Introduction of the Syrian Orthodox Faith in Malabar (Post-1653)

Contextual Prelude: Coonan Cross Oath

The groundwork for introducing the Syrian Orthodox faith in Malabar was laid following the pivotal Coonan Cross Oath in 1653. This significant event at the Church of Our Lady of Life in Mattancherry, led by Archdeacon Thomas Parampil and other clergy, marked a collective resolution by the St Thomas Christians to reject the authority of the Jesuit Archbishop Garcia and the Portuguese Padroado.

Arrival of Mar Gregorios from Antioch (1665)

In 1665, Bishop Abdul Jaleel Mar Gregorios, a representative of the Syrian Jacobite Patriarch of Antioch, arrived in Malabar. This arrival was in response to the appeals made by Mar Thomas I (formerly Archdeacon Thomas Parampil), who, recognizing his lack of valid episcopal ordination, had reached out to both the Chaldean Patriarch and the Syrian Jacobite Patriarch of Antioch. The lack of response from the Chaldean Patriarch contrasted with the affirmative action of the Syrian Jacobite Patriarch, marking a decisive moment in the ecclesiastical orientation of the Malankara Church.

Reception and Role of Mar Gregorios

Mar Gregorios was solemnly received by the followers of Mar Thomas, acknowledging his authentic episcopal status and contrasting with their previous leader's lack of ordination. Mar Gregorios’ acceptance by the community underscored their preference for an Eastern bishop rooted in the Syriac tradition over Latin bishops. From his arrival, Mar Gregorios undertook the episcopal functions, while Mar Thomas I continued with the administrative leadership of the Church.

Integration of Syrian Orthodox Elements

The Syrian Orthodox faith's introduction under Mar Gregorios's guidance entailed restoring traditions that were altered following the Synod of Diamper in 1599. This period witnessed the gradual introduction of Syrian Orthodox doctrines and Antiochene rites into the Malankara Church’s liturgy and practice.

Establishing a New Ecclesiastical Identity

This era, under the joint leadership of Mar Gregorios and Mar Thomas I, was crucial in establishing a distinct ecclesiastical identity for the Malankara Church. It signified a transition from their previous affiliation with the Church of the East and the Roman Catholic Church towards a strong alignment with the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch.

history/malankara_syrian_orthodox_church_from_its_inception_until_the_time_of_reunion/introduction_of_the_syrian_orthodox_faith_in_malabar_post-1653.txt · Last modified: 2024/01/22 04:20 by smcc