One Million Catholics in Guatemala joined Syriac Church of Antioch

Around 1 million roman catholics in Guatemala joined Syriac orthodox church of Antioch. A new Archbishop was installed for them with the name Edward mor Jacob.

The text is in Malayalam, and I don’t think many members here read Malyalam. Is there no translation available? :confused:

The first headline is: 8 lakh Guatemalan believers to the Syrian church. Mor Yakob the new archbishop.

The second headline is: New shepherd for Argentina.

For reference, one lakh is 100,000- so 8 lakhs is 800,000.

Is this the same group …

… The new Orthodox communities are in touch with the nuns of the Hogar, but they are an independent movement with a unique history. These communities are mostly made up of native Mayans and have roots in the Roman Catholic Church. They first began in the 1970s and 1980s as a Roman Catholic renewal movement called the “Charismatic Renewal in the Holy Spirit.” For various reasons, including the movement’s charismatic prayer practices and emphasis on music in church services, the parishes of the Charismatic Renewal became estranged from the Roman Catholic Church. Many communities went decades without sacraments until, in the 1990s, a former Roman Catholic priest named Fr. Andrés Girón took the movement under his wing. A very prominent figure in Guatemala, Fr. Andrés had served in the Guatemalan senate, acted as an ambassador to the United Nations, and led a large movement for land reform among the rural poor of Guatemala. These activities were part of what caused Fr. Andrés to come into tension with the Roman Catholic Church, eventually leaving the Church before taking leadership of the parishes of the Charismatic Renewal.

It was through Fr. Andrés that the communities of the Charismatic Renewal began to move towards the Orthodox Church. Fr. Andrés first joined a non-canonical Orthodox group called the Society of Secular Clerics, and he was soon ordained a bishop in this group. However, as he became more familiar with broader Orthodox Christianity, Fr. Andrés sought out the canonical Orthodox Church. A number of priests from other countries came to evaluate the situation in Guatemala, and then in April of 2010, Fr. Andrés was received into the canonical Orthodox Church under the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.

Seminarian Witnesses “Explosion” of Orthodox Christianity in Guatemala

No, the EP and the Syriac Orthodox are not in communion.

This is disastrous.

Wow. ‘Disastrous’? Really?

I’m happy for the Guatemalans. May God continue to work in the (growing) Orthodox Church in Central and South America. Some folks at the Coptic Church in which I was baptized have worked in the Orthodox Church in Bolivia, which is also growing quite a lot relative to how it started only about a decade ago, if that (with one family). 450+ people weekly at the Coptic Cathedral in La Paz (since it is the Copts doing most of the missionary work there; I guess in Guatemala the Syriacs got there first; no matter…it’s all one Church), with even more in the surrounding rural areas. According to the people working in the church and orphanage there, for many people in these outlying areas, the visits of the Coptic priest were the first time they’d seen any clergy of any kind in years. This situation might be something you should think about remedying, if you feel that Catholics converting to Orthodoxy is really so ‘disastrous’. Personally, I fail to see what’s so terrible about things like this:

Un parte de la Misa Copta Ortodoxa 7-17-2009 en la Capilla de San Anba Bola en Bolivia

How sweet it is. :slight_smile:

So is the quote that the other poster found wrong?

I just want to know whether this group is in the apostolic succession or not–even if they aren’t Catholic anymore I would prefer if they were still apostolic.

I agree. It’s a scandal, and I don’t blame the Orthodox but rather the Catholic bishops for not tending to their flocks and allowing them to scatter.

Of course you don’t. You’re Orthodox.

Novus Agustus: What we have here are two completely separate groups. Fr. Giron and his group (eventually) came into union with Constantinople/the EP, while the group being discussed in the OP is now in communion with Antioch/Mor Zakka I Iwas. The first is Eastern Orthodox/Chalcedonian, while the second is Oriental Orthodox/non-Chalcedonian. I’m pretty sure that according to Rome both have valid sacraments and apostolic succession and all that good stuff, but they’re not in communion with each other. They’re different communions entirely. The quote found by dvdjs is about the EO group; the OP is about the OO group.

Oh okay. So basically we have a situation here where disgruntled Guatemalan Catholics have started to see more active Orthodox groups–be they Eastern Orthodox or Oriental Orthodox–and have been converting to those two groups. While that’s good for the Orthodox, as a Catholic I’d obviously prefer that we grew our flock, but I would much rather that people went to Orthodoxy and not the Pentacostals or Baptists, who are also very active in Latin America from what I’ve heard.

