The judgment says that the refusal of the church to provide a burial of Prof Jacob in his family tomb amounts ... Read More
KOTTAYAM: A court here slapped fine on the Church for not allowing to bury the body of a former professor who wrote a book that allegedly hurt the interests of the church. The Erattupetta Munsiff court Judge Hareesh G in his judgment directed to recover a sum of Rs 9.95 lakhs from the Church of South India, East Kerala Diocese Bishop K G Daniel and Vicar of St Mathyas Church, Ellumpuram as compensation for the injuries caused to the reputation and goodwill of Prof. Jacob and his family. The amount has to be paid to Mary Jacob, wife of the late professor who had filed the complaint.
The judgment also says that the refusal of the church to provide a burial of Prof Jacob in his family tomb with all rites, rituals and offerings available to an ordinary member of the diocese is wrong and it amounts to infringement to the rights and privileges of Jacob and his family.
Prof Jacob who passed away on October 5, 2013 was an active member of the CSI. He was one of the founder members of CSI East Kerala Diocese. He had served in the Synod for five times and was the secretary of the diocese for 12 years. He was also the Head of the Department in the Henry Baker College in Melukavu in Idukki District. He was elected as the member of MG University Syndicate. It was his book "Baptism-a study" which was published in the year 2006 which made some of the church authorities turn against him. The book questioned Christians' baptism in early childhood. The clergy took objection to the suggestion in his book that decision on religious belief by an individual had to be taken after one attained knowledge of oneself.
The Bishop alleged that the book was against the theology practice and faith of the church. Based on his directions the church ostracised him on June, 2008. Jacob challenged this decision of the church in the court and the court held that the decision to excommunicate Jacob was illegal. However, the Bishop and the vicar of the church refused to extend the rights and privileges due to him as a member and Jacob was denied the right to worship at the church. Jacob passed away in October 2012 while he was under treatment in Medical Mission Hospital Kolenchery. The church initially did not allow the relatives to cremate the body in the parish church of the deceased. Later they allowed to bury the dead body on the cemetery of the church with certain conditions. The conditions stated that the dead body would not be permitted to be taken inside the church and religious offerings would not be performed. It also stated that the dead body would be buried only in a common cell and would not be permitted to bury in the family cell and at the time of performing rituals the priest would not wear customary attire. The family members felt this as an insult to the deceased and buried the body in the residential premises of the deceased.
On November 25, 2013, the relatives sent court notice to the Church demanding an apology to the members of the diocese for all their misdeeds and also to pay Rs 1 crore compensation to the relatives.
May 16, 2008: CSI Bishop K G Daniel demands action against Prof C C Jacob for publishing the book "Baptism-a study"
June 5, 2008: 'Mudak Kalpana' (excommunication) issued by the Bishop read out in the Parish of C C Jacob, St Mathyas Church, Ellumpuram, Thodupuzha.
December 12, 2008: Erattupetta Munsiff Court held that the decision to excommunicate the professor was wrong and illegal after the professor approached the court.
October 5, 2013: Prof Jacob passes away. Vicar of the church declares that the body cannot be cremated in the church.
October 6, 2013: The Bishop permits to bury the dead body in the cemetery of the church with certain conditions. Body not permitted to be taken inside the church and religious offerings not to be performed. Body allowed to be buried only in a common cell and not in the family cell. The relatives felt insulted and the body was buried in the residential premises of the professor.
November 25, 2013: The relatives sent court notice to the Church demanding an apology to the members of the diocese for all their misdeeds and also to pay Rs 1 crore compensation to the relatives.