By the dawn of the 19th century the British had established themselves in India and Kerala had come under their sway. The Kerala of today included then the 3 regions of Travancore, Cochin and Malabar. The first two of them were native states each ruled by its own King, and the third included the territories of Samuthiri of Kozhikode which the British had annexed to the Madras province of British India. The two native states had accepted the political Legemony of the British. A resident on them was appointed to preserve the interest of British East India Company and later on of the British Crown.
The first two residents were Col. Colin Macaulay and Col. John Munro. They were Anglican Christians of evangelical persuation, who at their heart interested in the advancement of Christianity in the Indian Sub Continent. They befriended with Christian communities of the Kerala regions, both Roman and the Orthodox. In this policy the decisively departed from the tradition of the Portuguese and the Dutch. Of these two earlier powers the Portuguese were Roman Catholics and the Dutch were Protestants who had oppressed and ignored the Orthodox. The Orthodox at that time was infact in a condition deserving real assistance. These British residents were willing to extend all possible help to it.
It was while Col. Macaulay was in office a Trust Fund of Orthodox was instituted with the East India Company to yield 8% annual interest. Col. Munro who succeeded Macaulay in 1810 desired that it would be possible in course of time to work out a way for the Indian Orthodox to cooperate with the Anglican Church. He helped the Orthodox in various ways.
- He involved in the founding of a seminary at Kottayam, which is now known as Orthodox Theological Seminary which is the Centre of the Orthodox Clergy’s training.
- He implemented a plan of collaboration of the Church missionary Society (CMS) of the Anglican Church with the Orthodox church of India.
Of these two Programmes the proposed Seminary was founded in 1815, but it had to pass through long periods of painful strain and inactivity both in the 19th and 20th Centuries, The programme of missionary Co-operation led to the unfortunate divisions in the church. It was infact the after-effects of those sorrowful developments that had been plaguing the Orthodox.
The Founding of Seminary
The Orthodox Church had no educational institution of its own for the training of candidates to priest hood. To remedy this in 1813 Pulikottil Joseph Ramban, a senior priest of the church from Kunnamkulam took the initiative and as the result of his work it was started in 1815. Col Munro impressed by the plan encouraged Ramban by all possible means at his disposal. For the Seminary secured from Rani Lakshmibai, the ruler of Travancore 16 acres tax-free of land Rs 20000/-, the timber needed for the construction and other grants. It was at the persuation of Munro who was both resident and chief minister to the state; it was possible to obtain all such assistance to the establishment of the Seminary. Munro also made it possible for the ramban to draw the interest on the Trust Fund deposit money which had been lying accumulated for three years. Thus by 1815 Seminary began functioning. Soon the resident came to realize that according to the original stipulation the recipient of the interest had to be the Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church and that the Seminary needed competent teachers to undertake teaching work in it. The only bishop available at that time who could lend co-operation to perform the consecration of Joseph Ramban was the Syrian metropolitan of Thozhiyur. As he was requested by the resident to extend his assistance he readily agreed. Joseph Ramban, thus, was appointed bishop with the name Mar Dionysius II in 1816 and royal proclamations both from the states of Travancore and Cochin were issued to confirm the appointment. Here too Munro’s role was prominent. But a party within the Church began to question the validity of Dionysius Episcopal status from Thozhiyoor. This party was headed by the Konattu Malpan who was then a teacher at the newly founded seminary. But the royal proclamations though silenced them for a time yet they waited for an opportunity to revolt against. Thus while such an internal dispute was prevailing on the CMS mission of help started functioning in the Church and at the Seminary.
The CMS Mission of Help
As part of his programme of assistance to the Orthodox Church Col. Munro requested the Church Missionary Society to divert a few of it missionary personnel for service as a “Mission of Help to the Indian Orthodox”. And the Society favourably responded and between 1816 and 1818 4 missionaries arrived in Travancore. Behind the arrival of these missionaries there had a history of 1806. When Col. Macaulay was resident two representatives of the Anglican Church – Claudius Buchanan and Richard Hall Kerr had visited the orthodox and their metropolitan Dionysius I. They had discussions on various subjects and were eager for a collaboration between the Anglican Church and the Orthodox and thereby help the latter to grow into a strong community to take up the Church’s missionary task effectively in India. The metropolitan favoured the idea but insisted that such collaboration in no way should tamper with the faith of his church or the integrity of its priestly succession. Neither side however went into the details of the way the cooperation was to be worked out. Buchanan on his part while returning to England had advertised on the various backward and forward conditions of the Indian Orthodox and requested his church and mission society to render possible assistance to this church and in such context too the CMS missionaries arrived.
