Posts Tagged ‘anagamali’

“Thomas myth” raked up by the Kerala Church to suppress the multi-crore land scam racist, liturgical and  catechetical problems (2)

April 17, 2018

“Thomas myth” raked up by the Kerala Church to suppress the multi-crore land scam racist, liturgical and  catechetical problems (2)

Discussing Thomas myth- Thelakkat and Narayanan

G. S. Narayanan pointed out that Kerala was not habituated during first centuries: Noted historian M G S Narayanan said there were no historic documents to suggest that St Thomas had come to India for evangelisation work[1]. “There were no human habitations here at that time in Kerala. There was only forest here. How would he visit such a place? For what? . Human settlements began towards the end of Mauryan dynasty, he said. It is common for religious heads and political parties to twist history for their benefit, he told a Malayalam TV channel. The Syrian Christian community in Kerala believes that St Thomas came to this part in AD 52 and had established churches. The community considers St Thomas as the ‘Father in Faith’ of Christians in India. The Syro-Malabar Church has over 30 dioceses in the country and four outside– in the U.S.A., Canada, Australia and Britain–serving over five million faithful. M.G.S. Narayanan had earlier questioned the claim[2]. “Thomashleeha (as St. Thomas is known in Kerala) is an imaginary thing. He is one of the apostles. He should be Christ’s contemporary. If he had come to Kerala, there would have been only forests in Kerala, let alone Brahmins,” Narayanan told Outlook. “Syrian Christians’ trade relations with Kerala started in 2nd and 3rd century. Brahmins came as a hegemonic community in Kerala only in 8th Century,” he said. Pius Melekandathil, professor at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), who is an expert on maritime history and church history, admitted that it is a matter of dispute however saying that the probability factor has to be taken into consideration.

Geevargheese Mor Cooilos denies Brahmins were converted by Thomas
The Bishop, Geevarghese Mor Coorilos asserted that Thomas never converted Brahmins[3]: The Bishop of Niranam diocese, historically one of the oldest dioceses of the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church in Kerala, has criticized the upper caste tendencies among believers fuelled by a “mythical” belief that St. Thomas converted Brahmins to Christianity in Kerala[4]. It is also widely believed that St Thomas, one of the 12 apostles of Christ, had converted members of top Brahmin families in Kerala to Christianity. Though the Abrahamic faith is devoid of caste hierarchies, Christian families often hold get-togethers to celebrate their lineage and put out books proclaiming their Brahmin origin[5].  The Bishop, Geevarghese Mor Coorilos, however, in a Facebook post announced[6] that he would not attend any such get-togethers, dubbing them as “programs to assert their artificially created upper caste identity and lineage.” “They say their ancestors were Brahmins converted by St. Thomas. They even put out their family history in books proclaiming such false notions. These baseless, savarna caste-oriented and reactionary myths have to be busted,” read his statement in Malayalam, adding, “I did attend such events due to my personal intimacy with them. But, I regret it. I can’t (do it) any more”.

Geevarghese Mor Coorilos asserts that Brahmins not converted by Thomas

Supporting Brahmin or Dalit – the Church divided: “It is a matter of debate. But, many historians have seen it as highly probable and reliable. The earliest reference to St. Thomas preaching gospel to Brahmins is from St. Jerome of 4th century. Among the converts , the Brahmin converts seem to have been quite significant enough to attract the special attention of St. Jerome, who mentions that the apostle went “ut Christus apud Brachmanas praedicaret” (to preach Christ to the Brahmins),” he said. “This needs more investigation. It is more nuanced and complex. Brahmin does not mean one single category of social group. There were different categories of Brahmins in Kerala. It was not a period where there was absence of Brahmins. It’s true they came as a hegemonic group only in 8th Century. But, there were Brahmins as scattered and fragmented community even before that. Duties and obligations of Brahmins under Chera empire are mentioned in Sangam literature,” he said. Melekandathil also said that there are written documents of maritime trade agreement between Muziris (in Kerala) and Alexandria from 2nd century obtained from Vienna archive in 1985. The Bishop, who also serves the World Council of Churches as moderator of its Commission on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME), later added, “Many address me as ‘Thirumeni’, a myth created by the upper caste[7]. They can call me a friend or father. If they want it to be formal, it can be Bishop. We have to change and should change many things,” To make his point, the Bishop quoted writer OV Vijayan’s statement “The English language is the best weapon to challenge the caste”.  He had also supported the hartal organised by Dalit outfits on 09-04-2018, Monday. “Normally, I do not support hartals as such protests in Kerala have not served their purpose. But I support the Dalit hartal wholeheartedly as it is against the atrocities faced by the marginalised sections under the fascist and feudal system. The people who are opposing the strike should introspect over their approach and mentality to the caste system and Dalits,” he posted on Facebook[8].

