KOCHI: The district administration is on tenterhooks after Fr Thomas Paul Ramban, the appointed vicar of the Orthodox faction, on Wednesday sought police protection for offering Holy Mass at Marthoma Cheriya Palli, Kothamangalam, on Thursday, which if allowed, will ruffle the feathers of the Jacobite faction.
The High Court had on Tuesday dismissed the petition filed by the Jacobite faction against the Muvattupuzha Munsif Court order granting police protection to the vicar. According to sources, there are chances of Piravom-like incidents happening at Kothamangalam church.
The vicar appointed on 2008 by Baselios Didymos I, Catholicos of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, was not allowed to enter the church premises by the Jacobite faction. “Both the factions have a claim on the church. We all were one once. Then how can they take full claim on the church?” Fr John Abrahams Konat, spokesperson, Orthodox faction, told Express.
Meanwhile, Kuriakose Mar Theophilos, who is in charge of media cell, Malankara Jacobite Syriac Orthodox Church, said there are no plans for them to leave the Kothamangalam church. “Where will we go leaving our church, that rightfully belonged to us? The 3,000 families cannot sacrifice their church,” he said.
The situation will go out of hand, with the faithful even ready to sacrifice their lives, if the Orthodox faction forcefully enters Kothamangalam church. “In Piravom church, the sentiments of the faithful were hurt and they made suicide attempts. We cannot predict the way they will react. Kothamangalam church has over 3,000 faithful, who are deeply attached to the church,” he said.
Though the police officials have asked for more time for implementing the HC verdict, the Orthodox faction appears unrelenting. “The vicar and members of the church have approached us seeking protection. We sought more time as many of the police personnel are deployed at Sabarimala. But the police will provide the required protection to them,” said Basil Thomas, SI, Kothamangalam.