Monday, July 3, 2017

Malankara church disspute -Syrian Orthodox Church allowed to conttrol 1,400 churches

Jul 04 2017 : The Times of India (Chennai)
Orthodox faction gets control of disputed churches

In what should hopefully end a fractious standoff and decades of protracted litigation over control of around 2,000 individual churches, the Orthodox faction of Syrian Orthodox Church will be allowed to conduct administration and prayers at around 1,400 churches -including the famous Kolenchery St Peter's and St Paul's Church -contested between it and the Jacobite faction. This follows a Supreme Court judgment upholding a Kerala high court order that the issue be resolved in accordance with a 1934 constitution of the Malankara Association. Addressing a press conference in Kottayam, Baselius Mar Thoma Paulos II, head of the Orthodox faction, formally known as Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, said he welcomes the Supreme Court judgment. Terming it a significant verdict, he said he expects the Kerala government to take immediate steps to implement the judgment but warned believers not to indulge in excess celebration over the court order.The rival Jacobite faction (Jacobite Syrian Christian Church) said they are yet to get a copy of the court order. “We haven't gone through the court order. The issue being one related to belief, we won't be able to accept any decision which harms the faith. So, we will be holding meetings to discuss about it. We would be meeting the chief minister of Kerala also,“ said Thampu George Thukalan, secretary , Jacobite Syrian Christian Church.
It was in October 2013 that the high court upheld Ernakulam additional district court's order allowing the Orthodox faction to conduct administration and prayers at the church.

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