Thursday, October 30, 2014
പ്രപഞ്ചത്തേ ദൈവം 6 ദിവസംകൊണ്ട് സൃഷ്ടിച്ചതല്ല. ബൈബിളിനെ തള്ളി മാര്പ്പാപ്പ. മനുഷ്യനെ ദൈവം നേരിട്ട് സൃഷ്ടിച്ചതല്ല. കത്തോലിക്കാ സഭയില് മഹാസ്ഫോടനം.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
The great Culture of Our Syro-malabar Church
Jose Paul (Delhi)
(The author humbly asks the pro-tradition Masters to explain the difference between rites, the meaning of culture and the substance of the Church – Editor)
Many a time the existence of two or two dozen different types of faith (rites) have been propagated by the two prelates. But none of them answers one important question which the laity is perplexed with. Nobody tells us one or two or all the differences in faith of these different catholic churches. At least tell us the difference between the faiths of the Latin faith and Syro-Malabar faith? Is it because there is no answer which they are not willing to give? Or may be because there is no answer at all to this question? If you are two loving shepherds, of the Catholic Church, be bold enough to make these differences plain to the unknowing and spiritually uneducated lay men and women. At least that will clear a lot of cobweb from the minds of the faithful.
We must thank the Bishop of Faridabad diocese for the statement he made in the convention at Faridabad. He said “Those who are proud of their tradition and culture only should come forward and join the diocese” At least he brought out one difference between the Latin Church and the Syro-Malabar Church. The syro-Malabar church has a tradition and culture. The syro-Malabar hierarchy is proud of this culture and traditions. But many of the faithful still don’t understand what it means. Does it mean that in Catholic Church there are two different cultures? Can these people in the hierarchy specify one or two different items of culture that the Syro-Malabar people should be proud of? Can you mention one or two different items of tradition that we should be proud of?
Don’t these people know that the culture and traditions are things meant to be changed? If not, they become stagnant and sterile. Are not the culture of the Syro-Malabar Church changed in Faridabad drastically from that of traditions and cultures of Kerala. The Syro-Malabar Eparchy had a fund raising function in Delhi. Can the Kerala Syro-Malabar Catholic hierarchy imagines the Boll hood musicians, beauty queen from around the world, Punjabi dance team comprising of males and females to be the main attraction for diocesan fund raising for churches and for charitable activities in the name of Jesus Christ? I do not mean that anything is wrong in this. I am not a judge of traditions, culture or values. That is the prerogative of the 'spiritual' leaders who are sitting on high pedestal. But we can see the changes in traditions.
Next year we may invite Hollywood actors, belly dancers from Hawaii or even conduct a beauty queen contest on the stage. The essence of culture is money now. In Charles Dickens novel, Oliver Twist, the villain Fagin used to collect money by sending children to the streets to beg to fill his pocket. He even disabled many of them for better collection of his fund. We did not do such things to children. We only used the differently abled children in a highly sophisticated way on the stage to enhance “their happiness and our funds. No judgments on the actions of the hierarchy. Go ahead and prosper. Money is the King. Let the uneducated, uncultured, non traditional Syro-Malabar people who have no respect for culture and tradition, who do not want to be with the Syro-Malabar Church, go anywhere. They will be taught a lesson when they or their dependents come to Kerala for marriage or baptism. That is the culture and tradition of the great church founded by St. Thomas, the Apostle!
ഉല്പ്പത്തി പുസ്തകം തള്ളി പോപ് ബെനഡിക്റ്റ് 16 നടത്തിയ പ്രസ്താവന ശരിയാണെന്നും, പ്രപഞ്ച സൃഷ്ട്ടിയുമായി ബന്ധപ്പെട്ട മഹാവിസ്ഫോടന സിദ്ധാന്തം ശരിയാണെന്നും കണ്ണടച്ച് തുറക്കും മുന്പ് പ്രപഞ്ചം സൃഷ്ട്ടിക്കാന് മാന്ത്രിക വടി കയ്യിലേന്തിയ മാന്ത്രികന് അല്ല ദൈവം എന്നും പോപ്പ് ഫ്രാൻസിസ്.
