists from the Congress.

Religion Population %
Hindus 1,82,82,492 54.73
Muslims 88,73,472 26.56
Christians 61,41,269 18.38

Evidently, the 55% Hindu population has been divided mainly by communist ideology and secularist principles followed and of course, the caste division of the Hindus. However, the slogan “Congress-mukt Bharat” has caught up the educated elite of the Keralites and some of them have started drifting towards BJP, mainly because of the charismatic leadership of Modi. Even Congress leaders like Shashi Tharoor have appreciated Modi. The Christian clergy has been having dialogue with RSS cadre. However, the uncompromising Marxists and Mohammedans have been fighting with right-wing groups in Kerala, many times leading to violence. Under such circumstances, the Church in Kerala might resort to strategy to target Hindus under the guise of raking up “Brahmin-SC/Dalit” issue under the bogey of “thomas myth,” as that serves them in many ways.

Church refutes -corrects Thelekkat - Mathru Bhumi- 15-04-2018

The Syro-Malabar Church issued statement refuting Fr Paul Thelakkat who reportedly declared that “st Thomas never came to India”: The “Thomas-myth” has been the worst type of falsified Christian propaganda circulated in India, in spite of historians making tall claims about “secular history, “secular temper” to deal with history and all. Perhaps, in recent times, it has come out in the media. Amid a controversy triggered by reported remarks of a senior priest questioning the belief that St Thomas visited India in AD 52[4], the Syro-Malabar Church today said the disciple of Jesus Christ did visit India[5]. “The official stand of the Syro-Malabar Church is that St Thomas had visited India”, the Church said in a statement here[6]. The statement was issued after Fr Paul Thelakkat, a former spokesperson of the church, last week [08-04-2018, Sunday] reportedly said there was no evidence to suggest that St Thomas had come to India[7]. Some newspapers and TV news channels quoting former spokesperson of the Syro Malabar Church had reported there is no evidence to prove St Thomas had come to India[8]. Some media even said this is the official stand of Syro-Malabar Church. “This is baseless…,” it said. The Syro-Malabar Church originated from the evangelisation works of St Thomas, said the statement issued by Bishop Sebastian Vaniyappurackal[9]. “World famous historians have accepted it as a fact. Many historic documents are there to support this,” he said. The “Business Standard” carried the story with caution[10]. The propagandist church however did not name such “World famous historians”!

Fr Thelakkad Denies Saying That St Thomas Did not Visit Kerala, Mathrubhumi
Fr Thelakkat clarifies that he never questioned the belief of his coming but converting Brahmins: Evidently perturbed by the Church attack, Fr Thelakkat today [15-04-2018] said he had never made a statement about the traditional belief that St Thomas had come to India. He clarified he had made certain remarks regarding prevailing upper caste feelings in Church while joining a debate kick started by Bishop Geevarghese Mor Coorilos of the Niranam diocese of the Jacobite Syrian Church on the issue. After all, Catholic priest cannot go against the hierarchy, Pope and the Vatican. “We should not rely on glory of a caste or tribe. That is dangerous,” Thelakkat told PTI. The Jacobite priest had recently criticised some church members for conducting hollow family meetings. He had said in a Facebook post that some of the families believe in fake myths that their forefathers were members of the Brahmin community and St Thomas converted them to Christianity. These kinds of false beliefs should be broken, he had said. Whether Brahmins were or not, the motive behind such belief, the drama of opposing and supporting myth etc., in the context has to be analysed.

SC- converted christians- controversy

Christians cannot fool, hoodwink or suppress Indians for their denominations existing for their ow reasons: Syrian Christians are divided mainly into Syrian Catholic, Jacobite, Orthodox, Marthoma churches depending upon whether they owe their allegiance to the Pope in Rome, the Patriarch in Antioch, Catholicos in Kerala’s Kottayam or Metropolita in Thiruvalla. In other words, it is their theological, liturgical, catechetical problem as to how they have been divided or to be divided. They just want to provoke Hindus by raising the casteist issue to suppress their racist and denominational divisions. Coorilos, who belongs to Jacobite Church, has mercilessly swung an axe at the root of the age-old belief that is pervasive across all the four sects – that their ancestors are Namboodiris who were converted to Christianity by St Thomas. It also questions the existence of churches like Malayatoor that is famously believed to be the meditative halt of St Thomas during his Kerala leg of his sojourn. Brahmins’ conversion to Christianity under St. Thomas had been a point of dispute for long. .

