All the excitement over the wedding of Justin John with Vijimol Shaji, which was expected to mark the end of endogamy practised by the Knanaya Catholics, fizzled out with the function in Kasaragod on May 18 turning into a damp squib in the absence of consent from the Knanaya Church.
Upset over the Church’s indifference, the bridegroom is now slated to move a contempt of court petition in the High Court against the Knanaya Church.
The 31-year-old bridegroom, a member of St. Anne’s Church, Kottody, in Kasaragod under the Knanaya Archeparchy of Kottayam, was slated to marry Vijimol, a member of St Xavier’s Church, Kottody, under the Thalassery archdiocese of the Syro-Malabar Church.
Although he was entitled to get a consent or Vivaha Kuri from his church as per a High Court order, he was denied the same at the last minute citing the absence of an application. As the marriage sacrament could not be completed, the bridegroom and bride exchanged garlands at a brief function held outside St Xavier’s Church.
“Having completed all the stipulations for marrying a woman such as attending the pre-marriage course and making confession, there is no reason why the Church should deny me the consent,” Mr. John said. The marriage, according to him, was scheduled to be organised at the bride’s parish to avoid a possible law and order situation at his own parish.
Meanwhile, the Knanaya Catholic Naveekarana Samiti, a reformation group that leads legal battle to end the practice of endogamy in the Knanaya Church, will also file a contempt of court case in the High Court against the denial of Vivaha Kuri to Mr. John.
The Knanaya Archeparchy, on its part, clarified that the bridegroom had failed to submit relevant documents and complete procedures for his marriage. “He approached the parish for a consent only on the eve of his wedding. We need to complete the canonical procedure before issuing the consent for the marriage,” said Fr. Michael Vettikkatt, spokesperson of the Knanaya Archeparchy of Kottayam.
As to a query whether the membership of Mr. John with the Knanaya Archeparchy stood cancelled with the wedding, Fr. Vettikkatt replied that the court had prohibited termination of membership of a member for marrying from outside the sect.