Chaldean Syrian Church of the East


The Chaldean Syrian Church of the East is a metropolitan see of the Assyrian Church of the East. It is small group that separated from Pazhayacoor faction when the Malabar Church attempted to re-establish her relationship with the Chaldean Church.

Followed by the historical Coonan cross oath in 1653 AD, the Malabar Church was divided into two factions - Pazhayacoor (old party) Puthencoor (new party) - in 1665 AD.

The Pazhayacoor faction was not happy with the ecclesial support that they received from Latin delegates who imposed several Latin traditions that were foreign to the Malabar Christians. They sent petitions in large volumes to the Chaldean Patriarch. In response two bishops sent by the Chaldean Patriarch Joseph VI Audo, Mar Thomas Rocos (in 1862 AD) and Mar Mellus (in 1874 AD), reached Malabar. Both bishops managed get support from the faithful as they were eagerly waiting for prelates who followed their rite. It could be said that faithful who stayed away from Latin prelates during two schisms constitute the Chaldean Syrian Church of the East.

However, the combined work of Father Chavara Kuriakose, his subordinate priests and the Latin prelates avoided a great schism within the Pazhayacoor faction during the later half of nineteenth century. Mar Rocos tried to win Father Chavara over, and offered him Bishop’s position, but Father Chavara humbly refused the offer. On September 5, 1861, as a reply to Father Chavara's petition to Rome, a letter was received saying that Mar Rocos came to Malabar Coast without the permission from Rome. Later, Patriarch Joseph VI Audo himself from Rome requested Mar Rocos to return back to Mesopotamia.

However, not all schismatic Puthencoor faction was ready to return back to the Latin rite even after Rocos went back. They sent a priest named Anthony Thondanat to the Chaldean Patriarch to consecrate him as a metropolitan. But, the Latin authorities in Mosul did not permit the Patriarch to consecrate a bishop for India. Followed by that, Mar Abdisho Thondanat Metropolitan was consecrated by the Assyrian Patriarch Mar Ruwel Shimun in 1862 and this was the beginning of the Chaldean Syrian Church of the East.

During Mellusian schism, Rome sent a messenger to Malabar and followed by that, the Chaldean Patriarch had to call Mar Mellus back. Mellus, returned only by 1882 AD, but by the time of his return, he managed to create the infrastructure to continue work. When the news of Papal intervention spread in Malabar, a sizable number of faithful returned back to their Church under Latin delegates. The work of Mar Mellus enabled Mar Abdisho Thondanat to begin functioning as Metropolitan of India. In 1904 AD, they have received a confirmation from the Church of East that their Episcopal ministration would be uninterrupted.

 



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