KOCHI: Tense situation prevails at the Piravom St Mary’s Jacobite Syrian Cathedral (Piravom Valiyapally) with the parishioners belonging to the Jacobite faction continuing their prayer protest inside the church, while over 400 policemen are camped outside. With the meeting called by the District Collector failing to break the stalemate, all eyes are on the outcome of the hearing of a petition filed by the Orthodox faction in the Kerala High Court, slated for Tuesday.
According to Fr Joshy Mathew of the Jacobite faction, the Orthodox faction wants complete control of the church. “They say the 1934 Malankara Church constitution needs to be implemented as per the SC order. However, the church was being administered as per the constitution. Their demand for handing over of the administration can’t be accepted,” he said.
“As of now, the protests are peaceful. But if the police decide to forcefully remove the faithful, the situation might take a turn for the worse,” he said. “We are ready to allow them to offer prayers and we have conveyed the same at the meeting called by the District Collector,” said Fr Joshy.
Fr Johns Abraham Konat, spokesperson for the Orthodox faction, said the government has no other option but to implement the SC ruling. “It says the church administration has to be handed over as per 1934 Malankara Church guidelines,” he said.