The Papal bull Gregory VX accommmodating caste

Caste and Christianity – Pope’s tactful accommodation: The Pope Gregory XV (1621-23) has definitely accepted the caste. The Bull of Pope Gregory XV, “Bulla Romanae Sedis Antistitis”, dated 31 January 1623, accedes to the requests of the missionaries to accommodate themselves to certain caste practices and usages of the new converts[11]. Why not then the present Pope annul the Papal Bull issued, instead of recollecting what he had said in 1986. In fact, after his visit, there had been so many “caste problems and issues” within the Indian Church. The Supreme Court itself pronounced that if the Chuch wants reservation based on untouchability and caste, such factors of existence in Christianity should be proven (Soosai vs UOI – AIR 1986). Then, started the research of Athony Raj, SJ with funds to prove that untouchability and Caste system were there in Christianity and practiced even today. The Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa (DRC) has separate Churches for whites, black and coloured ones. The Apartheid Enquiry Committee in its report clearly pointed out that the Bible was responsible for caste like division. Why then even in non-Indian societies such divisions should exist?

© Vedaprakash

17-04-2018

caste, christianity, SC- reservation

[1] The Tamil book, book “Saint Thomas myth in India” – can be downloaded from here –https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=%21AE9JnTvwIEO8PVc&cid=F97FE5FFAA8BA3D6&id=F97FE5FFAA8BA3D6%21144&parId=F97FE5FFAA8BA3D6%211423&o=OneUp

[2]  Ishwar Sharan’’s “Mylapore Siva Temple and Myth of Saint Thomas” 1991 edition can be downloaded from here – https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=%21AFZpdl8nyZY-SGE&cid=F97FE5FFAA8BA3D6&id=F97FE5FFAA8BA3D6%211429&parId=F97FE5FFAA8BA3D6%211423&o=OneUp

[3]Ishwar Sharan’’s “Mylapore Siva Temple and Myth of Saint Thomas” 2010 edition can be downloaded from here –https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=%21APmNJmffAGILUmY&cid=F97FE5FFAA8BA3D6&id=F97FE5FFAA8BA3D6%21154&parId=F97FE5FFAA8BA3D6%211423&o=OneUp

[4] Note in spite of the fact that CE and BCE notations are used by  historians and researchers, the media persons still use the “christian” notations!

[5] Malayala Manorma, Church corrects Fr Thelekkatt, says there is proof of St Thomas visiting India, Sunday April 2018 08:28 PM IST.

[6] https://english.manoramaonline.com/news/kerala/2018/04/15/st-thomas-church-india.html

[7] Mathrubhumi, Syro-Malabar Church refutes Fr.Paul Thelakkat’s remark on St. Thomas’ India visit.,, Published: Apr 15, 2018, 02:27 PM IST……

[8] http://english.mathrubhumi.com/news/kerala/syro-malabar-church-refutes-fr-paul-thelakkat-s-remark-on-st-thomas-india-visit-1.2744403

[9] Business Standard, Church says St Thomas visited India, Press Trust of India | Kochi, Last Updated at April 15, 2018 19:35 IST; First Published: Sun, April 15 2018. 19:35 IST.

[10] This is the appened warning: (This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/church-says-st-thomas-visited-india-118041500554_1.html

[11] http://hindooraashtrcom.fatcow.com/pdf/Caste-in-Christianity-Papal-Bull.pdf

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5 Responses to ““Thomas myth” raked up by the Kerala Church to suppress the multi-crore land scam racist, liturgical and  catechetical problems (1)”

  1. vedaprakash Says:

    Thomas’s visit under doubt
    Ananthakrishnan G | TNN | Dec 26, 2006, 01:14 IST

    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Thomass-visit-under-doubt/articleshow/926822.cms

    NEW DELHI: His reluctance to believe what fellow disciples said about Jesus Christ’s resurrection earned him the name Doubting Thomas. Centuries later, St Thomas — believed to be the man who brought Christianity to India — finds himself in the shadow of ‘doubt’ with none other than the Pope contradicting his evangelical trek in the country, only to modify it a few days later. But far from dousing the fire, the Pope has rekindled a debate and given critics an issue on the platter.