When the missionaries arrived they were well-received by the Church at a function held in December 1818 at Mavelikara, yet both sides had misgivings from the beginning and were not appropriately solved. The missionaries on their part suggested that a committee of representative should take the question of introducing appropriate changes in the traditions of worship and life as they were being maintained in the church, but many in the assembly were not in favour with the suggestion. However, Mar Dionysius III, the successor of Dionysius II (who served the church only for a short period as bishop), co-operated with the missionaries for 9 years till his death.in 1825. He was succeeded by Dionysius IV and for 4 years from 1825 Mar Philixinos of Thozhiyur also served the Orthodox as their metropolitan.
The first batch of CMS missionaries worked in the Church were Thomas Norton, Benjamin Baiely, Joseph Fen and Henry Baker. Apart from teaching engagements in the Seminary Bailey involved in the vernacular translating of the Bible and Printing. Fen was the Seminary Principal. Baker arrived in 1818 and his field of work was establishing schools in connection with the Orthodox parishes which numbered about 55 then. Malayalam N.T was published in 1829. The missionaries had freedom to preach in the Orthodox parishes during services. Due to their efforts the custom of married clergy was reintroduced in the church. Thus all along there were symptoms of a revival in the church. But the missionaries were not satisfied with the slow spirit of the church especially in changing the prevailing traditions. However with great expectations the first generation of missionaries had toiled till 1826.
Mean while, a section of people and clergy in the Church who disliked the programme of collaboration became restless. Since it had the support of the residents, they did not want to come out in the open against it. They did however appeal to the West Syrian Patriarch to send a bishop and take control of the church.
It should be noted since the time of the connection of the Orthodox with the West Syrian patriarch the former had not accepted the jurisdictional claims over the Indian church of the patriarch. Though the Patriarch had desired for it and his bishops had tried for it by forming a party from the Indian Church the plan did not work out although. Till this time the Orthodox Church was carrying on with its services on its own, without any references to the Patriarch. Due to that freedom the church accepted the services of the missionaries. Now when a party in the church called for his aid, the patriarch got opportunity for involving himself in its affairs and he sent a bishop in 1825. His name is Mar Athanasius. As soon as he landed he at once, with the support of the party which stood for Patriarch cause, met the resident with credentials to accept him as the bishop of the Orthodox instead of Dionysius IV and Phielixinos. Resident refused the plea but allowed him to visit the Orthodox Parishes. But he counting on the support of the party tried to force his way into the Seminary and to bring everything under his control. Calling in questions the validity of Episcopal orders of the two Indian bishops he sought to reconsecrete them under the authority of his patriarch. This indeed was too much. With the approval of the Indian bishops Mar Athanasius was asked by the government to leave India soon. Those who stood beside him were also subjected to heavy legal and monetary punishments. Thus failed another attempt to subject the Orthodox under the Patriarch.
But the effect of this on the CMS collaboration.with the Orthodox was decisive. The pro-patriarchal party felt, the cause to their failure was the presence of the missionaries and collaboration. Metropolitan Dionysius IV was conspired to more against collaboration. As time passed on it was possible for the party to bring Dionysius IV to their side and ill-feelings between the missionaries and the Church People had become pronounced. The early batch of missionaries had come to be replaced by new ones, some of whom were impatient with regard to some important issues in the church. They felt no reform could be possible or strengthening of this church in the direction of mission could also be impossible. Due to such frustration they felt for some radical measures. Then tension emerged.
