Kerala church row: Jacobite faction to move Centre if state fails to bring ordinance

Protesters on Sunday gathered at the Piravom and Mulanthuruthy churches in Ernakulam.
Kerala Bishop Joseph Mar Gregarious
Kerala Bishop Joseph Mar Gregarious
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The Jacobite faction of the Malankara Church plans to approach the Union government if the state government fails to bring in an ordinance for a solution to the decades-old church dispute with the Orthodox faction. Joseph Mar Gregorious told media on Sunday that the Union government will be apprised of 'the denial of justice'. Protesters on Sunday gathered at the Piravom and Mulanthuruthy churches in Ernakulam.

The Jacobite faction launched an indefinite relay hunger strikes across the state on Sunday. The Church reportedly has also decided to protest in front of the Secretariat.  

Joseph Mar Gregorious also said that this is not challenging the law. “But in the law truth is buried, justice is denied and history and realities are twisted,” he said. “The demand of the church is to bring an ordinance for retaining several churches under it. As per the Supreme Court order in 2017, more than 1,000 parishes and churches of the Malankara Church should be take over and handed over to the Orthodox faction. The dispute between the two factions is over half a century old.

The Kerala High Court in November had criticised the state government for not implementing its December 2019 order. The government, following this, informed the court that the heads of both the Jacobite and Orthodox factions had conveyed to the Chief Minister that they won't further precipitate the issue.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, early in November, had held a third round of discussions with representatives of both the factions. The Orthodox faction has reportedly taken the stand that it won’t cooperate with discussions until the court order is implemented.

The High Court in December 2019 had directed the state government to take over the St Thomas Church at Kothamangalam.

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