    Pope Benedict XVI made the statement at the Vatican on September 27. Addressing the faithful during the Wednesday catechises, he recalled that St Thomas first evangelised Syria and Persia, and went on to western India from where Christianity reached Southern India.
    The import of the statement was that St Thomas never travelled to south India, but rather evangelised the western front, mostly comprising today’s Pakistan.

    Knowingly or unknowingly, he had in one stroke challenged the basis of Christianity in India and demolished long-held views of church here that St Thomas landed in Kerala, where he spread the gospel among Hindus. The comments were especially a letdown for the Syrian Christians of Kerala, who proudly trace their ancestry to upper-caste Hindus said to have been evangelised by St Thomas upon his arrival in 52 AD.

    The comments went unnoticed until Sathya-deepam, the official mouthpiece of the Syro-Malabar church, picked it
    up.

    Writing in it, George Nedungat, a member of the Oriental Pontifical Institute of Rome, conveyed the community’s anguish and claimed that previous Popes had recognised St Thomas’ work in south India.

    • M. Nachiappan Says:

      Sociologist Susan Viswanathan, a professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, who has written a book titled, The Christians of Kerala, agreed that it was hard to prove conclusively whether St Thomas visited Kerala. “Whether they were Brahmins or not in the first century is a puzzle as is the question as to St Thomas coming to Kerala,” she said.

      But she also pointed out that St Thomas Christians – another name for Syrian Christians – have used their upper caste status through history to remain close to power. “Legends have their own emphases on probability rather than certainty,” she said. “These [Syrian] Christians are patrilocal and patrilineal like the Brahmins they claim descent from.”

  2. vedaprakash Says:

    Pope view angers Kerala Christians
    Pope’s statement that St Thomas landed in western India and Christianity spread from there to the South has kicked off a debate, reports Ramesh Babu.
    INDIA Updated: Nov 23, 2006 05:14 IST
    https://www.hindustantimes.com/india/pope-view-angers-kerala-christians/story-kh3xB2jJqRdbVwsCcBBzRO.html

    Pope Benedict XVI’s statement that St Thomas had landed in western India and Christianity had spread from there to south India has kicked off a debate among Christians in Kerala.

    Addressing a vast crowd at the St Peter’s Square during the Wednesday homily, Pope Benedict XVI stated: “Let us remember that an ancient tradition claims Thomas first evangelised Syria and Persia and then penetrated as far as western India from where Christianity reached also south India.”

    Kerala’s Christians are broadly divided into descendants of early Christians baptised by St Thomas and the rest drawn from marginalised sections and converted by St Francis Xavier in the 16th century.

    The former are called Syrian Christians, which refers to the liturgical rites akin to Syrian traditions and underlines their upper caste origins.

    The Syrian Catholic church was obviously not pleased with the papal homily, which questions their very origin.

    Cardinal Varkey Mar Vithayathil, the head of the Syro-Malabar Church, has pleaded the Vatican to shed more light on the part pertaining to St Thomas’s trip to India.

    The community in Kerala believes that St Thomas came to their land in AD 52 and established churches.

    Unless Pope Benedict XVI brings more clarity to his sermon, Christians, especially Syrian Catholics, have reasons to feel let down since what he said goes against their traditional beliefs.

    Fr Kuriakose Mundadan, editor of Satyadeepam (a church publication), agrees there’s little evidence to prove that the apostle had visited South India some 20 centuries ago.

    “But it’s our faith,” Fr Mundadan said. “It is the question of faith over which the Pope has total infallibility, but the tradition associated with apostle St Thomas baptising the early Christians in Kerala is linked to our existence, tradition and our custom.”

    It is not only Syro-Malabar Church that is offended by the controversial homily but also the Marthoma church, which as it is does not accept the Pope entirely as their supreme spiritual leader.

  3. vedaprakash Says:

    Did Thomas the Apostle visit South India?
    WRITTEN BY Don Sebastian

    Updated: Nov 28, 2006, 11:34 PM IST

    http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-did-thomas-the-apostle-visit-south-india-1066746

    After Kerala’s Syro-Malabar Church voices concern, Vatican corrects papal remark

    Pope Benedict XVI, who became the target of global protest after his comments on Islam and Prophet Mohammed, faces dissent from among the flock for his rediscovery of history.

    After the Syro-Malabar Church in Kerala voiced its concerns over the papal remark doubting Thomas the Apostle’s visit to south India, Vatican has corrected the speech in its official website.

