Chathoth Vallamkulam Family
Chinese Fishing Nets
Many cities require a geographic genius to identify them from just one photo, but exceptions like Paris, famously known for its Eiffel Tower, exist. Kochi, Kerala is not as renowned as Paris, yet this iconic and rustic image is recognizable to millions of people living there.
Since launching the site in April 2015, this is the first update to the home page. The original post is retained as the Old Home Page.
Most members of the Chathoth family that originated in Vallamkulam, Kerala, with members now spread over many parts of the globe, belong to Malankara Orthodox Church. The original Vallamkulam household has been part of the Thottabhagom Church, known by the name of Kaviyoor Sleeba Church (Church of the Cross at Kaviyoor) since it was founded over 125 years ago. The church was consecrated in 1897 by the legendary Bishop of Parumala, the first canonized saint of the Malankara Orthodox Church. The first wedding in this church was of Chathoth family founder Kochuchandychen’s grandson Icca with Rahelamma, who did not walk to the church, but was ceremoniously carried to the church for the wedding!
Many people outside of Kerala and India have doubts about how Indians could be Christians. It is a well-known fact that Kerala, the southwest corner of India is home to ancient orthodox Christianity almost dating back to the period of early Christianity anywhere in the World.
However, the divisions in Orthodox Christianity in Kerala, India today are a source of deep concern.
As the two Orthodox Christian countries, Ukraine and Russia, fight a war over political, economic and social differences, it reminds us of the deep divisions we face even within our faith.
The ancient Orthodox Christian Church was united in India until about the 16th century. Starting with the arrival of Europeans, much has changed. A short outline of the historical divisions was part of the original post which is now archived as Old Home Page.
It should be recalled with some amount of regret that the Christians, called Nasranis then, were considered as part of the Hindu upper caste and were part of the caste-based discrimination of people. The Synod of Diamper of 1599 turned out as a much-needed reform of the calcified traditions. Conservatives do lament the loss of old rituals and books under duress from the powerful Portuguese bishops. Shashi Tharoor, the up-and-coming new leader of the Congress Party came up with the social relevance of the Synod in 2017. However, the reforms may have done very little to really change the nature of the membership in the churches. The ‘lower-castes’ were still not admitted to the churches and the new converts had to start their own churches. The best testimony to this fact is the life and work of Poykayil Yohannan.
The changes set in motion by the Synod of Diamper brought about multiple Christian denominations, each with a small variation of faith and rituals, but principally exclusive in terms of property ownership and governance structure. Together, these denominations form a diverse community of believers, united by their shared faith in Jesus Christ, but perpetually in conflict over issues such as ownership of property or rites of service or even, regrettably, caste systems.
This has led to a fragmentation of the Church, which has weakened its ability to bring together the faithful and to spread the teachings of Jesus Christ. The divisions have also led to a lack of unity among the members of the Church. Each group claims to be the true expression of Christianity, and the resulting debates and arguments have created a sense of division and discord.
It is time for us to come together and work toward unity. We must reject any attempt to divide us and to create division in the Church. We must seek to be united in our faith and hold fast to the teachings of Jesus Christ. We must be generous and gracious in our interactions with others, and show the same grace and love that Jesus showed us. We must also remember that we are all part of the same Church, and each of us is responsible for working toward unity. We must be willing to listen to one another and to seek to understand each other’s perspectives. We must pray for one another and our leaders, that they may lead us in peace and unity. We must recognize that these divisions have weakened the Church and damaged its ability to bring together the faithful. But we must also recognize that, in the end, only through a return to Jesus, grace, generosity and goodness can we begin to rebuild unity and strength in the Church. This is the call that we must answer.
No relation to Kasargod Chathoth family
“Did your family originally come from Kasargod (a city in North Kerala), Kerala? Any Connection in Kalpetta (also in North Kerala) Chathoth Village? Hotel Chathoth?
Were your ancestors connected to Muchilot Padanayakar, the famous warlord at Muchilot Bhagavathi Temple?
Were you in the oil trade, commerce, agriculture, education and the founding of schools?
A Fr Fernadez visited our ancestor from Mangalore….(words missing or not clear) RC Amala School in Pinarayi, Tellicherry, Cannonore Dist? “
The above questions were found in a feedback post in the Old Home Page. While thanking the author and also noting the impressive accomplishments of the Chathoth namesake family in Kasargod, our family that originated in Vallamkulam does not have any connections with them.