When matters came to this state, some of the leading members of the Auglican communion in India saw need for a negotiated settlement of the issue. This however had little success. At last bishop Daniel Wilson of Calcutta was asked to intervene. He came in 1835 to Travancore and proposed six points’ programmes for consideration by the metropolitan. They were all apparently reasonable, but the Church was made to see in them an attempt to violate its integrity by a body that wielded political power. Dionysius placed the matter in a general assembly of the church which met at Mavelikara in Jan 1836 and outrightly all proposals were rejected with this decision: “We are Jacobite Syrians subject to the patriarch of Antioch, observing the church rites and rules established by the prelates sent by his command. We cannot, therefore deviate from them… as no one possesses authority to preach and teach the doctrines of one religion in the church of another without the sanction of its, Patriarch, we cannot permit the same.”
Thus closed collaboration with the CMS of the Orthodox after 20 years. The outcome was detrimental. It had 3 consequences. One, the collaboration was called off. At that time a small body of the Orthodox in a few places asked to be admitted into the Anglican Communion which the missionaries did. In 1837 the missionaries formally broke off their connection with the Orthodox. And out of these people the central Travancore diocese of the Church of England was eventually materialized.
Two the missionaries put up claim on the assets gained for the Orthodox during the 19th century. The resident arbitrarily decided it giving almost all everything to the missionaries giving nothing to that Orthodox except the old Seminary.
There, the opponents of the missionaries stood by the resolution of 1836. But there was another section of people in the church who would not go by it. They organized a movement to reform the Church from within it obviously along the principles preferred by the missionaries. Their leader was Abraham Melpan of Maramon. He introduced a number of changes in the holy Qurbana Service and other forms of worship. The result was division in the church as reform group and conservatives. They fought for the next 60 years. As the result the Marthoma Church and the Jacobite Syrian Church of Malabar emerged. The former as independent while the latter as succumbed under the West Syrian patriarchate. How this took place is the subject of our next study.
The Origins of the Jacobites and the Mar Thoma Churches
In his eagerness to suppress the reform movement Dionysius IV aggravated the problem by banning its leaders. But provocated as they were they made their minds to strike back. They knew that West Syrian Patriarch whom the conservative wing had approached in 1825 was possible to be contacted by them as well, with the same old story that Dionysius IV had not been properly raised to the office of bishop, and that for a long time the Malabar Church had been going on with invalid succession of Priesthood. They selected deacon Mathews of Maramon, a nephew of Abraham Malpan as their candidate for conscervation as bishop and sent him to the patriarch in 1841. Because they felt that without a bishop the reform party could not survive.
The West Syrian Patriarch Elias II readily consecrated him as Malankara metropolitan. He was infact the first Indian national ever to be directly ordained to any rank in the clergy by a West Syrian Patriarch. Fortified with credentials he came back to Kerala in 1843 and he is Mar Athanasius. The next ten years he engaged himself in establishing his office as metropolitan of the church. In this fight Dionysius IV fell down disastrously. How all these took place is very interesting to narrate.
As soon as Mar Athanasius came back to Kerala, he sought to obtain the support of the community. For which he called an assembly of his own partisans at Kallungathara in Kottayam and produced a document with these declarations to be presented before Civil authorities to get his claims recognized. The Kallungathara declaration contains: that “A meeting of metropolitan Mar Athanasius and churches including Angamaly and Niranam, which are under the control of Father of Fathers, the patriarch of Antioch” was held. With this declaration in the resolution Athanasius approached authorities making three claims.
One, the West Syrian patriarch from whom he had episcopal consecration was indeed the Head of the Orthodox church of India, and that therefore Athanasius had the right to govern the church.
Two, Dionysius IV had not been consecrated by the said patriarch. So he had no right to hold the office as bishop.
Three therefore, Dionysius IV be expelled from the office, which he keeps to himself unauthorizedly, in favour of Athanasius.
From 1843 Athanasius made not less than 9 representations to the effect, but with no success.