    The Pope, in a general audience at St Peter’s Square on September 27, said: “Let us remember that an ancient tradition claims that Thomas first evangelised Syria and Persia then went on to Western India from where Christianity also reached Southern India.”

    The new version on the website supplants ‘Christianity’ with ‘he’ (St Thomas), returning to the old theory of the apostle’s visit to south India. The Syro-Malabar Church, which accounts for 4 million of the 24 million Christians in India, objected to the Pope’s casual remarks made in a series of catechesis on the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.

    The Church’s mouthpiece Sathyadeepam (Light of Truth), a fortnightly, ran an article on its November 19 issue criticising the Pope’s remarks.

    The article titled ‘St Thomas the apostle of India or of Pakistan’ written by Jesuit priest George Nedungattu reads: “Pope Benedict may seem to distance himself from his predecessors, especially Pope John Paul II, who on several occasions has referred to St Thomas as the Apostle of India. According to Pope Benedict XVI, however, the area St Thomas evangelised was not south India, but what he called “western India,” corresponding roughly to Pakistan today.”

    “Pope Benedict XVI has the reputation of being a theologian, but this is not the same as competence in Church history. His negative stand does not erode the merit of the Indian tradition about St Thomas as the Apostle of India.” The priest, who is working with Oriental Pontifical Institute in Rome, sites sources from early Popes to former Indian Presidents Rajendra Prasad and Shankar Dayal Sharma to prove his point. In 1986, Pope John Paul II visited the Santhome Cathedral in Chennai, where St Thomas is believed to be buried in a crypt.

    Syro-Malabar Church, one of the three Catholic Churches in Kerala, claims to have been formed by those directly baptised by the apostle, who landed in Kerala in AD 52 and was martyred in Tamil Nadu in AD 72. But Latin Catholic Church, established in the 15th century, has been less insistent on the claim.

    “The Pope’s statement is contrary to the views expressed by earlier Popes and official view of the Church. Earlier Popes acknowledged St Thomas as Apostle of India in their statements and records,” Father Paul Thelakat, chief editor of the fortnightly, said. Though there was no official rebuke to the papal theory, believers did not try to hide their resentment. Syro-Malabar Archbishop Joseph Powathil, however, said that “The Pope has been misquoted.”

  4. vedaprakash Says:

    MARXISTS DIG FOR APOSTLE THOMAS
    Tuesday, 03 April 2018 | Sandhya Jain l
    http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/edit/marxists-dig-for-apostle-thomas.html

    Kerala’s attempt to create spurious evidence of the arrival of Apostle Thomas in India merits wider dissemination. It must be seen as part of a concerned attempt to entrench the Cross in Asia

    Rescuing the antiquity of Indian civilisation from the biblical mythology of Max Mueller, rubbishing the well-orchestrated history-as-dogma of the Aryan invasion and proving the existence of river Saraswati, excavating and resurrecting the still unknown past, and restoring the once handsome architectural marvels that have fallen victim to time or iconoclasts, Indian archaeologists have their task cut out for them. Their work is critical in correcting the lacunas, misinterpretations and falsifications of history in various parts of the country, especially at the hands of scholars with a pronounced bias against our native traditions.

    Unless repudiated, invented history enters the popular mind as ‘fact’. The Aryan fable still persists because Marxists have been able to prevent all historical and scientific findings, disproving the movement of people into India at the time of the alleged ‘invasion’, from entering school textbooks where the foundations of knowledge are laid. This is why noted archaeologist BS Harishankar’s debunking of the Kerala Council for Historical Research’s (KCHR) attempts to create spurious evidence of the arrival of Apostle Thomas in India, unequivocally denied by Pope Benedict XVI in September 2006, merits wider dissemination.

    The excavations to identify Pattanam, in Ernakulum district, with ancient Muziris of the Cheras, began soon after the Syro-Malabar Church scrambled to rescue the legend that claimed India as the first mission of the church, long before it went to Europe. As a result, in November 2006, the Vatican Secretariat accepted the story as history, to project Christianity as an indigenous faith of great longevity. Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) embraced the project with alacrity; the brochure, ‘Muziris Heritage Project — Pattanam Excavations 2008’, lists Prof Romila Thapar as one of the patrons.

