Synod of Diamper

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The Synod of Diamper, held at Udayamperoor in 1599, known as Diamper in non-vernacular sources, was a diocesan synod, or council, that created rules and regulations for the ancient Saint Thomas Christians (also known as Mar Thoma Nasranis) of the Malabar Coast, a part of modern-day Kerala state, India, formally subjugating them and their whole Archdiocese of Angamaly to the Archdiocese of Goa administered by Latin Catholic Padroado missionaries. This led to the permanent schism among the Thomas' Christians of India after 53 years, leading to the formation of Puthenkoor (New allegiance) and Pazhayakoor (Old allegiance) factions. The Pazhayakoor comprises the present day Syro-Malabar Church and Chaldean Syrian Church which continues to employ the East Syriac Rite (Babylonian Rite /Persian Rite) liturgy.[1][2] Through the Coonan Cross Oath (1653), the Puthenkoor faction that resisted the Padroado dominance entered into communion with the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch to form the Malankara Church (West Syriac Rite liturgy). The descendant churches of the Malankara Church include the Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church (Indian Orthodox Church), the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, the Malabar Independent Syrian Church, the Malankara Marthoma Syrian Church, and the Malankara Syrian Catholic Church (Eastern Catholic); all employing the West Syriac Rite (Antiochene Rite) liturgy.[3][4]

The Thomas Christians were in communion with the Church of the East of Persia and the Patriarch of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, and relied on their bishops. However, the Church of the East collapsed by 1552, through the schism of 1552, and a faction joined in communion with the Catholic Church (the modern day Chaldean Catholic Church). Mar Abraham of Angamaly was one of the last bishops from the Catholic Patriarchate of Babylon to the Saint Thomas Christians. Mar Abraham was given approval by Pope Pius IV in 1565. He died by 1597 and his successor was Archdeacon George of the Cross. The Synod of Diamper was convened on June 20, 1599, under the leadership of Aleixo de Menezes, Latin rite Archbishop of Goa. Archdeacon George of the Cross was forced to comply with the wishes of the Archbishop of Goa. This compliance separated the Saint Thomas Christians from the Chaldean Catholic jurisdiction in Persia and subjected them directly to the Latin Archbishopric of Goa.[5]

The Archbishopric of Angamaly was downgraded to a bishopric under Goa in 1600. Portuguese Padroado rule was thus imposed and the bishops for Saint Thomas Christians were appointed by Portuguese Padroado.[6] About 50 years later, dissidents held the Coonan Cross Oath in 1653, to liberate themselves from the efforts for latinization by the Portuguese Padroado missionaries. The faction that left the Latin Church's jurisdiction became the Malankara Church, which joined in full communion with the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch (Oriental Orthodox Church) and employs the West Syriac Rite liturgy.[7][8][9][10] The Mar Thoma Syrian Church and Malabar Independent Syrian Church are independent churches that split off from the Malankara Church during the 18th and 19th centuries, while they continue to employ the West Syriac Rite.[11][12]

From the Synod of Diamper in 1599 to the 19th century, the Syro-Malabarians were under the jurisdiction of the Latin Church and foreign bishops from Europe. In 1887, Pope Leo XIII fully separated the Syro-Malabarians from the Latin Church's jurisdiction, by establishing two Apostolic Vicariates, Thrissur and Kottayam (later Changanassery) under the guidance of indigenous Indian Syro-Malabar bishops, and named the Church as "The Syro-Malabar Church" to distinguish them from the Latin Catholics. The Syro-Malabar Church in effect became an autonomous sui iuris Eastern church within the Catholic communion.[13] The Malankara Syrian Catholic Church is the faction from the Malankara Church that joined in full communion with the Holy See of Rome in 1930, and continue to employ the West Syriac Rite.[8][9]

