Unfortunately in the previous week, some painful and unusual things happened in the Malankara Orthodox Church. We are not blaming anybody, but what happened has been unfortunate and unprecedented and it has caused great pain for the Church as a whole. I am writing this note, to reveal what really happened to our dear beloved Thirumeni.
1. The situation regarding His Holiness Baselius Marthoma Paulose taking charge of Mumbai Diocese from H.G Mar Coorilos.
One Mr Joseph gave a compliant to His Holiness against H.G.Coorilos. Mr. Joseph in his complaint, mentioned that some Pentecostal Pastors conduct a prayer meeting at Vashi Aramana, the head quarters of Bombay Diocese and the laid their hands on believers and prayed; and all this happened in front of H.G.Coorilos. Along with his compliant he gave five photographs as his supporting documents. At the same time he handed over the copy of his complaint and photographs to a website called Orthodox Herald and the same was uploaded in the site. Soon the news spread all over the globe like wildfire through Whatsapp and Facebook. His Holiness got these reports from social media as well. After getting all these reports, His Holiness asked Mar Coorilos for an explanation and inorder to facilitate more investigation His Holiness took back the charge of Diocese of Bombay from Mar Coorilos.
Let us look to the Website news, Copy of the complaints given by Joseph and the Photograph to find out its reality.
1. When we read the news published by the Web site Orthodox Herald, the title of news item shows the name of the complainant as A.V.Joseph and the in the actual news news it is P.V.Joseph. So who is the complainant? Is it A.V.Joseph or P.V.Joseph? [[To date no one has knowledge of who this person is — probably a fake name]]
2. Now let us look to the content of the news. The title shows that “Laying of hands by Laymen happened in Vashi Aramana. (Almaya kaivappu Vashi Aramanayil). But the photograph given along with the complaint is not of Vashi Aramana, it is of Chapel of Gregorian Community, a place situated in Roha, around 100 kms away from Vashi.
3. There are five photographs along with the complaint. Out of this five, four of them are taken from a Prayer meeting conducted by Rev.Fr. Simon Varghese, from Adoor and the fifth one is of an unofficial meeting happened in Roha Chapel. It is not an official program of our diocese. But His Grace participated in that meeting as an observer. And His Grace DID NOT attend the prayer meeting led by Fr.Simon Varghese at Vashi Aramana.[[There were 7 pictures totally in the complaint letter: 3 pictures are of Roha chapel, only 1 of them shows Thirumeni. The other 4 are of the program by Fr. Simon in Vashi]]
From the above facts it is very clear that it was a fabricated news and complaint to mislead and misguide His Holiness and Church as a whole. Five photographs collected from two different functions were put together as though they were all together and given to His Holiness along with the compliant by a person called Joseph(fake?)
Details of the two meetings.
1. Roha Meeting
The meeting convened in the Roha Chapel was not an official program of the Diocese of Bombay. It was a private prayer meeting conducted for the Marathi speaking people working and living in and around Gregorian Community. This was not a meeting led by the Metropolitan, who sat in for that meeting as a observer. Fr.Simon Varghese was the speaker in that meeting. Since he did not know Marathi, he spoke in Malayalam, and there was need for a translator, to translate the speech to Marathi from Malayalam. The translator was a local Evangelist from CNI Protestant back ground. He was not a Pentecostal pastor, but a missionary working among the local people, who do not know Christ. After the sermon and he voluntary prayed in Marathi, when the local marathi ladies came forward he put his hands on their heads and prayed. This was the time thirumeni when the picture was taken and His Grace was sitting there as an observer. If you look to the photograph closely and you can identify the local Marathi Women’s wearing their Saree in Marathi Style. They were no Orthodox Christians there and this was a meeting convened for the poor local Marathi people who are longing to know Christ.
[[This meeting of outreach for people in and around Roha is a good thing. The Church must open doors to the people outside. They must come to the Church and feel at home in the Church. They are not grounded in the Orthodox way of life. The Orthodox grounding and sacramental initiation can happen later when the people feel comfortable coming to the Church. The Gregorian Community in Roha is placed in the midst of the local villages and tribal areas and the Church has a mission among them which we cannot ignore. His Grace must be appreciated rather than crucified for trying to open doors for them]]
2. Vashi Program
The four photographs given along with the compliant is the prayer meeting conducted in Vashi Aramana under the leadership Fr.Simon Vaghese. Fr.Simon Varghese is a priest who received his ordination from H.G.Mar Coorilos. Ten years ago, he got himself transferred to Kerala and was serving in the Diocese of Adoor. His Brother Mr.Thomas Varghese is the present General Secretary of OCYM, Bombay. When Fr.Simon Varghese planned a personal visit to his brother Thomas Varghese, Thomas Varghese approached His Grace and got permission to conduct a prayer meeting of two days at Vashi Aramana on August 23 and 24. Actually H.G.Mar Coorilos was not aware of present charismatic style of Fr.Simon Varghese and without knowing this fact His Grace issued a Kalpana in this regard. The main point we should note is that, His Grace was NOT PRESENT in this prayer meeting and no layperson laid hand on believers and prayed in this meeting. The only fault that happened was, in the absence of His Grace, Fr.Simon Varghese conducted the prayer meeting in his Charismatic style. This is the actual truth.[[ Mar Coorilose did not realize this style of this priest and gave permission. HG should have been more careful.]]
Dear Friends, in this present society we live in anybody can disgrace any person through the social media. There is no place for ethics in the present society. Here, a great person, a spiritual father was tarnished by the social media.