Faridabad diocese was created in 2012 to cater to the spiritual needs of the Syro-Malabar Catholics in Delhi Latin-rite territory.
By Jessy Joseph
As a section of Oriental Catholics continues campaigns against joining the Syro-Malabar diocese established two years ago in Delhi, their archbishop has said the diocese will not put pressure on anyone to join it.
Although those who have been following Latin rite are supposed to follow their own Oriental rite when a diocese of their rite was established, "we will not compel any one," said Archbishop Kuriakose Bharanikulangara of Faridabad diocese.
“Stay where you are comfortable and no one is compelled to join the syro Malabar rite,” he said in his homily for the closing Mass of Santhom Bible Convention 2014 over the weekend.
“Those who are proud of their tradition and culture only should come forward and join the diocese,” he added.
Faridabad diocese was created in 2012 to cater to the spiritual needs of the Syro-Malabar Catholics in Delhi Latin-rite archdiocesan territory.
Archbishops of Delhi and Faridabad jointly issued a pastoral letter in November 2013 stating the transfer of all syro Malabar Catholics from the Delhi Latin-rite archdiocese to the Faridabad Syro Malabar diocese.
Some Oriental Catholics living in the national capital revolted the move to bring them under Faridabad diocese and asked Pope Francis to annul the pastoral letter of the archbishops.
The local Churches should be united to give common witness to the love and compassion of Christ said the prelate. “We need to promote unity and become one family,” he added.
He stressed the need for strengthening family life. It should be based on Bible values and prayerful. “Parents should strengthen the family ties by teaching their children faith education and keep the faith alive through daily family prayers,” archbishop Bharanikulangara said, adding that they should also set examples to their children.
Some 10,000 faithful attended the three-day Bible convention held in New Delhi from October 24.
Monday, October 27, 2014
കാറ്റും കോളും നിറഞ്ഞ സഭാന്തരീക്ഷത്തില് എല്ലാവരും ചീത്തയെന്നോ, എല്ലാവരും നല്ലതെന്നോ പറയാന് ആര്ക്കും സാധിക്കില്ല. എങ്കിലും, അപരന്റെ കണ്ണുനീര് ആരു കാണുന്നുവോ, അതാര് തുടക്കുന്നുവോ അവരെ നോക്കി മാലാഖാമാര് പാടാതിരിക്കില്ല, 'അത്യുന്നതങ്ങളില് ദൈവത്തിനു മഹത്വം!
(This is an article which appeared in http://pjsaunders.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/is-bible-reliable.html – Editor)
Greek Manuscript of 1st Corinthians 13
The Bible is actually a collection of 66 different books written by over 30 different authors in three continents in three languages over a period of 1,500 years which has been carefully complied from reliable copies of the original manuscripts (hand-written documents).
Christians believe that the Bible is both divinely inspired and an accurate record of God’s dealings with man. But many people today question its accuracy. This questioning usually boils down to one of four main questions as follows:
1.Did the events described really happen in the way the eyewitnesses claimed they did?
(Are there errors of fact?)
If the eyewitnesses did not relate the events as they originally occurred, then there are only two possibilities. Either they were mistaken or they deliberately lied.
Individuals may suffer from errors of perception but not whole groups. Unlike the 'revelations' of contemporary cult leaders many of the events described in the Bible were witnessed by more than one person. On examining the accounts we find a remarkable degree of consistency. Consider for example the parallel histories in Kings, Chronicles and the Prophets, the biography of Jesus in the four Gospels or the 500 who were said to have seen Christ after the resurrection. (1 Cor 15:6)
On the other hand would the authors deliberately lie? According to historical tradition, eleven of the twelve disciples of Jesus met a violent death on account of their belief in his resurrection. Would they really have put themselves through such suffering for a faith they knew was false? (1 Cor 15:15-19; 2 Cor 11:23-29)
2.Did the story change before it was written down?