After the schism of 1552, the Church of the East declined, and throughout the following centuries, the Church of the East was affected by several internal schisms. The non-Catholic branches of the Church of the East managed to survive a tumultuous period and eventually consolidate during the 19th century in the form of the Assyrian Church of the East and the Ancient Church of the East. While the pro-Catholic faction consolidated into the Chaldean Catholic Church. A minority faction within the Syro-Malabar Church split off and joined in communion with the Assyrian Church of the East during the 1870s, to form the Chaldean Syrian Church which employs the traditional East Syriac Rite of the historic Church of the East.[14]


"In 1597, Mar Abraham, the last Metropolitan Archbishop appointed by the Chaldean Patriarch, died. His Archdeacon, George (of the Cross), according to the custom and by appointment of Mar Abraham, took up the administration of the Archdiocese of Angamale. In opposition, Menezes nominated Fr. Francis Ros SJ as Administrator."[15] Bishop Menzes visited Malabar in February 1599, obtained church leader support through coercion. Menezes threatened to depose Archdeacon, George (of the Cross) and appoint in his place Thomas Kurian, another nephew of former Archdeacon whose claims had been ignored in 1593. In order to prevent a division, Archdeacon, George (of the Cross) gave in to the demands of Menezes.[15] The Archdeacon called together an assembly of the Saint Thomas Christians at Angamali, where a solemn oath was taken. The participants agreed to act only according to the wishes of Archdeacon.

This yielding cleared the way for the Portuguese to impose their customs, hierarchy, law, liturgy, and rites among the Saint Thomas Christians. Many of the local customs were officially anathematized as heretical, and their manuscripts were condemned to be either corrected or burnt.[citation needed]

Dom Alexis Menezes, Archbishop of Goa, led the schism summoning all the priests, other clerics, and four laymen elected from each church, even from the churches he had not visited under pain of ex-communication. About 130 ecclesiastics and 660 laymen (elected and specially invited) met at Diamper in the territory of Kingdom of Cochin.[15]

The synod solemnly began on the third Sunday after Pentecost, 20 June 1599, in the church of Diamper (Udayamperoor) and continued until 26 June 1599.[16] Archbishop Menezes presided over the synod. The Nestorian Patriarch was condemned as a heretic and schismatic, and they were made to swear that they would not accept any bishop except the one nominated by Rome.[17] The controversial Synod of Diamper canonized the Romanisation of the Church of Saint Thomas Christians.[18] Aleixo de Menezes, labouring under the shadow of the Protestant Reformation and the Council of Trent, was unwilling to give an inch to the customs of the Saint Thomas Christians.

Decrees of the Synod[edit]

The synod issued 200 decrees distributed in nine actions (sessions).[17] It has been suggest that the differences between the decrees of the synod, are due to translation. It has been suggested that these decrees were first formulated in the Portuguese language by Don Menezes and then translated to Malayalam. It has been suggested that the participants signed the Malayalam document, which lacks 35 of the Canons given in the Portuguese text.[18]

Mar Sabor and Mar Proth

Social influences of the Synod[edit]

The Synod of Diamper condemned a multitude of Hindus beliefs, especially those related to Transmigration, Fate, and Astrology. Hindu ceremonies and customs related to matrimony, death, birth, and purification on touching lower castes, which were prevalent among the Christians of St. Thomas, were abandoned altogether. They were even banned from frequenting to Hindu Festivities including Onam. The synod also condemned the belief that every man might be saved by his Laws, all of which are good and lead to heaven, irrespective of his religion. The synod banned Christian teachers from installing or using any Hindu idols in their schools. Polygamy and Concubinage were forbidden, and clergymen were banned from marital relations, military services to Hindu Princes, and other secular indulgences. Previously, Hindu musicians had been used to conduct programs in Christian churches, but the synod banned the practice outright.[19]

Portuguese impositions had many severe consequences on the social status of Syrian Christians. Dr Buchanan, in his 1806 interview with a senior priest in Mavelikara, elicited a brief account of the degenerated social status of Syrian Christians. According to him, a once self-sufficient community had to seek the protection of Hindu Princes and the dispersed Christians further became the victims of encroachment by other communities. It is notable that even in such a degenerative condition of the community, Dr Buchanan was introduced to a Brahmin man who had opted to become a Syrian Priest.[20]