Mar Dionysius now found himself in a state of dilemma. He came to realize that the only way to strengthen himself was to win the patriarch over to his side. This he could not do consistently. Because that patriarch was displeased with him from 1826 due to the expelling of the Athanasius, the patriarchal nominee. Moreover on that occasion he had denied the authority of the patriarch over the Indian church. In 1829 he consecrated a successor bishop to the Thozhiyoor without reference to the Patriarch. While he wrote a letter to Kottarakara church in 1843 against Mar Athanasius not to accept him saying if he be accepted he would surrender the Indian church to the patriarch, he had denied the patriarch. Another profile in the inconsistency of Dionysius IV was the acknowledgement of the Patriarch as the head of the Indian Church in Mavelikara padiyola of 1836. After the arrival of Mar Athanasius Dionysius made up his mind to follow in line with the position of Mavelikara 1836.
The bishop wrote to the patriarch making in effect these four things:
One, Mar Athanasius whom the patriarch had consecrated in 1842 did not represent the Indian Church because he is the leader of the reform group.Two, in conservating him for the Indian Church the Patriarch had committed a serious mistake.
Three, the bishop in the Indian Church, who is loyal to the Patriarch and to the faith of the Church was none other than Dionysius IV himself.
Four, the error made by the patriarch should be corrected soon.
By then the patriarch who had consecrated Athanasius had died and his successor Jacob II was in trouble. He, however, relieved that action of his predecessor was wrong, now he could really take control of the Indian Church since Dionysius had come to is side. Now patriarch dispatched a Syrian bishop named Yuyakim Coorilos with blank letters to Kerala to take control of the Indian church. He reached Kerala in 1846. At that time issue between Dionysius and Athanasius was being holly debated and the atmosphere was tensive. Now Dionysius feeling, as he was adviced and enforced by Konattu Malpan and others who were Patriarchal partisans, that he could not contest with Athanasius, who had the support of the resident committed a grave blunder from his side. He abanonded his office of bishop and he surrendered the royal proclamation which he had on behalf of Coorilose. Coorilose now filling in the Partiarchal sealed paper with him proclaimed himself Metropolitan of the Indian church and approached the authorities to confirm him in that status. The authorities appointed a committee to study and evaluate the claims between Coorilose and Athanasius. In March 1848 this committee met at Quilon gave its decision proclaiming Athanasius metropolitan. It rejected Coorilose’s claims on two grounds. One, the document, stating that the patriarch appointed him as metropolitan was not authentic but forged. Two, that as a foreigner, Coorilose had no right to be the leader of the Indian church. Since Dionysius had given his resignation, the committee declared Athanasius as Metropolitan of the Indian Church and the royal proclamation followed in 1852.
Although in the meantime the patriarch had sent another bishop named Stephen to support Dionysius and Coorilose the resident turned down his request to enter in the issue of the Indian Church. Coorilose was also banished from the princely states of Cochin and Travancore; so he had to find refuge in Aujur, the British Malabar.
It is interesting to note in this context that neither the patriarch himself, nor either of the Syrian bishops deputed by him required of Dionysius IV that he should be reconsecrated in his episcopal ranks, as the Syrian bishop Athanasius had done in 1825. This fact shows that the real issue of contention from the partisans of the patriarch in the Indian Church and that of the Patriarch too was not invalidity of episcopacy maintained in the Indian church but the Patriarch’s authority and its acknowledgement there. When Dionysius agreed to acknowledge the patriarchal authority, they were satisfied. Without saying a word about the validity or otherwise, they made common cause with him, and fought against Athanasius whose episcopal title they had no way of questioning. How strange the mentality of the Indian Orthodox with regard to the episcopal position of Dionysius and also with regard to the patriarchal authority. All are deliberately made without sufficient basis, similar to the case with Athanasius. Athanasius contention that the Episcopal position of the Dionysious IV invalid was purely due to vested interest i.e., to establish himself in the office.
Athanasius position as metropolitan was strengthened after the Quilon Committee’s judgement and he thereafter attained the zenith of his glory. Many churches which till then resisted him now came under him. The party opposed to him was put in difficulties without knowing what to do. Dionysius in the desperate condition left this world in Oct 1855 after receiving the last rites from none other than Athanasius himself. Even Coorilose is reported to have served Athanasius for a time. It is hotly debated whether Athanasius had identified with the reform party or Jacobite. But he was not able to satisfy all. A majority vehementily opposed to him stood in the church. The East India Company directors knowing the tensive situation going on within the Orthodox between two parties and residents siding with a party, sent direction not to interfere in such. Soon Koorilose started organizing a party against Athanasius. As troubles emerged the Travancore govt. notified and instructed that those who were opposed to Athanasius might feel free to organize and build new churches of their own without interfering with the churches of Athanasius. Now a number of new churches were put up in different parts and civil cases were filed in courts to release the old churches from the control of Athanasius. This movement gradually gained strength under the leadership of Coorilose, who was assisted by a young priest, Pulikottil Joseph.