(Are there errors of verbal transmission?)
Many people in our 21st century world of internet, email and word-processing believe that verbally transmitted information could never remain uncontaminated. But an examination of the way stories are passed on in contemporary non-literate societies quickly puts paid to this kind of cultural arrogance. Oral traditions are composed in easily memorable format and are constantly repeated and checked. Some early Muslim converts have memorised over 6,000 verses of the Qu'ran accurately! The capacity of the human memory is astounding as any mother who has read to her children knows.
Despite this, there was no chain of verbal transmission before much of the Bible was committed to writing. The words and deeds of Jesus were clearly recorded by eyewitnesses (2 Pet 1:16; 1 Jn 1:3, 19:35) or at least by those who carefully interviewed them (Lk 1:1-3). The meticulous detail in some of the observations proves their authenticity (Jn 19:34-5; 20:6-7).
3.Is what we have now what was originally written down?
(Are there errors of written transmission?)
Scribes who copied Scripture were meticulous in their attention to detail. One has only to look at old manuscripts like the Book of Kells in the Dublin Trinity College library, or some of the scrolls in the British Museum to see the truth of this. Even if we doubted this fact there are enough early copies of both Old and New Testament documents to show that they have not been changed over the course of time. Entire copies of the New Testament in Greek dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries (Codex Vaticanus, Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus) can be viewed today. Some of the earliest fragments (eg John Ryland) date from the lifetime of those who knew the apostles personally. Until last century the earliest Old Testament in Hebrew which we possessed was the Massoretic Text (cAD900). However, the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered at Qumran in the 1940s, (which contain parts of every Old Testament book save one) are 1,000 years older and virtually identical.
When comparisons are made with other documents of antiquity the Bible documents stand alone in terms of authenticating evidence. We know about Julius Caesar (whose existence no-one doubts) from less than a dozen copies of the original documents, the earliest of which post-date his death by 1,000 years. By contrast there are over 5,000 Greek manuscripts alone of New Testament records of the life of Christ and his apostles surviving from the first few hundred years after he walked the streets of Palestine (For more detail on this see here and here)
Apart from the New Testament documents, early Jewish and Roman literature also makes mention of Christ: his teaching, miracles, crucifixion under Tiberius and even the three hours darkness at the time of his death. (see Tacitus, Lucian, Josephus, Suetonius, Pliny and Thallus).
Archeological discoveries have repeatedly confirmed that those who wrote the Bible were consummate historians of the first order. (eg Ezra 6:13-16; Lk 3:1-2)
4.Are there contradictions?
Those who make reference to the 'thousands' of contradictions in the Bible are usually unable to name one. Most genuine contradictions can be attributed to minor errors in hand copying of individual letters or numbers (eg 2 Ch 36:9 cf 2 Ki 24:8) or to verses being taken out of context (eg Mt 7:8 cf Pr 1:28). Others arise when the same story is told from the perspective of different observers (eg Lk 24:1-2 cf Jn 20:1) This is what we would expect. If serial witnesses in court give identical testimonies, one might suspect that the evidence has been fabricated.
Some contradictions may seem at first difficult to account for, but can be explained satisfactorily (eg Judas's mode of death Mt 27:5 cf Acts1:18 and Jesus's genealogy Mt 1:6-16 cf Lk 3:23-31.) Apparent contradictions confirm rather than cast doubt on the Bible's authenticity. They would be carefully edited out in a fake. The fact remains that there is not a single error in the Bible which casts doubt on any significant historical biblical event or doctrine. Whilst accepting that there will always be mysteries, there are reasonable explanations for virtually all the so-called contradictions (See 101 cleared up contradictions)
Throughout the last two thousand years the Bible has withstood vociferous criticism with flying colours.