One thing I’m curious about is the EO’s position on the salvation of the OO Church members. Also, do the Syriac/Oriental Orthodox groups have a Patriarch that they are under or is it not organized in that way? Also, where does the Coptic Orthodox come into the mix? Are they Oriental–i.e. rejecting the Council of Chalcedon? I’m sorry for my amateur questions–I’m not very familiar with the various Orthodox communions.

This is a link to a blog, whose source is the Facebook page of Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka Iwas I. I don’t see any source beyond that page.

Well, I think aemcpa’s choice of words – “disastrous” – may be a bit too strong, but I emphasize bit.

Consider, do you think it’s “sweet” that a large number of Orthodox became Catholic (Eastern Catholic to be specific) in the Union of Brest? I know a lot of Orthodox who are still calling that a disaster 400+ years later!!

I highly doubt that you’ll find any official position on that (just as we OO have no official opinion on salvation of those outside of our communion). There are many opinions, of course, but take them all with at least a few grains of salt.

Also, do the Syriac/Oriental Orthodox groups have a Patriarch that they are under or is it not organized in that way?

Yes, the OO have Patriarchs of our various churches. For this group in Guatemala, since they came into union with the Syriac Orthodox, their patriarch is HH Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas.

Also, where does the Coptic Orthodox come into the mix? Are they Oriental–i.e. rejecting the Council of Chalcedon?

Yes, the Coptic Orthodox Church is non-Chalcedonian. The non-Chalcedonian churches are the following:

Coptic Orthodox (Egypt)
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo (Ethiopia)
Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo (Eritrea)
Armenian Apostolic (Armenia)
Syriac Orthodox (Syria-Iraq-Iran-Turkey)
Malankara Orthodox (India)

In addition to these, there are the relatively newer native British Orthodox Church and French Coptic Orthodox Church, both outgrowths within the Coptic Orthodox Church. The BOC is guided by Abba Seraphim. I believe that the French Coptic Orthodox Metropolitanate (or whatever you’d call it…in French the name of the Church is* Métropole copte orthodoxe de France*, but I don’t know how to translate that into English) has been vacant since 2008, when Met. Marcos died, but there was somebody from the French Church at the enthronement of HH Pope Tawadros II recently, so they’re apparently still out there.

All of these churches have overseas/diasporic populations, as well, and tend to be active in missionary work in certain parts of the world (with the possible exception of the Armenians, for historical reasons). Sweden and Germany and are now huge centers of Syriac Orthodox missionary activity (something like 800,000 Syriacs are in Sweden by now, if not more), and there are growing numbers of Copts in Germany and Austria, as well as in Latin America (churches in Mexico, Bolivia, and I think more recently Costa Rica). I have seen both Ethiopian and Coptic churches in the Caribbean, and there are tons of Copts in Australia, too. The Indians tend to do very well in the Gulf, as there are many Christian Indians who work in places like Kuwait, Oman, etc. I have seen Armenian liturgies broadcasted from UAE and Kuwait, as well. And recently there has been at least some growth in both Coptic and Russian (Chalcedonian) Orthodoxy in Pakistan, of all places. I have seen on YT at least one Coptic liturgy from Pakistan.

I’m sorry for my amateur questions–I’m not very familiar with the various Orthodox communions.

It’s a big, confusing world out there. Never apologize for asking questions. :slight_smile:

I meant the liturgy itself is sweet. It is nice to hear. Must be my faux-Hispanicness coming out…there’s something about it…really touches the soul.

And the Union of Brest…what does what some Byzantines did 400 years ago have to do with my communion? I don’t care about that. Let those who are upset about it be upset. There are better ways to deal with those feelings, but I’m not trying to tell anyone how they should feel, whether I agree with them or not. I’m just surprised that people would care so much that some might be driven to something else, but apparently not care enough before they made the move in order to do something about it to keep them. As aemcpa has rightly put it, the Orthodox are not exactly to blame for the state of affairs as they were when they got there. The Church in Bolivia started with one priest visiting ONE Coptic family – not to bring a bunch of Catholics into the Church. But the Catholics came soon, anyway, after seeing how loving and helpful that the priest was. The same thing could happen in reverse, definitely, but the fact that it didn’t doesn’t make the growth of Orthodoxy a disaster. People went from not being fed at all to being fed by true priests, in a true church, with true sacraments (all of this according to your OWN communion, no?). So I think whether you call it “disastrous” or not says more about you than about the situation on the ground.

Oh. :blush: Guess I misunderstood that part of your post. :o :slight_smile: But in my defense, I think a lot of Catholics do consider it “sweet” that so many Orthodox became Catholic in the Union of Brest.

Of course they do. Why wouldn’t they? I’m happy when Guatemalans, Bolivians, or whoever become Orthodox.

Interesting that the breakaway started among charismatics.

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