Kerala

Govt. to intervene to solve Church crisis

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CM says State unwilling to use force at places of worship

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that the government will talk to the Orthodox and Jacobite factions in the Malankara Church to settle the ongoing conflict between the two over the administration of a few parishes in the State.

Mr. Vijayan said here on Monday that the government was unwilling to use force in places of worship lest it caused pain to believers and stirred unrest in society. The government would decide whether to speak to the factions collectively or separately.

(The Orthodox faction accuses the State government of having failed to implement the Supreme Court order of July 3 that gave it the right to administer a significant number of churches. The Jacobites had thwarted their move to take over the Kothamangalam and Piravom churches on the strength of the Supreme Court verdict despite a massive police presence.)

In Sabarimala, the police had maintained composure despite violent attacks on officers. Any police overreaction at a place of worship would have ominous consequences for society and would be akin to playing into the hands of fundamentalist forces that seek to exploit religious emotions for their politically divisive ends.

Women’s entry

Mr. Vijayan said Travancore Devaswom Board president K. Padmakumar had no business to ask women to stay away from Sabarimala till the end of the Mandalam-Makaravilakku season. “Nobody could say that. The Supreme Court has ruled on the issue of entry of women. The State and all its entities are constitutionally bound to uphold the order,” he said. Mr. Vijayan said the government had no insistence that women should worship at Sabarimala. “Faith is a private matter. But, if any woman wants to go to Sabarimala, the government will protect them,” he added.

Mr. Vijayan corrected Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran who had reportedly echoed Mr. Padmakumar’s sentiments on the entry of women during the pilgrim season.

He debunked a media report that post-flood rehabilitation had not happened in Kerala as claimed by the government.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 9:35:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/govt-to-intervene-to-solve-church-crisis/article25874947.ece

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