In my experience those who are most vocal in questioning it reject it, not because of the above reasons (these are just smokescreens!) but for one of five reasons:
1.Hearsay. They have never looked at it but have heard that others reject it.
2.Presuppositions. They believe that miracles cannot happen and because the Bible describes miracles it must therefore be false.
3.Science. They think the Bible makes claims which have been disproved scientifically.
4.Morality. They reject the Bible’s moral teaching especially about sexuality.
5.Personal. They are unwilling to accept the personal implications of the Bible’s teaching.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
രാമകൃഷ്ണന്റെ അടുത്ത് ഒരു മനുഷ്യന് വന്നു. അദ്ദേഹം ഒരു പഴയ സന്ന്യാസി ആയിരുന്നു. രാമകൃഷ്ണനെക്കാള് പ്രായക്കൂടുതലുള്ള ആ സന്ന്യാസി ഗംഗാനദിയുടെ തീരത്ത് ഇരിക്കുകയായിരന്ന അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ അടുത്തു വന്ന് പറഞ്ഞു: 'നിങ്ങളെ ജനങ്ങള് പൂജിക്കുന്നതായി ഞാന് കേട്ടിട്ടുണ്ട്. വാസ്തവത്തില് നിങ്ങളുടെ ജീവനില് ആധ്യാത്മികമായ എന്തെങ്കിലും ഉണ്ടെങ്കില് എന്റെ കൂടെ വരൂ, എന്നിട്ട് എന്നോടൊപ്പം ഗംഗാനദിയുടെ മുകളിലൂടെ നടന്നുകാണിക്കൂ.'
രാമകൃഷ്ണന് പറഞ്ഞു: 'നടന്നുവന്നതല്ലേ, ക്ഷീണം കാണും, അല്പം വിശ്രമിക്കൂ. അതിനുശേഷം നമുക്കു നടക്കാം. ഇപ്പോള് എങ്ങും പോകേണ്ടതായ ആവശ്യവുമില്ല. അതുവരെ നമുക്ക് അല്പം പരിചയപ്പെടാം. ഇപ്പോള് നാം പരസ്പരം അറിയുകപോലുമില്ല. വെള്ളത്തിനു മുകളിലൂടെ നടക്കുന്നതിനു വേണ്ടി എത്ര നാളുകള്വരെ നിങ്ങള്ക്കു പഠിക്കേണ്ടതായിവന്നു?'
ആ മനുഷ്യന് പറഞ്ഞു: 'പതിനെട്ടു വര്ഷം.' രാമകൃഷ്ണന് ചിരിച്ചുകൊണ്ട് പറഞ്ഞു: 'ഞാന് വെള്ളത്തിനു മുകളിലൂടെ നടന്നിട്ടില്ല. കാരണം, രണ്ടു പൈസകൊണ്ട് എനിക്ക് ഗംഗയ്ക്ക് അപ്പുറം എത്തിച്ചേരാന് കഴിയും. രണ്ടു പൈസകൊണ്ട് നടക്കാവുന്ന കാര്യം, പതിനെട്ടു വര്ഷങ്ങള്വരെ പഠിക്കുകയെന്ന കാര്യം വിഡ്ഢിത്തത്തിന്റെ ലക്ഷണമാകുന്നു, അത് ആധ്യാത്മികമല്ല. വെള്ളത്തിനു മുകളിലൂടെ നടക്കുന്നുവെന്നതില് അസാധ്യമായ എന്ത് കാര്യമാണുള്ളത്? ഇതില്നിന്ന് ജീവനെക്കുറിച്ചുള്ള എന്തു രഹസ്യമാണ് നിങ്ങള്ക്കു ലഭിച്ചത്?' Osho..
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Mature Thinking Year long on
Debatable Family Issues – Pope
Total transparency, away to all secrecy, enlightened Church Citizens to speak up, willing Bishops to listen, learn and dialogue at all levels, readiness to admit & correct mistakes publically by all are to be traits of Year long Reflection.