Prohibited books[edit]

The synod prohibited the use of many heretic books. These books are listed below.[21][22][23][24]

The Infancy of our Saviour (The History of our Lady) (Language: Syriac)[edit]

This book contained the following concepts, which are against Catholic creed:

  1. The annunciation of the angel was made in the Temple of Jerusalem, which contradicts the Gospel of St. Luke, which says it was made in Nazareth.
  2. Joseph had another wife and children when he was betrothed to Mary.
  3. Child Jesus was reproved for his naughty tricks.
  4. Child Jesus went to school and learned from them.
  5. St. Joseph, suspecting Mary of adultery, took her to priests, who gave her the water of jealousy to drink; that Mary brought forth with pain, and parting from her company, not being able to go farther, she retired to a stable at Bethlehem.
  6. None of the saints are in heaven but are all in a terrestrial paradise, where they should remain till the Day of Judgement.

Book of John Barialdan (Language: Syriac)[edit]

This book contained the following concepts which are against Catholic creed:

  1. In Christ, there were two persons: divine and human.
  2. The names Christ and Emmanuel are that of only the human person, so the name Jesus should not be adored.
  3. The union of incarnation is common to all the three divine persons, who were all incarnated.
  4. The union of the incarnation is only an accidental union of love.

The Procession of the Holy Spirit (Language: Persian)[edit]

This book contained the following concept which is against Catholic creed (see Filioque):

  1. The Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father, and not from the Son.

Margarita Fidei (The Jewel)[edit]

This is written by Abed Isho, a Nestorian prelate. This book contained the following concepts which are against Catholic creed:

  1. Mary is not ought to be called the mother of God, but only the mother of Christ.
  2. In Christ there are two persons, the one of the Word, and the other of Jesus.
  3. The union of the incarnation is only an accidental union of love and power and not a substantial union.
  4. Out of three distinct faiths Nestorian, Jacobite, and Roman, only the Nestorian faith is the true one taught by the Apostle, and the Roman faith is false and heretical.
  5. Matrimony is not a sacrament.
  6. The fire of hell is metaphorical, not real.
  7. Roman Church is fallen from the faith as they do not celebrate in leavened bread.

Fathers (Language: Unknown)[edit]

This book contained the following concepts which are against Catholic creed:

  1. Mary ought not to be called the mother of God.
  2. The Patriarch of Nestorians is the universal head of the Church immediately under Christ.
  3. The fire of hell is not real, but spiritual.
  4. It is heresy to say God was born, or died.
  5. There are two persons in Christ.

Life of Abed Isho (Language: Arabic)[edit]

This book contained the following concepts which are against Catholic creed:

  1. The whole Trinity was incarnated.
  2. St. Cyril of Alexandria, who condemned Nestorius, was a heretic and is now in hell, for having taught, that there is only one person in Christ.
  3. Nestorius, Theodoras and Diodorus are saints and are blessed.
  4. None of the saints are in heaven but are all in a terrestrial paradise, where they should remain till the Day of Judgement.
  5. God dwelt in Christ as in a rational temple, giving him the power to do all the good things he did.
  6. The souls of the just will be in a terrestrial paradise till the Day of Judgement.

Book of Synods (Language: Syriac)[edit]

It contains a forged letter of Pope Caius, with false subscriptions of many other Western Bishops, directed to Nestorian Bishops, wherein it is acknowledged that the Church of Rome ought to be subject to Nestorian church.

This book contained the following concepts which are against Catholic creed:

  1. The Roman Church is fallen from the faith, having perverted the canons of the Apostles, by the force of heretical emperors' arms.
  2. The Romans are heretics, for not celebrating in leavened bread.
  3. All Bishops who followed Nestorius ought to be much esteemed and styled saints and their relics must be revered.
  4. Matrimony is not a sacrament. It may be dissolved for the bad conditions of the parties.
  5. Usury is lawful, and there is no sin in it.

