Kerala

Jacobites re-enact Koonankurishu Oath

From pages of history: Bishop Joseph Mar Gregorios administering pledge at the Marthoma Cheriyapalli at Kothamangalam on Sunday.

From pages of history: Bishop Joseph Mar Gregorios administering pledge at the Marthoma Cheriyapalli at Kothamangalam on Sunday.  

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Members from around 1,600 churches participate in event at Kothamangalam

Thousands of members of the Jacobite group of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox church joined Catholicos Baselios Thomas I, metropolitan trustee Bishop Joseph Mar Gregorios, and other bishops and church leaders in Kothamangalam on Sunday in a re-enactment of the historic Koonankurishu Sathyam or Oath of Koonankurishu.

The re-enactment of the January 3, 1653, event in Mattancherry, near Kochi, was part of the efforts by the Jacobite group to protect its traditions and churches, said a spokesman for the Jacobite group.

The event was organised under the aegis of the Marthoma Cheriyapalli at Kothamangalam. Members from around 1,600 churches in Kerala participated.

The re-enactment of Koonankurishu Sathyam was carried out even as the stand-off between the Jacobite and Orthodox factions continued after the Supreme Court verdict of July 2017. The court had ordered an end to parallel administration and holding of services in all the parishes of the Malankara Church. The order also handed over control of all Malankara churches to the Orthodox group.

Breaking away

The Koonankurishu Oath of 1653 saw a group of Syrian Christians breaking away from the control of the Portuguese and Catholic missionaries in Kerala, who tried to draw the Syrian Christians into the Rome rite after the Synod of Diamper (Udayamperoor, near Kochi) in June 1599.

The group of Syrian Christians gathered at Mattancherry and took an oath against the Roman efforts by touching a cross established there. As everyone could not touch the cross a long rope was tied to the cross on which the believers touched and took the oath. It is said the impact left the cross bent a little and is referred to as the bent cross or Koonankurishu. The cross can be seen at Mattancherry to this day.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 4:03:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/jacobites-re-enact-koonankurishu-oath/article29612692.ece

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