Staff Reporter

  • The vicar entitled to conduct services in the church
  • Pre-conditions for Patriarch faction to offer prayers

    Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday ordered the Revenue Divisional Officer, Idukki, to hand over the key of the locked St. George Syrian Church, Chelachuvadu, to the Orthodox faction in the Malankara Church.

    The RDO took hold of the key on September 9, 2006 following disputes over the naming of the church between the Orthodox and the Patriarch factions of the Malankara Church. The court held that the vicar, Fr. K.K. Varghese, would be entitled to conduct services in the church.

    The Patriarch faction would be entitled to offer prayers and services if they filed a written undertaking before the vicar that they would not question the 1934 constitution of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and the authority of the Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan Baselius Mar Thomas Didymus 1.

    Petition filed

    A writ petition was filed before the High Court seeking direction to the State Government to conduct a probe by the Crime Branch into the incident in which 16 aged and orphaned devotees were removed from the Guruvayur temple premises by Immanuel Jeeva Karunya Samithi.

    The petition was filed by K. Arunkumar, president, Bharatiya Jan Sabdam.

    The petitioner also sought a direction to the State Government and the Guruvayur Devaswom to set up an old age home at Guruvayur.