This Joseph Kathanar ordained as Priest by Coorilose, served as secretary of this bishop. He did also take up the responsibility of looking after various cases in courts in which the bishop was petitioner. Between 1853 and 1864 efforts in this direction brought no substantial gain for his party because Athanasius enjoyed a number of privileges through the royal proclamation. Exeprience made two things clear to him during this period. One that the party opposed to Athanasius had no chance of success unless it had a native bishop as its leader; and two, that so long as Athanasius had the royal proclamation in his favour, he could not be subdued by any one.To get over these hurdles First, Joseph, Kathanar was choosen to become a bishop and he was sent to the Patriarch for ordination and he was consecrated by the patriarch as Dionysius V in 1865. Hereafter the church was clearly divided between Dionysius V and Athanasius. The dispute between them continued till 1889 and even further.
Final Defeat of the Reform Party in 1899
Now the party under Coorilose had a native leader of their own Dionysius V. But to bring down Athanasius it was not easy. Though soon after this return from the Patriarch, Dionysius V took up the task of pulling down Athanasius till 1874 with the moral support of Coorilose. But in that year Coorilose died leaving Dionysius V in a totally disappointed state. Driven to the extremity of dejection, Dionysius V now made up his mind to strike the Final blow on Athanasius. Hence he had made request to the Patriarch to come over to Kerala to dethrone Athanasius. The patriarch obliged Athanasius was dethroned. And that section of the church stood with Dionysius V declared themselves under the Patriarch officially and formally thereafter. The dethroned formed themselves as the Mar Thoma Syrian Christians after 10 year litigious course in 1889.
The patriarch who had succeeded Jacob II was Peter IV. An able administrator took advantage of the opportunity given him to achieve his plan with reference to the Indian Church, which his predecessor had not so far succeeded in accomplishing. Dionysius made available to the patriarch travel bursary. The patriarch visiting London and Madras reached Kerala in 1875 accompanied by a Syrian bishop Gregorios and the usual monks in his entourage. The coming of the patriarch and the way he accomplished his mission made a deep impression on the people as a whole. He succeeded in eliciting a state ruling, which cancelled once for all the tradition of issuing a royal proclamation in favour of Malankara Metropolitan. Thus Athanasius fell from the zenith of his glory. All along the patriarch’s travels and meetings with people he spoke and denounced Athanasius as fraud and deceptive. Following this event the patriarch convened a synod of representatives, both clergy and laity from every parish at Mulanthuruthy in June 1876. Through this meeting he obtained from the Followers of Dionysius V an official acknowledgement of his supremacy over them. It is obvious that the delegates did not bother to examine the implication of the decisions adopted by the Synod against the background of their longer history as the Indian Church of St.Thomas. The Patriarch, on his part, was keen that the Synod adopted resolutions, admitting that the Orthodox of India was from the beginning a part of the historic church of Antioch, and agreeing to continue with it in future. Thus at one stroke Peter IV got what his predecessors from about the middle of the 18th century had been struggling in vain to obtain. The question whether it was possible to defend this stand point in the light of history or not, did not apparently weigh with either the Patriarch himself or the Church representatives who met in Synod at Mulanthuruthy in 1876.
The Synod of Mulanthuruthy
The Synod of Mulanthuruthy was an important milestone in the history of the Orthodox St.Thomas Christian in the 19th Century. This Synod represents inauguration of an official relationship of a section of the Orthodox with the patriarch of the West Syrian Church. This Synod was called and Presided over by Patriarch Peter IV of the West Syrian Church. 103 churches of the Orthodox presented there but the churches followed Athanasius did not participate saying that this Patriarch has no right. So the Synod was the meeting exclusively that of the Dionysian party.