    In Pattanam: Constructs, Contexts and Interventions (2017), Harishankar denounces the presence of European and American scholars in the dig, while excluding the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and Indian universities. Eminent historians Prof Dilip K Chakbrabarti and Prof MGS Narayanan, and archaeologists Prof R Nagaswamy, Prof A Sundara, and Prof T Sathyamurthy, denounced the attempts to link Pattanam with Muziris, when Kodungalloor where the river meets the sea, is far more logical. Neither archaeological evidences nor historical records support Apostle Thomas arrived in India; he possibly visited Fars (Persia) and the Afghanistan region.

    Harishankar has referenced the Pattanam excavations with all researched and published material available. The KCHR, headed by Prof KN Panikkar of JNU, is alleged to have manipulated archaeological evidence and manufactured new evidence to ‘prove’ that Pattanam had historical ties with Jerusalem and other regions in West Asia from 1000 BC. He discusses the evidence that debunks the theory that there was ever a port city at Pattanam along the west coast, which the KCHR historians claim was an international trade route dating back to 800 BC.

    Interestingly, the claim that Apostle Thomas established the first settlement at Pattanam was independently debunked by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Trombay, and the National Institute of Oceanography, Kochi. The BARC scientists, who successfully traced the course of the Saraswati through radio isotope studies, examined Kerala’s mud banks during the monsoons and concluded that marine and palaeo-hydrological studies rule out the possibilities of a port city, wharf or township at Pattanam. In fact, the area excavated by the KCHR does not qualify for excavations as the cultural stratigraphy has been badly damaged by monsoons, floods, erosion, and construction activities. Moreover, as Harishankar maintains, the ASI is the only body competent to authorise excavations.

    Pattanam is not an archaeological mound, as claimed by KCHR. Western India, Harishankar argues, has several archaeological sites with ramparts or mud embankments to prevent floods. No such evidence has been found at Pattanam. On the contrary, the site at Pattanam in lower Periyar has coastal alluvium with sand and clay, and lacks laterite formation or thick soil. Hence, it was not chosen as an Iron Age settlement.

    Moreover, urbanism in early historic India involves certain precursors such as immense size, internal planning, public architecture, settlement hierarchies, enclosing walls, script, craft specialisation, long-distance trade, subsistence strategies and population growth. None of these exist at Pattanam, yet KCHR’s chosen scholars claimed as an urban site and port city. When the absence of these parameters were pointed out, the KCHR historians toned down their claims and alleged that the structural remains unearthed were carried away by locals, which is simply ridiculous.

    Curiously, KCHR forwarded the plant remains found at Pattanam to the Spices Board, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, though it has no competence to examine them. And despite premier institutions available in India, the carbon dating was done abroad. But what is more pertinent, KCHR’s modern historians with no experience in field archaeology should not have excavated Pattanam with foreign funds and a crew of Biblical scholars.

    KCHR appointed Dr PJ Cherian, with no academic background in archaeology, as director of the Pattanam excavations. Cherian’s PhD dissertation is on ‘The Communist Movement in Travancore: From the Origins to the Uprisings in 1946’ (University of Calicut, 1993). However, The University of Rome Tor Vergata granted a three-year research fellowship to PJ Cherian, Director, KCHR, and Pattanam excavations.

    To assist Cherian, some distinguished Biblical historians and Latin scholars were attached to the project. They include Istvan Perczel (Hungarian scholar of Byzantine history and early Christianity); Roberta Tomber (specialist in Roman and Indian Ocean pottery); Frederico de Romanis (expert on Roman and Portuguese pepper trade); and Irving R Finkel (British philologist and Assyriologist, expert in the script, languages and cultures of the Middle East). None is equipped to handle excavations; it’s a Max Mueller style of biblical mumbo jumbo.

    In an exhibition at the National Museum in 2014, KCHR claimed Pattanam is the third Indian site to unearth terra sigillata pottery after Arikamedu and Alagankulam in Tamil Nadu, though it has been found at Uraiyur, Kanchipuram, Vasavasamudram, Kodumanal, Karur and Sulur in Tamil Nadu and several sites in Gujarat and western India. It claimed that rouletted pottery from Pattanam was reported for the first time on the west coast, when it was found in 124 sites across the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.

    Cherian is the executive president of the Association for the Preservation of the Saint Thomas Christian Heritage. His claim that his excavation unearthed evidence of a 2,000-year-old port city at a place where Saint Thomas allegedly landed rests more on faith than on history or archaeology. It must be seen as part of a concerned attempt to entrench the Cross in Asia, particularly India.

    (The writer is Senior Fellow, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library; the views expressed are personal)

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