Rome Synod Extraordinary, ended without ending! It was a two-week transfiguration on mountain top in Seven Hills city. They have now come down to ground realities of scorching heat at local parish level. For what? To brood over wexing family realities at home for another year — till October 2015 – to become more mature before taking final decisions on what they (bishops): 1. Have rejected for the moment, 2.What they have accepted with proviso and 3. What they have embraced unthinkingly, just because they were the things they always did.One thing is logic and arithmetic of this mundane world; quite another, that of the world inside the bark of Peter in which the Nazarene takes a deep sleep like Kumbakaranan least bothered by thunder and lightning, fury of winds and waves tossing up Peter’s bark to dash it on giant Rocks. Peter thou art Rock, He had said. Which rock is to crush which rock? You and I have to find the answer.The kingdom of God has its own logic. The last will be first there, the winners end up as losers there, because it is in giving that we receive, it is in losing that we win, it is in dying that we are born to life eternal. Did these thoughts prompt a Washington Post to run the headline: “Pope Francis and gays will win by losing this round on synod draft”? Will they? They should, if the logic of the Gospel is to stay last and lost to come first; if the God of Francis is not a Catholic God, but a God of Surprises! So wisdom, both worldly and other worldly forbid us to open the mouth in judgment, until the juice extracted from ripe grapes crushed extraordinarily at this sitting and kept in sealed jars, is allowed to ferment for one whole year to mature with needed kick and modest sweetness for all to take a sip and dance in joy.Thorny Synod TopicsWhat are the thorny topics we have to ponder over at parish and “Domestic Church” (family) levels to which the debate is shifted now and to which the pastors have to listen with humility to learn and grow mature? They are broken marriages, divorced relations, remarried without annulment of the earlier one, cohabiting youngsters as well as elders, gay unions, lesbian relations and all that is included in the nomenclature in abbreviation LGBT taking in four groups — Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender—all of them seeking admission to Table Fellowship (communion).Which of these broken families are found in India? None? Who has ever done a survey? “Inter-religious marriages is problem here” says one of the three cardinals who returned from the synod. It is not clear on which survey his conclusion is based. Without conducting a Vatican ordered survey of families, Indian bishops sent their secret reports. It could have been an exercise in talking from their tops, an exercise in guess-work. Even if no data on inter-religious marriages is available, there are any amount of data gathered and sent to Rome on inter-diocesan, inter-Rite and inter-blood (pure and impure blood) marriages and complications created. They are very much discussed by Church Citizens in the Capital (Delhi Explosion), in Chennai, in Kerala and in USA. Bishops of the Indian Church refuse to take part in it. It is a forbidden topic for Catholic publications but a festive item in all websites run by Church Citizens.Is Christ divided and broken up, is the title of the 155 page petition sent to Pope. It highlights the messy Indian Church history from the creation of Kalian Eparchy, then leapfrogging across the ocean to Chicago, Melbourne; now spreading to Faridabad and planning to plant one in Chennai etc. All these are done by diktats from above while the Rome Synod demands: "Bishops from all over the world will have to listen to the laity in their respective dioceses…. I expect laypersons to be protagonists who search for real solutions with their heads held high!" according to Bishop Bruno Forte the Synod Secretary.So the first duty for the three Rite-based (not Jesus based) churches in India, to my mind, is to put their own houses in order first, by conducting a pew-survey of the three Rites and then acting on it to wipe out all conflicts. If one year was wasted doing nothing, there is still one more year left, to study ground realities and to make course correction to make themselves, led by Jesus, and not by their respective Rites, which is wrong.Migration Breaking FamiliiesAnother issue that causes the break up of families is poverty leading to migration to find at least unskilled work in gulf countries, causing prolonged separation for young couples who do not have the charisma to practice celibacy which the consecrated lot claims to have but fails many. And think of marriage described as a Sexual Sacrament of Intercourse by an Australian couple Ron and Mavis Pirola, from Sydney with four childre