Kerala

Tension at Kothamangalam Marthoman church

Thomas Paul Ramban’s car trying to enter the Marthoman Cheriapally in Kothamangalam on Thursday.

Thomas Paul Ramban’s car trying to enter the Marthoman Cheriapally in Kothamangalam on Thursday.  

Jacobites oppose entry of Orthodox priest to the church

Tension prevailed at the Marthoman Cheriapally at Kothamangalam on Thursday following a stand-off between the police and members of the Jacobite faction of the Malankara Church over the issue of allowing Father Thomas Paul Ramban of the Orthodox faction entry into the church.

Hundreds of Jacobites, including a large number of women, blocked the church gate on Thursday morning and blocked the entry of the Ramban, the appointed vicar of the Orthodox faction, who reached the church armed with a High Court order.

HC dismisses plea

The High Court had on Tuesday dismissed a petition filed by the Jacobite faction against a Muvattupuzha munsif court order granting police protection to him.

The police initially managed to get the Ramban leave the scene as the situation appeared to get out of control. However, he returned about 2.30 p.m. and he stayed put in his vehicle outside the church when reports last came in. There is a large posse of policemen posted at the site even as Catholicos Baselios Thomas I, head of the Jacobite faction, continued to stay inside the church.

He told a press conference that the Jacobite faction would not give up the church property and called on the government to mediate for a resolution of the problem.

The Catholicos said the issues between the factions in the Malankara Church had been sorted out through discussions in the Malabar region and that the example should be followed here as well.

The Orthodox faction said the police were duty bound to allow the Ramban to enter the church because there was a court order backing him. The Ramban was appointed vicar of the Marthoman Cheriapally about a month ago. He was to have taken charge of the church on Thursday. Orthodox Church sources said the police had been informed of the move as the Ramban wanted police protection.

Recently, the St. Mary’s church at Piravom, controlled by the Jacobite faction, had witnessed tension as the police entered the premises to implement last year’s Supreme Court order giving control of the church to the Orthodox faction.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 3:55:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/tension-at-kothamangalam-marthoman-church/article25792110.ece

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