Jacobite group to march to Devalokam

Alleging ‘denial of justice’ in opening Piravom church to Orthodox group

The Jacobite group of the Malankara Church will take out a march to the headquarters of the Orthodox group at Devalokam in Kottayam on Wednesday to protest against what the former has termed “the denial of justice” in connection with the opening of the Piravom St. Mary’s Church to the Orthodox group.

A spokesman for the Jacobite group said that around 5,000 believers, including those from Piravom, would take part.

The march, slated to begin at 2.30 p.m. from St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Kottayam, will be led by Thomas Mor Themotheos, Metropolitan of the Kottayam Diocese, and the metropolitan trustee Joseph Mor Gregorios. Devotees and priests from all parishes under the diocese will also take part. The Metropolitan said the march was aimed at registering protest against the Orthodox faction, which had initiated a “forceful eviction of the Jacobite members from their churches by misleading the court and the State government using a court order.”

Catholicos Baselios Thomas I was unlikely to take part as he had a function to attend in Kothamangalam, the spokesman of the group said.

Under SC verdict

The historic Piravom church was opened to the Orthodox group to celebrate mass on Sunday under police protection following the Supreme Court verdict of July 2017. The two groups of the Malankara Church till last Sunday took turns every week to celebrate Mass and to offer prayers as per a decision of the district administration, which had wanted to avoid a confrontation between the groups.

The church was taken over by the district administration last Thursday following a stand-off between the groups after the Orthodox group sought police protection to celebrate mass inside the church in keeping with the Supreme Court verdict. However, the Jacobite group had occupied the church and the members of the church were forcefully removed by the police before the church was sealed for a week. The District Collector had also brought into effect Section 144 of the Cr.PC to bring the situation under control.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 1:14:02 AM |

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