Book of 'Timothy the Patriarch' (Language: Persian)[edit]

This book contained the following concept which is against Catholic creed:

  1. That the true body of our Lord Christ is not there in the sacrament of the altar, but only its figure.

Domingo or Letter of the Lord's-day (Language: Malayalam)[edit]

A letter believed to have come from heaven, in which the Roman Church is accused of having fallen from the faith.

Maclamatas (Language: Syriac)[edit]

It claims the distinction of two persons in Christ, and the accidental union of the incarnation is proved.

Uguarda or Rose (Language: Greek)[edit]

This book contained the following concepts which are against Catholic creed:

  1. There are two persons in Christ.
  2. The union of the incarnation was accidental.
  3. When Mary brought forth with pain, the sons of Joseph, which he had by his other wife, went for a midwife to her.

Camiz (Language: Syriac)[edit]

This book contained the following concept which is against Catholic creed:

  1. The Divine Word and the Son of the Virgin Mary are not the same.

Menra (Language: Hebrew)[edit]

This book contained the following concepts which are against Catholic creed:

  1. Christ is only the image of the Word.
  2. The substance of God dwelt in Christ as in a temple.
  3. Christ is next to the divinity and was made the companion of God.

Book of Orders (Language: Tamil)[edit]

This book contained the following concepts which are against Catholic creed:

  1. The form, and not the matter, is necessary to orders.
  2. There are only two orders: diaconate and priesthood.
  3. Altars of wood, and not of stone, are to be consecrated.

It also contains prayers for those converted to Nestorianism from any other sect.

Book of Homilies (Language: Arabic)[edit]

This book contained the following concepts which are against Catholic creed:

  1. The Eucharist is only the image of Christ and is distinguished from him, as an image is from a true man.
  2. The body of Jesus Christ is not there in Eucharist, nor anywhere else but in heaven.
  3. The whole Trinity was incarnate.
  4. Christ is only the temple of the Divinity, and God only by representation.
  5. The soul of Christ descended not into hell but was carried to the paradise of Eden.

It also contains:

  1. Letters from some Nestorian synods, in which it is said that the Nestorian Patriarch is not subject to the Roman Bishop.
  2. An oath to be taken to the Nestorian Patriarch, as the head of the church, wherein people swear to obey him, and him only, and not the Bishop of Rome.

An Exposition of the Gospels (Language: Syriac)[edit]

This book contained the following concepts which are against Catholic creed:

  1. There are two persons in Christ.
  2. Christ is a pure creature.
  3. He was obliged to adore God, and stood in need of prayer.
  4. He was the temple of the holiest Trinity.
  5. Christ's soul, when he died, descended not into hell, but was carried to the paradise of Eden.
  6. Mary deserved to be reproved as well as the rest of the Jews for having vainly imagined that she was mother to one that was to be a great King; looking upon Christ as no other than a pure man and presuming that he was to have a temporal empire.
  7. Evangelists did not record all Christ's actions in truth as they were not present at many of them.
  8. The wise men that came from the East received no favor from God for their journey, neither did they believe in Christ.
  9. Christ was the adopted Son of God, and not God's natural Son.
  10. Christ received new grace in baptism, which he had not before.
  11. Christ is only the image of the Word and the pure temple of the Holy Spirit.
  12. Eucharist is only the image of the body of Christ, which is only in heaven at the right hand of the Father, and not here on earth.
  13. Christ, as pure man, did not know when the Day of Judgement was to be.
  14. When St. Thomas put his hand into Christ's side, and said, "My Lord and my God!" he was not speaking to Christ as God, but it was only an exclamation made to God on such a miracle.
  15. The authority that Christ gave to St. Peter over the church was the same that he gave to other priests, so his successors have no more power or jurisdiction than other bishops.
  16. Mary is not the mother of God.
  17. The First Epistle of St. John, and that of St. James, are not the writings of those Apostles, but of some other persons of the same name, and therefore are not canonical.

