Malankara church factions reiterate stand after court verdict

Metropolitan trustee Joseph Mar Gregorios. File

Metropolitan trustee Joseph Mar Gregorios. File   | Photo Credit: H. Vibhu

The Jacobite faction of the Malankara Church has said that the court verdict directing Ernakulam District Collector S. Suhas to take over the historic Mulanthuruthy Jacobite Church was “unfortunate”.

Metropolitan Trustee Joseph Mar Gregorios of the Jacobite Church told The Hindu that the verdict was an “unfortunate one.” He said that around 2,500 parishioners of the Marthoman church were emotional about their attachment to the church. He said that the people had previously resisted the takeover of the church and that their reactions could be emotional.

Father Jose Abraham Konatt, official spokesman for the Orthodox faction of the Malankara Church, said that the Orthodox group did not want to oust anyone from the church but that the Jacobite group members were going out on their own. He said that it was serving the cause of justice that the church was taken over. There was no plan to expel any member. All the parish members would have full right to the parish and they would also be participating in the elections in the future, he added.

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday ruled that the Collector should lock the church and keep its keys under his custody. The verdict came on an appeal from the State government against an earlier order for the church takeover. The single Bench on Tuesday directed that the authorities could take the help of Central forces to take over the church, if required. The observation from the single Bench came after the State submitted that the authorities were not in a position to take over the church because of the COVID-19 pandemic and flood situation in Kerala.

Meanwhile, Peter K. Elias, Jacobite church secretary, said that the experience of the Jacobite group was that once the Orthodox group took over a church, they would expel their rivals as was seen in the case of the St. John’s Church, Kanyattunirappu, near Kochi. He reiterated that the Jacobite group was not against the Supreme Court verdict or any other court order.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2020 8:16:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/malankara-church-factions-reiterate-stand-after-court-verdict/article32333635.ece

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