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Jews do not need to be converted to Christ because…

Vatican City: On December 10, 2015 the Vatican issued a new directive. The members of the Roman Catholic Church should never try to convert anyone from Judaism, “because Judaism is not another religion, Jews are our elder brothers. More over the Roman Catholic Church should work with Jews to fight against anti-Semitism.” This is indeed a conversion from the past. Think about the Jews who were forced into conversion to Roman Catholicism during the Carolingian period, middle ages and even during World War II, and the atrocities committed against Jews during the crusades and inquisitions. In view of these past treatments of Jews this change of heart is a conversion!

We wonder why James the first bishop of Jerusalem was martyred, and what the apostles who preached the Gospel among the Jews in Palestine and Antioch and other neighboring regions were doing, if not converting them to the Church of Christ! We urge Rome to read the Acts of the Apostles. It seems that Roman bureaucrats are losing their mind.

Petition to the Pope by 26 Women
“…Do not make celibacy obligatory for priests.”

In the Website of “Vatican Insider”, 26 women claimed that they were all in love with priests and they are going through a lot of hardship due to the discipline of celibacy imposed on these priests. They also explained the severe hardships all priests are going through because of imposed celibacy. “We love these men; and they love us. We humbly submit our hardships at your feet, Holy Father, not just for us alone, but also for the total good of the Church by changing this law”. They also requested the pope to bless their union. They did not forget to leave their names and telephone numbers in case the Holy Father decides to call them!

A “popular and liberal” Pope Francis should be able to understand that the “illicit affairs” of these women are reflections of thousands of ”priestly illicit affairs” among his priests across the globe. We hope the Holy Father will look upon the Roman Catholic priesthood with mercy so that the next generation of priests may not experience such “hardships”.

Source: Sangamam, May 22-29, 2015

The Pope Lifts Ban on Married Priests for Eastern Catholic Churches in America

The Vatican has lifted its ban on the ordination of married men to the priesthood in Eastern Catholic Churches outside their traditional territories, including the United States, Canada and Australia (Laura Leraci, Catholic News Service). In these countries these churches could not ordain married deacons to the priesthood due the ban imposed by Rome. During the latter part of the 19th century Latin Rite bishops in America protested the presence of married Eastern rite priests and did not permit them to exercise their priesthood in their territories, even if they had been married and ordained in their original countries. Further, they petitioned Rome to prohibit such ordinations in North America and suspend those priests who had been married and ordained elsewhere. During this period there were no jurisdictions of the Eastern Catholic Rites in America and every Eastern Catholic priest who arrived there was to be necessarily under the jurisdiction of a Latin Catholic bishop. This eventually forced more than 200,000 Ruthenian Catholics to return to their mother Church, the Orthodox Church. The Ruthenian Orthodox Church is a very strong Church in America.

Even in their own natural territories there are two Eastern Rite Catholic churches that still impose celibacy on their priests, a practice they had been forced to accept when they were under Latin Catholic domination of their churches. The Chaldean Rite of Malabar (currently called Syro Malabarese) originally belonged to the Church of the East in India, but this Church was forcefully brought under the Roman Church during the Portuguese colonial period in India in the 17th century, and was totally Latinized and lost its married priesthood. Later in the middle of the 20th century, Orthodox Metropolitan Ivanios defected to Roman Catholicism and established a new Eastern Rite hierarchy with the name Malankara Syrian Catholic Rite (currently called Syro-Malankarese). This Eastern Rite also began to impose celibacy on its priesthood at the insistence of the Syro-Malabarese who had been partially instrumental in getting the Syro-Malankarese under the Roman Church.

Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon (Eastern Catholic) Proposes Unity of the Three Branches of Assyrian Christianity:

Part of a New Religious World Order Advocated by Rome not only for Christians but also for all religions

Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako proposed a reunion between his church and the two largest Assyrian churches. In the website of the Babylonian Patriarchate he said:

“I would like to share some personal thoughts with those of others, sine they may contribute to achieving the project of the unity of the Church of the East……

“I propose that we adopt a single denomination for the church: the Church of the East, as it was for many centuries, and that we do not maintain the factional denominations. The single denomination will give its strength and momentum, and it can become a model for other churches”.