Book of Hormisda Raban (Language: Greek)[edit]

This book contained the following concepts which are against Catholic creed:

  1. Nestorius was a saint and martyr and suffered for the truth.
  2. St. Cyril, who persecuted him, was the priest and minister of the devil and is now in hell.
  3. Images are filthy and abominable idols, and ought not to be adored.
  4. St. Cyril, as a heretic, invented and introduced them.

Book of Lots (Language: Aramaic)[edit]

It contains many non-Christian rituals and practices such as:

  1. Ring of Solomon
  2. Choice of good days to marry upon, and for several other uses.

A book of unknown title which is a Nestorian version of Flos Sanctorum (Language: Syriac)[edit]

Describes the lives of many Nestorian saints.

Parisman or Persian Medicine (Language: Persian)[edit]

It contains:

  1. Many sorceries.
  2. Certain methods whereby one may do mischief to their enemies and may gain women.
  3. The strange names of devils, that whosoever shall carry the names of seven of them about him writ in a paper shall be in no danger of any evil.
  4. Many exorcisms for the casting out of devils, mixing some Christian words with others that are not intelligible.
  5. The invocation of the Most Holy Trinity, often desiring the doing of lewd things and enormous sins, joining the merits of Nestorius and his followers, many times, in the same prayer with those of the Blessed Virgin, and those of their devils with those of the holy angels.

Changes in liturgy[edit]

The text on which the synod worked was a composite East Syriac text of Anaphora of Addai and Mari.[25] The synod declared certain passages of the Holy Qurbana of Addai and Mari as impious, sacrilegious and resulting from Nestorian heresy. The changes made by the synod consist of six in litanies, seven in hymns or anthems, four in formulae of the deacon, one in the response of the people, one in the text of the gospel lesson, and one affecting the whole creed. In the prayer of the priest, there are five changes in the pre-anaphora part of the Qurbana of Addai and Mari. There are four changes within the anaphora and eleven in the four variable hutame (Sealing prayers).[26]

Changes in administration[edit]

Tomb of Francis Roz, first Jesuit Metropolitan of Kodungalloor Archeparchy, inside Kottakkavu Mar Thoma Syro-Malabar Pilgrim Church, North Paravur.

Under Portuguese Padroado, Latin Bishops were appointed to govern the Saint Thomas Christians. Fr. Francis Ros SJ was nominated as successor to Mar Abraham on 5 November 1599. Bishop Roz SJ, centralized in himself all the authority reducing almost to nothing the powers of Archdeacon. Bishop Francis Roz SJ died on 16 February 1624 and was succeeded by Bishop Britto Stephen SJ. Archdeacon George (of the Cross) died c. 1634 and was succeeded by Archdeacon Thomas. Bishop Britto SJ died in 1641 and Bishop Garcia Francis SJ succeeded him. A regular fight ensued between the new archbishop Garcia Francis SJ and the new Archdeacon Thomas.[27]

Destructions of Syriac books[edit]

The decree XVI ordered that all the Syriac MSS should be handed over to the Archbishop or his deputy on a visit to the Churches. Due to the lack of printed books, the Qurbana MSS were excluded from this.

Some of the other books which are said to have been burnt at the Synod of Diamper are:

  1. The book of the infancy of the savior (history of our Lord)
  2. Book of John Brandon
  3. The Pearl of Faith
  4. The Book of the Fathers
  5. The Life of the Abbot Isaias
  6. The Book of Sunday
  7. Maclamatas
  8. Uganda or the Rose
  9. Comiz
  10. The Epistle of Mernaceal
  11. Menra
  12. Of orders
  13. Homilies (in which the Eucharist is said to be the image of Christ)
  14. Exposition of Gospels
  15. The Book of Rubban Hormisda
  16. The Flowers of the Saints
  17. The Book of Lots
  18. The Parsimony or Persian Medicines.[23][24]

