New chapter in Jacobite-Orthodox ties

Mass in progress at the St. Mary's Church, Piravom, on Tuesday under the Orthodox group.

Mass in progress at the St. Mary's Church, Piravom, on Tuesday under the Orthodox group.   | Photo Credit: Spl

District authorities hand over keys of Piravom church to Orthodox group

The Orthodox faction of the Malankara Syrian Church celebrated Mass on Tuesday at the historic Piravom St. Mary’s Church (Valiapallay), led by Father Mathews Vathakkattil, marking a new beginning in the relationship with the Jacobite faction of the Malankara Church.

Vicar Fr. Elias Cherukatt said the Mass was attended by a large number of people and there were no untoward incidents that marked the standoff over the control of churches between the Jacobite and Orthodox groups.

The Mass was celebrated after the district revenue authorities officially handed over the keys of the church following a Supreme Court order of July 2017.

Mass on all weekdays

The vicar said there would be Mass at 7.15 a.m. on all weekdays.

A spokesman for the Jacobite group said the group celebrated Mass at one of the chapels near the Piravom Valiapally and that temporary venues were being prepared for offering Mass on a daily basis.

There were several chapels under the Jacobite group in and around Piravom where people gathered to pray and offer Mass on a regular basis. These chapels included the ones at Kakkad, Ezhuppuram, and Peppathi, he added.

High drama in Sept.

There was high drama in the last week of September when the Jacobite group occupied St. Mary’s Church, a Jacobite stronghold. The Kerala High Court had then ordered the police to evict the group to pave the way for the Orthodox group to take control of the church.

The church was then temporarily taken over by the district administration to establish peace before the church was officially handed over to the Orthodox group on Monday.

The Jacobite group has, in the meanwhile, maintained that the court order pertained only to the control of the Valiapally and the cemetery and the other establishments such as the office were out of the purview of the court order.

The Jacobite church leaders met the district revenue authorities in this regard on Monday when the church keys were handed over to the Orthodox group.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 6:41:02 PM |

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