Kerala

Jurist stresses women’s right to enter altar of churches

Former Supreme Court Judge K.T. Thomas addressing the congregation at the Jerusalem Mar Thoma Church at Kuttappuzha, near Thiruvalla, on Sunday.  

Renowned jurist and former Supreme Court Judge K.T. Thomas has called upon the church to think of liturgical improvement and to ensure women’s participation in liturgy in tune with the changing times.

Justice Thomas was delivering a lecture on ‘Renaissance, reformation, and missionaries’ at the Jerusalem Mar Thoma Church at Kuttappuzha, near Thiruvalla, on Sunday.

According to him, nowhere in the Holy Bible there was any reference prohibiting women’s entry to the Madbaha or altar.

Fundamental right

Justice Thomas said he had made such a statement under the inspiration of the Indian Constitution that categorically upheld gender justice.

He said the Constitution had prescribed the fundamental right “to develop the scientific temper, humanism, and the spirit of inquiry and reform.”

In the Christian perspective, reformation has got three aspects — theological, liturgical, and sociological. To develop the spirit of reformation was the fundamental right of every Indian citizen, he said.

Justice Thomas said the Churches should update the interpretations of the Holy Bible in this fast-changing computer era. Updation of the Holy Bible in tune with the changing times was a necessity to make the theological and liturgical reformation a continuing process, he said. He said religion had a tendency to live in orthodoxy, antiquity, primitivism, and archaism and a liberation from this could be possible through the process of reformation.



‘Review concept’

He said there was no meaning in restricting the Gospel to 66 books. The Book of Revelation was added to the Gospel in the 11th century.

Hence the very concept of restricting the Gospel to mere 66 books should be reviewed. The Church should explore the possibility of adding the experiences and sermons of evangelists like Thomas Norton, Benjamin Bailey, etc. to it he said.

Justice Thomas said the World Council of Churches and the Catholic Church could very well take a joint initiative in this regard. He said the religion could move ahead in a scientific world only through such reformation processes.

Philip N. Thomas, former general secretary of Kerala Council of Churches; Fr. Abraham P. Athyal, theologian; and Fr. Abraham C. Mathew, parish priest, also spoke.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 5:06:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/Jurist-stresses-women%E2%80%99s-right-to-enter-altar-of-churches/article16670088.ece

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