There are only very few Syriac manuscripts that withstood the destruction. Recently, Dr. Istvan Perczel, a Hungarian scholar researching Syrian Christians in India, found that certain texts survived the destruction of Syriac religious writings by the Portuguese missionaries.[28]

Reception of the synod[edit]

The Church authorities noted the result of the synod was not as helpful as they expected. As the Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) says, "The only case in which an ancient Eastern rite has been wilfully romanized is that of the Uniat Malabar Christians, where it was not Roman authority but the misguided zeal of Alexius de Menezes, Archbishop of Goa, and his Portuguese advisers at the Synod of Diamper (1599) which spoiled the old Malabar Rite."

After the Synod of Diamper, on 25 November 1599, a letter was sent to Pope by the Archdeacon, giving information about the synod and its work. The letter praises the work of Menezes and requests the appointment of Menezes or Fr. Francis Roz as their bishop.[29] The letter does not fully represent the genuine sentiments of Archdeacon, as by that time he was completely at the mercy of the Portuguese and the only thing left for him to do was to follow their directives.[17]

In this way, the Synod of Diamper achieved one of the aims of the Portuguese policy in Kerala, to separate the Syrian Christians of Malabar from the Chaldean Patriarch and to extend the influence of Portuguese Padroado in India. As a result, the King of Portugal got the right of nomination to the ancient See of Saint Thomas in Malabar. The Archbishopric of Angamale was degraded to a Portuguese Padroado diocese under Goa on August 4, 1600 AD.[17]

Great Oath of Bent Cross[edit]

The oppressive rule of the Portuguese Padroado provoked a violent reaction by the St. Thomas Christian community. The first solemn protest occurred in 1653. Under the leadership of Malankara Mooppen Thoma, Nasranis gathered at Mattancherry church on Friday, 24 January 1653 (M.E. 828 Makaram 3), and made an oath that is known as the Great Oath of Bent Cross. Those who were not able to touch the cross-tied ropes on the cross held the rope in their hands and made the oath. Because of the weight, it is said that the cross bent a little and so it is known as Oath of the bent cross (Coonen Kurisu Sathyam)[citation needed]

The exact wording of the oath is a matter of dispute among the Saint Thomas Christians of various denominations.[citation needed]

Syro-Malabar Catholic and Syro-Malankara Catholic Churches insist the oath was not against the Pope of Rome, but against the Jesuits. This could be supported by the fact that the majority of the oath takers (84 of the 116 communities) eventually returned to communion with the Pope after the Pope replaced the Jesuit missionaries with Carmelites.[citation needed]

Stephen Neill, an Anglican Protestant missionary and later Anglican Bishop of Tamil Nadu from Scotland in his book, A History of Christianity in India: The Beginnings to AD 1707 said, "In January 1653, priests and people assembled in the church of Our Lady at Mattanceri, and standing in front of a cross and lighted candles swore upon the holy Gospel that they would no longer obey Garcia and that they would have nothing further to do with the Jesuits they would recognize the archdeacon as the governor of their church. This is the famous oath of the Koonen Cross (the open-air Cross which stands outside the church at Mattancherry). The Thomas Christians did not at any point suggest that they wished to separate themselves from the pope. They could no longer tolerate the arrogance of Garcia. And their detestation of the Jesuits, to whose overbearing attitude and lack of sympathy they attributed all their troubles, breathes through all the documents of the time. But let the pope send them a true bishop, not a Jesuit, and they will be pleased to receive and obey him."[30]