SC- converted christians- controversy

Catholic drama of caste, casteism and savarna: Fr. Paul Thelakat, former Syro Malabar Church spokesperson, echoed Coorilose’s statement. “In India we have bane that we irrespective of our religion have Manu sleeping within our consciousness. Everyone wants to establish one’s own upper caste glory. It is found in the ancient Christians of Kerala e.g certain families claiming to have been baptised from Brahmin families by St Thomas himself. St Thomas is supposed to have come to Kerala, it would be in the first century. Brahmins came to south India only in the 8th century. I am sorry to say upper caste mentality can be found also in Marxists in Kerala. Even though Marxism has a universal humanistic ideology, we find the upper caste surname kept, like Nampoodirpad, Menon, Pillai, Nair etc,” he said. Firm on his position despite the sharp and mixed reactions to his statement, Coorilos later wrote on the same post: “I am adding this after reading many comments to this post. Many of you are calling me ‘Thirumeni’ (a feudal honorific). That’s also a product of the savarna consciousness. You can call me a friend or Father. Or, if you want to make it more formal, you can call me Bishop.” “(Writer) OV Vijayan had said that English is the best weapon to resist caste. We must change. Change is must,” he said.

Church corrects Thelekkat - MM- 15-04-2018

Rs 80 crores land sold for Rs 27.30 crore: Just like Vatican, the Indian Church has also been involved in many scandals from sex to money swindling and other activities. Particularly, from Kerala, the crimes related to the Church have been horrible from murder, sex and financial scams involving all types of priests, bishops and cardinals also. Pressure is mounting on Cardinal George Alencherry, head of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church based in Kerala, to resign after allegations that church land had been sold below market value in a deal that he had approved. Alencherry, 72, was ordained as a Cardinal, a priest of the highest rank in the Roman Catholic Church, by Pope Benedict XVI in February 2012. He is one of only five Cardinals in India. The deal in question concerns the sale of three acres of land in Kochi by the Ernakulam archdiocese in 2016 to repay a Rs 60-crore bank loan it had taken to build a medical college. The agent appointed by the church to conduct the deal had estimated the value of the land at Rs 27.30 crore, but the church has so far received only Rs 9.13 crore of that amount. However, priests and lay people critical of the action claim that the plot was actually worth at least Rs 80 crores However, Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) doesn’t seemed to be amused over the controversy. “There is no need to discuss the issue now. Those who raised the issue should solve it,” said KCBC official spokesperson Fr Varghese Vallikkatt[9]. But church sources pointed that Fr Thelakkat’s statement was made in connection with the ongoing land controversy in the Eranakulam-Angamali archdiocese and the tiff between the Ernakulam-Angamali diocese and the Changanacherry archdiocese respectively[10].

© Vedaprakash

17-04-2018

CPM organises 'BEEF FESTIVAL' inaugurated by 'Fr' Paul Thelakkat. Reported with glee by 'THE HINDU'.

[1] Covai Post Network, Historian Narayanan rubbishes St Thomas’s visit to Kerala to convert Hindus, April 15, 2018.

[2] https://www.covaipost.com/kerala-news/historian-narayanan-rubbishes-st-thomass-visit-to-kerala-to-convert-hindus/

[3] Indian express, Kerala Jacobite Church Metropolitan Geevarghese Mor Coorilos fires salvo at faithful’s ‘false beliefs’, By Express News Service | Published: 10th April 2018 03:24 AM, Last Updated: 10th April 2018 03:24 AM

[4] http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2018/apr/10/kerala-jacobite-church-metropolitan-geevarghese-mor-coorilos-fires-salvo-at-faithfuls-false-belief-1799309.html

[5] Outlook, Bishop Demolishes The Biggest Conversion ‘Myth’ of Kerala , 13 APRIL 2018 Last Updated at 5:21 PM.

[6] https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/bishop-demolishes-the-biggest-conversion-myth-of-kerala/310974

[7] News.18, Histories of Old Christian Families in Kerala ‘Fabricated’, Chandrakanth Viswanath | News18Updated:April 10, 2018, 11:45 PM IST.

[8] https://www.news18.com/news/india/kerala-syrian-church-bishop-calls-histories-of-old-christian-families-in-kerala-fabricated-1714533.html

[9] Times of India, Fresh row in church over St Thomas’s ‘visit’ to Kerala, TNN | Apr 13, 2018, 10:50 IST

[10] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/fresh-row-in-church-over-st-thomass-visit-to-kerala/articleshow/63742878.cms

 

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