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Fathers of the Malankara Church

1653 - 1876:

The year 1653 was a turning point in the history of the Church in Malankara when a large group of Nazranis (as Christians used to be called) under the leadership of Arkdakyon (Archdeacon) Toma took an oath renouncing the spiritual and temporal authority that Rome had exercised over Malankara Christians for about 60 years. The Arkdakyon was ably assisted by Anjilimoottil Itty Thomman Kathanar in organizing the resistance. The instigation for the oath was the assassination of Mor Hidayatullah (Ahathulla) in Goa at the hands of the Portugese. The oath was taken by a large crowd gathered together holding on to a rope tied to a leaning cross at Mattanchery and hence is known as the Koonen Kurishu Sathyam (The Oath on the Leaning Cross). The leaders of the community established contact with the ancient Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch then at Dayro d-Mor Hananyo in Mardin. Subsequently, the Syriac Orthodox bishop of Jerusalem, Mor Gregorius `Abd al-Jalil arrived in Malankara with several liturgical manuscripts. Following him, bishops arrived over the ages without much interruption as delegates from the Holy See of Antioch to minister to the faithful in Malankara. Many of them lived there for years, died and became part of its soil. A bishop of Malankara origin was also consecrated for the great diocese of Malankara. Linked here are biographies of some of these fathers who shepherded the church until the Mulanthuruthy Synod in 1876.

1876 - 1972:

In the year 1876, Patriarch Peter IV convened a Synod of the Malankara Church at Mulanthuruthy Marthoman Church which marked a new era in the administration of the Church. Six dioceses were created in Malankara and the Patriarch consecrated six bishops for these dioceses at St. Thomas Church, North Parur, in December 1876. By the end of the first decade of the 20th century, the Church was engulfed again by strife leading to a schism between those who sought to minimize the role of the Patriarch of Antioch in Malankara and those who wished to abide in obedience to the throne. This schism rent the church apart and despite a brief respite in the 1960s continues to this day. Many great fathers lead the Church ably during these turbulent times; some of their biographies are linked below.

1972 to Date:

In 1964 Patriarch Mor Ya`qub III arrived in Malankara to heal the schism in the church and consecrated Augen Mar Timotheos as Catholicos. Peace ensued but was unfortunately shortlived. In the early seventees, the two factions drifted apart and by 1972 the church was again in schism. In 1974, Patriarch Ya`qub III consecrated two bishops for the Patriarch faction and subsequently a Catholicos in 1975. A number of fathers have lead the church since then to this day. Some of their biographies are linked below.

Malankara Malphoné

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Last Update: Nov 22, 2005