Four months after the oath according to their ancient tradition 12 elders of the church laid their hands on Malankara Mooppen Thoma and ordained him as Mar Thoma I. The Portuguese missionaries attempted to reconcile with Saint Thomas Christians but were not successful. Later, Pope Alexander VII sent the Syrian bishop Joseph Sebastiani at the head of a Carmelite delegation who succeeded in convincing the majority of Saint Thomas Christians, including Palliveettil Chandy Kathanar and Kadavil Chandy Kathanar that the consecration of Archdeacon as metropolitan was not legitimate. Later, Palliveettil Chandy Kathanar was consecrated as the bishop for the Syrian Catholics with the historic title 'The Metropolitan and the Gate of all India' which denotes a Quasi Patriarchal status in all Indian jurisdictions.[31][32][33] This led to the first permanent split in the Saint Thomas Christian community. Thereafter, the faction affiliated with the Catholic Church under Parambil Mar Chandy was designated the Pazhayakuttukar, or "Old Party", while the branch affiliated with Mar Thoma was called the Puthankuttukar, or "New Party".[3][34][35][36] These appellations have been somewhat controversial, as both groups considered themselves the true heirs to the Saint Thomas tradition, and saw the other as heretical.[37]

Split of churches[edit]

After the Great Oath of Bent Cross, between 1661 and 1662, the Syrian Catholics claimed 84 churches of the 116, leaving Archdeacon Mar Thoma I only 32 churches. The 84 churches, and their congregations, were the bodies from which the Syro Malabar Catholic Church have descended. The other 32 churches, and their congregations, were the body from which the Syriac Orthodox Church (Jacobites), Thozhiyur (1772), Mar Thoma (Reformed Syrians) (1874), Syro Malankara Catholic Church have originated.[38] In 1665, Mar Gregorios Abdul Jaleel, a Bishop sent by the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, arrived in India; the native Christians under the leadership of the Archdeacon welcomed him.[17][39] This visit resulted in the Mar Thoma taking spiritual authority of the St. Thomas Christians.

The arrival of Mar Gregorios in 1665 marked the beginning of the associations of St. Thomas Christians with the Church of West Syria. Those who accepted the West Syriac theological and liturgical tradition of Mar Gregorios became known as the Malankara Syrian Church. Those who continued with East Syriac theological and liturgical tradition are known as the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in communion with the Catholic Church. They adopted their own Syro-Malabar Hierarchy on 21 December 1923 with the Metropolitan Mar Augustine Kandathil as the Head of their Church.