To realize his proposal, the Patriarch prescribes two preconditions: “The communion of faith and unity with the Holy Roman See is a fundamental base of unity. It is an increase of power, not a decrease, especially since there is no difference in doctrine, but only in its formal expression. Therefore, to think of disassembling the link of the Church of the East with the See of Rome would be a great loss and cause of weakness”. Source: Sophia, Fall 2015

Isn’t it the hidden agendum of all Roman Catholics? Why do we need an imperial Christianity after the pattern of the fallen Roman Empire that expired with the Barbarian invasion, especially if Christ did not require it for salvation explicitly in the Gospels? Good luck with you, Your Beatitude!

The Pope Calls for One Date for Pascha/ Easter

Catholic News Agency reports that Pope Francis signaled the possibility of changing the date of Easter in the West so that all Christians around the world could celebrate the feast on the same day. He told the World Retreat of Priests at the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome on June 20, 2015 , “We have to come to an agreement “ for a common date on Easter.

Historian Lucetta Scaraffia wrote in L’Osservatore Roman: The Pope is offering to change the date “as a gift of unity with other Christian churches”.

According to Asia News, Fr. Nikolai Balashov, Deputy Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department of External Church Relations, said the Pope “wanted to make a real step forward toward the Orthodox. It is a good gesture of good will.” But he was hesitant to make any comment on the Pope’s proposal as details on specifics are not yet available. But he cautioned against any “radical change of common traditions from the first millennium of Christianity.” “If the Church of Rome intends” to celebrate Easter as calculated “when the Church of the East and West were united… then this intention is welcome.” However if the Pope is planning to establish a fixed date disregarding canons of the Council of Nicaea in 325, “this proposal is totally unacceptable to the Orthodox Church.” Fr. Balashov said the date of Pascha will be on the agenda of the Pan-Orthodox Council in 2016 and will be debated as there are some confusion on this issue.

Source: Sophia Fall 2015

Catholicos Declares Archbishop Mar Julius Alvarez and Fr R Z Noronha as ‘Blessed’

Published Date : Sunday, December 6th, 2015 Time posted: 4:38 pm
By – Michael Rodrigues, Team Mangalorean

Udupi: Catholicos Basilios Marthoma Paulos II declared late Archbishop Mar Julius Alvarez (founder of Brahmavar Konkani Orthodox Community) and the late Fr R Z Noronha (First Vicar General of St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral Brahmavar) as ‘Blessed’ (Regional Saints) during Holy Liturgy at SMS Auditorium Brahmavar, here on Sunday, December 6, for regional veneration.

A large number of devotees, priests, and family members of Fr Noronha attended the historic event.

In his message, the Catholicos said Archbishop Mar Julius Alvarez and Fr R Z Noronha rendered their service with great devotion and enriched their lives through sacrifice. They have worked towards uniting the Christian community. As it was the tradition of the early centuries, Archbishop Alvarez and Fr. Noronha have also been declared blessed by popular demand of the faithful. Archbishop Alvarez and Fr. Noronha should live in our hearts, said the Catholicos.

On his historic visit to Brahmavar, the people of this region have vested their faith in the church. He also said that after assuming the ministry of the Catholicos, he had ameeting with Pope Francis and other heads of Christian faiths. “Faith in the church should grow. The Malankara Syrian Orthodox is with the people and will support developmental initiatives,” he added.

Metropolitan Yakoob Mar Elias of Brahmavar; Assistant parish priests – Fr Abraham Kuriakos, Fr Lawrence David Crasta, Fr Noel Lewis, Fr Lawrence D’Souza; trustee – Anil Rodriguez, Wilson Lewis and others were present.