The Synod decided to adhere closely, with the West Syrian doctrinal, liturgical and Church disciplinary norms. And resolved a registered deed to be executed in this regard and presented to the Patriarch declaring the official adherence of this Indian section with the Patriarch accepting his jurisdictional claims. But unfortunately this registered deed was not executed and given to the Patriarch although the patriarch expected that would take place soon. Knowing that he was deceived thoroughly by Dionysius V he reacted as he desired. He consecrated 6 bishops of his own accord himself without the consent of the church or of Dionysius V, taking from each of them registered deed, to ensure and strengthen but also over their dioceses. Indeed it was these new bishops formally and systematically not only West Syrianized their dioceses but also stabilized the jurisdictional claims of the Patriarch thereafter. Dionysius V was ignored by the Patriarch seeing that he was a threat and was against his plans regard to the Indian Church. Thus patriarch Peter organizing an independent hierarchy of his own in the Dionysian followers he left to Syria.
The outcomes of the Synod of Mulanthuruthy and the patriarchal acting were extremely dilematic to Dionysius V and to his followers in India. Through the Patriarchal actions though Mar Athanasius royal proclamation was cancelled off, still he was the metropolitan and almost all the churches were with him according to the status quo prevailed then on. To get these freed from him a long process of legal actions were needed. Due to the actions of the Patriarch Dionysius V was made weak and disunited. In such a troubled situation what to do? Though Dionysius was disappointed yet he made up his mind to strike at Athanasius on the basis of the Synod of Mulanthuruthy and on the machinery implemented by the patriarch including the new bishops who were appointed by him. Mathews Mar Athanasius the leader of the reform group had passed away in 1877, extremely disappointed due to the arrival, actions etc. of the patriarch. Before his death he had appointed himself his successor. He was Thomas Athanasius. If his predecessor had argued that one to become a metropolitan of the Indian church, he must be a native and directly or indirectly be ordained by the Patriarch, in the case of his successor the ordination from the Patriarch could not be fulfilled. Now Dionysius V felt he could be easily defeated in the principle upon which his predecessor had mostly relied on.
Dionysius V decided to move against the reform party through courts. From 1876 he had memorable success in every way till he left the world in 1909. He moved cases against the reform party in the district, high, and Royal court from 1877 to 1889 successively, and achieved every where tremendous victory over the reform party. So finally they yielded before him leaving everything. They later on formed themselves as the Mar Thoma Syrian Church. Thus the conflict which emerged in the Orthodox Church in the 19th Century between Dionysius IV and V with Mar Athanasius and Thomas Athanasius ended very disastrously dividing the church once again as two. One section of the church which was headed by Dionysius V was taken away to become the part of the West Syrian Church and was forced to accept the West Syrian patriarchal claims, which so far had never been so. Hereafter this church came to be called as the Jacobite Church in India for some decades. To the stabilization of the West Syrianization process and to the establishment of the West Syrian Patriarchal supremacy the 19th Century’s internal quarrels provided ample opportunities.
