Lots of times I have noticed that while discussing the problems in our
church, people like to criticize the catholic church and Vatican for their
self satisfaction.Why do they have to do that? That is the church
established by Peter 2000 years ago according to the instruction of Jesus,
who told Peter several times that he is the rock and that He would build His
church on that rock. Every Pope is the descendent of Peter. In the early
days of the church, the Popes did some mistakes, and as a result the
Protestant church took place.
St. Thomas and st.Peter heard the same messages from Jesus at the same time.
Definitely they meant to spread the same messaage. But in practice, the
orthodox church does not believe in everything the catholic church believes.
For example, we do not believe that St. Mary is immaculate or has no original
sin. We do not believe that there is purgatory. Did the Catholic church add
something to what Jesus taught or did the Orthodox church throw out something
that Jesus taught? Other than this difference, the Catholic church and the
Orthodox church follow the same faith. The Marthoma, CSI and Pentacostal
denominations are not close to Orthodox faith and still they get along well
and allow intermarriages. Why?
So in my understanding, the enemity against Catholic church is only because
of its western leadership. That is a rude attitude.
The Catholic missionaries go all over the world to spread the messaage
of Jesus. That is the way Christianity spread a lot. Is that wrong? How
many of them got persecuted and killed? I heard from a nun that several of
them got killed and their bodies were dumped in ditches in some Central
American countries.They are not looking for properties. The billions of
Catholics in the whole world are under one leader and an established
hierarchy.That does not mean that the Vatican owns all their lands. That has
nothing to do with land and property.There is peace and order in that
church. Our recent Popes are advocates of peace, especially Pope John Paul
II. He is against abortion and war. He visits communist, Jewish and muslim
countries for making peace, not for bringing everybody to catholic church
and encroach their properties. The devil is trying hard to creep into the
church and establish his rule there and he has succeeded to a certain
extent. That is why there are so many sex scandals among the American
priests. The devil creeps in where there is purity because those priests are
not married. It is our moral obligation to pray for them. Imagine ourselves
in that position in a modern country like America.
When I really get tired of our church disputes, sometimes I feel that
it would have been better if we followed the catholic missionaries and
stayed under their leadership because they care more about spiritual
leadership. There is nothing like this in the catholic denomination. In my
understanding,we went under the Patriarch only as a protest against the
catholic missionaries. The result is that we are still fighting which
includes even murder. The present catholic church is advocating peace and
unity. Let us follow that example within our church instead of criticizing
them for their past mistakes. Vatican is not trying to divide us; we are
dividing ourselves; that is why there are Patriarch and orthodox groups.
When Marthoma people divided from us, they took a piece out of the faith.
Also, let us give Virgin Mary the proper veneration she deserves and ask the
Holy Spirit to guide us through the proper path. Hope is still there. Ask
Mary to pray for our church, and she will do that if we give her the right
respect. I would like our leaders think over everything we believe and do.
Staten Island, NY