About Archbishop Mar Julius Alvarez

Mar Julius Alvarez was born on 29th April, 1836 in the region of Goa, currently a State of the Indian Republic. He was ordained as a priest in the Roman Catholic Church 1869. As a priest and a staunch freedom fighter of Goa, the eminent personality, Fr. Alvarez, served in his land for spiritual and social upliftment of his countrymen for a span of eighteen years during 1869-1887. His philanthropy, patriotism and yearning for freedom from foreign Portuguese yoke, journalistic acumen and his aristocratic birth had won a good number of followers in Goa and South Canara. Due to the political and religious constraints of that time in his own region, Fr. Alvarez left Goa in 1887, geographically rerouted his mission area and started to concentrate his social and spiritual activities among his folks in Brahmavar.

After coming to Malankara in 1887, St. Gregorios of Parumala, Metropolitan of Niranam, raised Fr. Alvarez to the monastic order of Hieromonk (Rabban). On 29 July 1889, Hieromonk Alvarez was consecrated a Metropolitan with the episcopal name Mar Julius Alvarez at the Old Seminary, Kottayam by Metropolitan Mar Joseph Dionysius II Pulikottil of the Church of Malankara and St. Gregorios (Parumala), the first canonized Saint of Malankara. The newly consecrated Metropolitan Mar Julius was appointed as the Archbishop of India and Ceylon for the areas of the Orthodox Syrian Church outside Kerala. Thus a Latin Rite within the Orthodox Syrian Church of the East was born.

Mar Julius started the Brahmavar Mission in Karnataka in 1888. This mission was started in order to give spiritual leadership and to help teach the liturgy and catechism of the church for people from the surrounding regions who had newly joined the Orthodox Church. He was the shepherd of over 5000 faithful in Brahmavar who bestowed their allegiance to him. After organizing the community under the capable guidance of the Archbishop, they started the Malankara Syrian Worship and Liturgy.

The peripatetic style of missionary work of Brahmavar Mission slowly and steadily spread to many places in Karnataka, Andhra and Maharashtra. The Church continued its mission work by sending priests from Travancore for the St. Mary’s Church of Milagres and other mission fields in Brahmavar. Priests who served in Brahmavar include Fr. Koshy Thumpamon, Fr. Kuriakos, and Fr. Geevarghese.

A primary school was started in Brahmavar with donations and funds raised by conducting a lottery with help of lay workers like Vettiyil Annamma of Vakathanam. She was serving among the women in Brahmavar till 1930, when her parents called her back for a late marriage. In the 1930s, girls from Brahmavar who studied in the Primary School were brought for high school education to Balikamadam Girls English High School at Tiruvalla. This practice was continued till the school at Brahmavar was upgraded to a high school. During the short Onam vacations, these children were accommodated as honored guests in Christian houses around Tiruvalla.

Archbishop Alvarez was living in the Archbishop’s House in Brahmavar and serving the people till 1913. In 1913, he left Brahmavar and went back to Goa, the reasons for which are unknown. He had to suffer a lot of persecution at the hands of the Portuguese authorities. He spent the rest of his life collecting food for the poor people in Goa. He entered into eternal abode on 23rd September, 1923 at Ribandar, Panji, Goa and was interred in Goa.

About Fr. Roque Zephrin Noronha

Fr. Roque Zephrin Noronha was born on 20th Oct. 1850, at Angediva. He was the youngest son of Custodio Santa Anna de Noronha and Feleciana Dionisia Assumpcao da Silva.

Fr. Noronha preached the ‘Orthodox Faith’ to the coastal belt in undivided South Kanara viz. Brahmavar, Sasthan, Kolalgiri, Kandlur, Barkur, Neelavar and so on and laid a strong foundation of the faith.

He was impressed by the lifestyle and teachings of Metropolitan Alvarez. When FR, Alvarez was called to the episcopate the responsibility of St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral was handed over to Fr. Noronha. He started to follow the footsteps of his role model in high spirits and accepted the ‘Orthodox Faith’. This was because he learnt that St. Thomas had established the ‘Orthodox Community’ 2000 years ago in Kerala, South India.

The belief in Fr. Noronha still hasn’t died out in the hearts of the people of today because he was a person who was a saint in the making. Even after 74 years of his death, his memory has taken deep roots in the hearts of the masses, especially the elderly people of Brahmavar. He founded the Cosmopolitan Higher Primary School in the year 1916. The name of the school itself reveals the personality of Fr. Noronha.