The Impact of the Synod of Mulanthuruthy and the Royal Court Judgement
One, the faith, liturgy, episcopacy, church polity, church disciplines etc. of the Orthodox of India were became or were carried away to that of the West Syrian Church. Two, the church administration became like that of the West Syrian Church. Three, the patriarchal supremacy, was enforced upon the Orthodox of India. Four, the patriarch did not desire to strengthen Dionysius V, whom had invited him to India. But tried to weaken him and to degrade his status as Malankara Metropolitan. Five, by rescinding the royal proclamation in favour of Athanasius, by calling the Synod of Mulanthuruthy and enacting resolutions therein, by consecrating bishops and dividing the Church as dioceses, etc the patriarch made it clear that he, indeed, was the head of the Orthodox in India. Moreover, this church thereafter was forced to believe that it was to help Dionysius the Patriarch did all those things. Indeed the patriarchal Supremacy was well established by all those actions. Dionysius was placed in dilaphidated and voiceless state. Six, it could not been seen anything done either by the patriarch or by the Synod of the Mulanthuruthy to heal the divisions between the reform groups and their opponents. The creators of all such divisions were the actions of the West Syrian Patriarchs from time to time. He tried his best to exploit the pathetic situation and those who relied on him were cleverly brought under his supremacy and those who opposed were banished. Thus creating sad situations and exploiting the devisive condition thereby found in the church he stabilized his power. The reform group as well as their opponents were responsible to this. Seven, the impact of the Synod of the Mulanthuruthy and that of the judgement of the Royal Court were highly disastrous on the sense of history of the St.Thomas Christians in India. These held at one stroke that the St.Thomas Christians from ancient times were under the West Syrian Patriarch whether this could be substantial or not was not the concern there neither of the patriarch nor that of the representatives present in the Mulanthuruthy Synod or that of the reform group. Because of the patriarchal support to them both to Athanasius and later on Dionysius to they blindly distorted their own history. Moreover, even in the 20th century since then the Orthodox had to remain in darkness about the fact and figures of their own ancient church in India. What they were forced to maintain was a few myths and useless things about their own past and about their connection with the Patriarch. As the result the Orthodox and the reform party themselves had tried to distort and ignore their own history. Together with these that Indian Church deteriorated to a miserable condition of knowing not what it was in the past. No church anywhere else around the Globe had undergone such a painful plight due to the deliberate and unwise actions of their own.
Though the move that was planned through the Synod of Mulanthuruthy had been realized gradually, yet, the patriarchal jurisdictional claim over the Indian church became an issue of further dispute all through the next century. After the separation of the reform group it became evident the patriarchal claims of jurisdiction on could not work out practically in the Indian Church. All party quarrels, litigations, divisions within that church in the 20th Century were the after-effects of the previous Century. To which we shall move in the next section.
The Metropolitans of the Orthodox in the 19th Century
The Church was led by the metropolitans whose common insignia was Dionysius. Dionysius II, III, IV and V were the leaders in the 19th century. Apart from these metropolitans Mathews Mar Athanasius enforced his rule over them between 1852 and 1877, among these bishops only Dionysious III had a peaceful period and the rest were placed in troubled condition. Usually the headquarters of the church was Kottaym at Old Seminary.
The Metropolitans from Dionysius II possessed royal proclamations. But who Athanasius came in power this proclamation became extremely trouble some. Patriarch Peter IV finally forced the Travancore State to stop the practice.
This patriarch consecrated six bishop is of his own accord in 1876 and 1877 virtually not to help.
Mar Dionysius V but to divide and rule over the Indian Church. These bishops over the Indian Church. These bishops were:
1. Gheevarghese Juliose Konattu (1876-84)
2. Paulose Athanasius Kadavil(1876-1907)
3. Gheevarghese Coorilose Ambattu(1876-91)
4. Gheevarghese Gregorios Chathurithil(1876-1902)
5. Simon Dinoysius Karavattu(1877-86)
6. Paulose Ivanios Murimattathu(1877-1913)
But this hierarchy of bishops constituted solely to stabilize the patriarchal authority over Dionysius V especially in his persuits of legal endeavours against the reform party. They were succumbed under Dionysius as Suffragons. Moreover Dionysius V during his tenure as Malanakara Meteropolitan he did least care to revive these bishoprics with substitutes. So the first batch of bishops slowly died out except one bishop Paulose Ivanios who became the first Catholicose when it was instituted in 1912 by Dionysius VI.
When in 1988 a group of Konkani Roman Catholic Christians joined with Dionysius V under the leadership of Fr. Alvares of South Canara with the permission of the Patriarch he was consecrated bishop with the name of Alvares Julius at old seminary in 1889. Again another bishop named Renevilathy Thimothios was also consecrated in 1892 at the request of Bishop Alvares Julius.
These were the bishops of the Jacobites after the Synod of Mulanthuruthy Strengthen the Indian Church against the claims of Patriarch Peter IV could be asked. Indeed those bishops helped the West Syrianization of the Dionysius party in every things.
These sorts of bishops were the rulers of the Indian Orthodox following the Synod of Mulanthuruthy.
The after consequences of these misdeeds the Orthodox Church of India had to face in the Course of 20th Century that was the misfortune of it.