Kerala

Tense scenes at Mulanthuruthy Marthoman church

The Jacobite faction occupies the Marthoman Church of Mulanthuruthy even as the Orthodox faction seeks sought entry to the premises on Saturday.

The Jacobite faction occupies the Marthoman Church of Mulanthuruthy even as the Orthodox faction seeks sought entry to the premises on Saturday.  

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Standoff between Jacobite and Orthodox factions

The Marthoman Church at Mulanthuruthy, near Thripunithura, on Saturday evening witnessed tense scenes as hundreds of Jacobite faction members occupied its premises even as members of the Orthodox faction sought entry there.

The police said over 100 Orthodox faction members reached the spot to enter the church to gain control over it armed with a Supreme Court order favouring them. But numerous Jacobites assembled at the church to prevent them from entering the premises. A posse of police deployed in the area sought to defuse tension and avert untoward happenings. Subsequently, the Orthodox people returned after being in the area for some time, according to the police.

Fr. Johns Abraham Konat, spokesperson of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, said since there was no police protection guaranteed to the church members, they had to retreat. “The police were reluctant to protect us and demanded a specific court order for police protection. That’s why we retreated. Now, we will move court for police protection,” he said.

The Jacobites were greater in number and, according to them, this was what prompted the Orthodox members to return.

The police said they did not register any case against anyone as the situation was peaceful.

Staff Reporter writes from Kottayam: Amidst a controversy over the alleged denial of burial rights to members of the Jacobite faction in Malankara chuches, Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II, head of the Orthodox Church, sought to turn down the criticism on the faction over dishonouring of dead bodies.

In a statement, the Catholicos clarified that “the Orthodox Church will never raise any objection if the relatives of deceased persons, irrespective of factional differences, legitimately raise a demand to the vicar of the churches where the Supreme Court order has been implemented. The Orthodox Church will never deny the fundamental rights of persons as guaranteed by the Constitution of India”.

According to the Catholicos, the deaths should be intimated to the vicars in-charge of the churches and cemeteries and formal requests be forwarded for carrying out funeral services.

“A directive to this effect has been given to all church members. No parallel administration can be permitted in churches and cemeteries as per the court order and this is why we insist that only the vicar, who is legally in charge, conduct the funeral services. However, the Patriarch faction keeps insisting on carrying out funerals in the absence of these vicars, which, in turn, is triggering trouble,” he said.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the Orthodox faction to protest against the attack on its shrines and institutions in connection with the implementation of the SC order will be held at St Stephen’s Church, Makkamkunnu, in Pathanamthitta on Sunday.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 1:33:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/tense-scenes-at-mulanthuruthy-marthoman-church/article30063763.ece

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