By George Katticaren
|A scene from USA|
Thamara Cross or Mar Thoma Cross is a fiction. It has absolutely nothing to do with the visit of apostole Thomas in India. This antique which is also called Manichaen cross is believed to be existing in India since fourth century on the arrival of Armenians in India. For a periodof fifteen centuries, after the Crucification of Christ the Mar Thoma Cross was known to none.
|A scene from Switzerland|
The Persian cross was a piece of archaeological remnant of a church built by Armaniens in the 4th centuary and was ex-
cavated by the Portuguese in 1547. They have made serious attempts to develop a story of the visit of St. Thomas on the coast of Madras without any historical evidences. Their primary intention was to get a footing and establish a colony at Madras coast. The place where the Persian Cross was found was named as city of St. Thomas and the Persian Cross was renamed as cross of the city of St.Thomas by them. It is to be noted that they did not call it as cross of St. Thomas.
According to St Thomas Christian tradition, The Apostle Thomas planted crosses in the Christian communities he established. But no historians have ventured to confirm such theories due to the absence of historical evidences though the catholic historian Fr.Placid made valuable research on the the subject of "Persian Cross". The Persian Cross / Manichaen cross found it's way into Kerala during the formation of Kanjirapally diocese in 1977.
A theology of a different nature was developed under the patronage of bishop Powathil and nourished by another historian like Fr.Koodapuzha. It has now reached the present form and style, when this was called as Mar Thoma Cross by Prof. Vazhuthanappally in 1988, which was totally misleading and provocative. As a matter of fact, this cross has absolutely nothing to do with St.Thomas.
The faithful believe that it is a disgrace to replace the Crucifix from the Holy Altar by an archelogical remnant which is surrounded by myths. Since 1988 the unity of the Syro Malabar Church has been in danger. The voiceless laity and the majority of the clergy of Syro Malabar church believe that the Syro Malabar church ought to be true to Christ rather than to a myth.
In this context the bishop of Faridabad, mar Kuriakose Bharanikulangara has taken a wise decision in the recent past.
During the meeting of all the parish priests he insisted that the Persian Crosses be removed from all churches and chapels in Faridabad diocese which was absolutely a correct decision taken by him and welcomed wholeheartedly by the people of the diocese who regard Jesus as their saviour who died on the cross for humanity. As per the instructions they have removed Persian Crosses from Dwaraka in Delhi and Faridabad. This step should be repeated wherever in the world the Syro-Malabar community exists, especially in Kerala and the U.S where bishop Angadiath presides over the Church as a military commander.
We can, therefore pray: My Lord, My God, Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done, Come Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.