By this process, Saint Thomas Christians were divided into East Syriac and West Syriac branches.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Synod of Diamper." Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., 2011. Web. 23 December 2011.
  2. ^ For the Acts and Decrees of the Synod cf. Michael Geddes, "A Short History of the Church of Malabar Together with the Synod of Diamper &c." London, 1694;Repr. in George Menachery, Ed., Indian Church History Classics, Vol.1, Ollur 1998, pp.33-112
  3. ^ a b Vadakkekara, p. 84; 86.
  4. ^ Frykenberg, p. 361.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 February 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Divisions and Rite of the Churches- Syro Malabar Church, Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church, Malankara Orthodox Syriac Church, Thozhiyur Church, Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, Syro Malankara Church, Chaldean Syrian Church- Synod of Diamper, NSC Network.
  7. ^ Roberson, Ronald. "The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church". CNEWA. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  8. ^ a b Gregorios & Roberson, p. 285.
  9. ^ a b Vadakkekara, p. 91.
  10. ^ Gouvea, Antonio de (1606). Jornada. Coimbra.
  11. ^ "Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar — World Council of Churches".
  12. ^ "Heritage – Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church".
  13. ^ George Joseph Nedumparambil (2013). "A Search of the Roots of the Syro-Malabar Church in Kerala" (PDF). University of Würzburg. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  14. ^ "Church of the East in India". Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  15. ^ a b c Ninan, M.M. "5". HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN INDIA.
  16. ^ Synod of Diamper Church, Garvasis and Protasis church and All Saints church.
  17. ^ a b c d e Dr. Thekkedath, History of Christianity in India"
  18. ^ a b J Thaliath, The Synod of Diamper
  19. ^ The history of the church of Malabar: Together with the Synod of Diamper 1599 - Michael Geddes - the Bavarian State Library
  20. ^ C. Buchanan - Christian researches in Asia: with notices of the translation of the scriptures into the oriental languages, 1811
  21. ^ [1], The history of Christianity in India: Volume 2 By James Hough
  22. ^ Acts and Decrees of the Synod are exhaustively given by Michael Geddes, "A Short History of the Church of Malabar Together with the Synod of Diamper &c." London, 1694;Repr. in George Menachery, Ed., Indian Church History Classics, Vol.1, Ollur 1998, pp.33-112. Also in James Hugh Vol.2. Cf.Relevant articles in The St. Thomas Christian Encyclopaedia of India, Ed. George Menachery, 1973, 1982,2009
  23. ^ a b Ferroli, "Jesuits in Malabar" Vol.1
  24. ^ a b Save Syriac, NSC Network.
  25. ^ D. Webb, “ Versions of the Malabar Liturgy”
  26. ^ Connolly, “ Work of Menezes", Codrington, “ The Malabar Liturgy and the Synod of Diamper"
  27. ^ Synod of Diamper[permanent dead link], NSC Network.
  28. ^ Nagarajan, Saraswathy (19 June 2009) Journey of discovery The Hindu
  29. ^ Giuseppe Beltrami, La Chiesa Caldea pp 253–6, Full text reproduced
  30. ^ [Coonan Cross Oath (Koonan Kurishu Satyam)]
  31. ^ Joseph Thekkedathu, pous cit pp96-100
  32. ^ Rev Dr. Placid Podipara, The Hierarchy of Syro Malabar Church, in Collected works of Rev Dr. Placid Podipara CMI, Vol I p 719
  33. ^
  34. ^ Frykenberg, p. 361.
  35. ^ Fernando, p. 79.
  36. ^ Chaput, pp. 7–8.
  37. ^ Vadakkekara, p. 84 and note.
  38. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia- "St. Thomas Christians" The Carmelite Period, Dr. Thekkedath, History of Christianity in India"
  39. ^ Claudius Buchanan 1811., Menachery G; 1973, 1982, 1998; Podipara, Placid J. 1970; Leslie Brown, 1956; Tisserant, E. 1957; Michael Geddes, 1694;

Books (Studies on Synod of Diamper)[edit]

  • Paul Pallath, "The Synod of Diamper: valid or invalid?"
  • George Nedungatt S.J., "The Synod of Diamper Revisited", Pontifical Instituto Orientale, Rome, 2001.
  • Joseph Kuzhinjalil, "The disciplinary Legislation of Synod of Diamper" (1975)
  • Jonas Thaliath, " The Synod of Diamper" (1958)
  • Connolly, " The Work of Meneses"
  • Codrington, " The Chaldean Liturgy"
  • Codrington," The Malabar Liturgy and Synod of Diamper"
  • Neill, Stephen – (1977) A history of Christian missions Neill, Stephen- The story of the Christian church in India and Pakistan
  • Eric Frykenberg, Robert- Christianity in India
  • Hough, James – 1845 - The history of Christianity in India: Volume 4
  • Sir William Kaye, John- Christianity in India
  • Bruce Firth, Cyril- An introduction to Indian church history
  • Hunter, W.W. – (1886) The Indian Empire; Its People History and Products pp 240
  • Logan, William – (1887) Malabar Manual pp 119
  • Nangam Aiya, V.-(1906) The Travancore State Manual Volume 2 pp 243
  • Barton, John M. –(1872) The Syrian Christians: Narrative of a Tour in the Travancore Mission of the Church Missionary Society Mission Life, Vol. III * * Geddes, Michael- (1694) A short History of the Church of Malabar
  • Henry, J. & Parker, J - The Christians of St. Thomas and their liturgies
  • Milne Rae, George- Syrian Church in India Whitehouse, Thomas – (1873) Lingerings of light in a dark land: researches into the Syrian church of Malabar * * Brown, Leslie- The Indian Christians of St Thomas
  • David Macbride, John – (1856) - The Syrian church in India

External links[edit]