Indian Orthodox Church a small profile ::.....
During the later Old Testament times the Malabarian coast had trade relations with West Asia. These trade routes later enabled Christianity to reach Kerala, a state on the South Western coast of India. The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church is founded by St.Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ who came to India in A.D. 52. Tradition states that the Apostal Thomas preached the Gospel to the locals and baptized many and ordained some as bishops and founded seven and half churches. These churches remain the major Christian centers in Kerala.
Atleast from the 4th century the Indian church entered into a close relationship with the Persian of East Syrian Church. From the Persians, the Indian inherited East Syrian Language and liturgies and gradually came to be known as Syrian Christians.
In the 16th century Roman Catholic Missionaries came to Kerala. They tried to unite the Syrian Christians with the Roman Catholic Church. Those who accepted Catholicism are the present Syro Malabar Catholics. Later western Protestant missionaries came to Kerala and worked among Syrian Christians. Thus a small group inclined to their reformation in the liturgy as well as in beliefs and formed the ‘ Mar Thoma Syrian Church'. Another smaller body of the Syrian Christians opted to join with the CMS missionaries and be absorbed in the Anglican Church.
In the 17th Century the church has established relationship with the Antioch Church and as a result the church received west Syrian liturgies and practices. But there were differences of opinion over the authority of the Patriarch in the Malankara Church and it created certain difficulties. But the church has always been successful in maintaining its freedom and never allowed any foreign domination.
has entered into a new phase of its history by the establishment of the Catholicate in1912. Thus in 1912 Mar Abdul Messiah came to Kerala and associated with Mar Dionysius VI and the Bishops and the Church with him, to establish the Catholicate of the East in Malankara. The ceremony was held St.Mary's church on 15th September 1912. Niranam church is one of the churches founded by St.Thomas.
Our Eucharistic Liturgy and other Sacramental Liturgies are based on the West Syrian Liturgy. The Faith and Worship of our church is based on the theological doctrine that has been established by the three Ecumenical Councils of Nieca (A.D.352) Constantinople (A.D.381) and Ephesus (A.D.431).
The church is in communion with the other Oriental Orthodox Churches namely Antioch, Alexandrian, Armenian and Ethiopian Orthodox Churches. The church is in good ecumenical relationship with the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches.
At present the church is having a population of over 2 million with 24 Dioceses all over the world with 25 Bishops including the Catholicos. The proclaimed saints of Indian Orthodox Church are St.Gregorios of Parumala, entombed at Parumala and Vattasseril Mar Dionysus entombed at Old Seminary Kottayam and Yeldo Mar Basalious entombed at Kothamangalam. We have two theological Colleges: the Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam and St.Thomas Orthodox Theological Seminary Kalmeshwar, Nagpur.
We had the following dignitaries as Catholicos of the Malankara since 1912: H.H. Baselius Geevarghese I, Baselius Paulose I, Baselius Geevarghese II, Baselius Ougen I, Baselius Mar Thoma Mathews I. At present we have His Holiness
Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Didimos 1 as our Catholicose.
The Head Office of Indian Orthodox Church is the Catholicate Aramana, Devalokam at Kottayam in Kerala. Malankara Orthodox Church is now administered in accordance with the constitution adopted in 1934 which was passed by the Malankara Syrian Christian Association.
H G Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios Senior Metropolitan
|H G Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios Senior Metropolitan|
His Grace Dr.Thomas Mar Makarios, Senior Metropolitan of America and Metropolitan of Canada and Europe, a native of Kerala, India, was born on May 26, 1926, the son of Mr. Chacko and Mrs. Mariamma Kuttikandathil. After attending schools and colleges, he completed theological studies at the Orthodox Theological Seminary at Kottayam. He was ordained a priest in 1952 by His Holiness Catholicos GeeVarghese Baselios II. He came to New Delhi, the capital city of India, and organized congregations in North Indian cities. He became the first vicar of Orthodox Church in New Delhi.
It was during the time of the litigation of the Church that Mar Makarios showed his ingenuity as leader and scholar in Church History. He helped the lawyers of the church understand the history, traditions and Canons of the Church. This was instrumental in seeking an historic verdict by the Supreme Court of India in favour of the Church in 1958. Mar Makarios has studied in various religious institutions in England, Germany, Switzerland and France. He has been in the U.S since 1963 and earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Nashota House in Wisconsin, a Master's of Sacred Theology from Virginia Theological Seminary, and a Doctorate in Theology from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond. He returned back to India and worked as a professor of Church History at Orthodox Theological Seminary in India. In 1975, Mar Makarios was consecrated as a Metropolitan by His Holiness Catholicos Eugen I. In the same year The Catholicos appointed Mar Makarios the first metropolitan of Diocese of Bombay.
In 1979 Mar Makarios was installed as the first metropolitan of the Diocese of America of Indian Orthodox Church. Since 1985, Mar Makarios has been teaching religion at Alma College in Michigan. Although he is busy year around as senior metropolitan of his church in western hemisphere, he sets aside the time to come to Alma College. He believes that he can help give students a deeper insight into the `mysterious' insight of the Eastern Church. In recognition of Makarios's achievements and contributions to church and society, the college awarded him the degree of Doctor of Divinity Honourees Causa in 1990. In 1994 Mar Makarios was appointed as the first metropolitan of the newly created diocese of Canada and Europe.
In 1995, Mar Makarios was appointed as senior metropolitan of the Malankara Orthodox Church in America. Mar Makarios is a great teacher and defender of Orthodox faith. In guiding the Church in the western world into the third millennium, Mar Makarios has super blyevincing a rare and high order of vision, courage and foresight.