KOCHI: Amid the ongoing tussle between the Orthodox and Jacobite factions of the Malankara Church, there appears to be a glimmer of hope for peace as it is learnt preliminary discussions of both the factions took place in Kochi on Saturday night.
According to Kuriakose Mar Theophilos, spokesperson of the Jacobite Church, the initiative of the discussion was taken by former Supreme Court Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan. Thomas Mar Athanasius, Metropolitan of Kandanad East Diocese, attended the discussion from the Orthodox faction.
“We are always open for discussions, as decisions cannot be taken by law. It is a matter of faith and belief of thousands of people. We believe more and more discussions will be seen in the coming days,” said Theophilos.
However, the official spokesperson of the Orthodox Church Fr Johns Abraham Konnat said no one has been entrusted by Devalokam to engage in discussions with the Jacobite Church. “As far as we know, the Bishop was called by the former justice personally. There was nothing official about the meeting. We are not ready for any talks with them as they would not listen to anyone or implement the court order,” he said.
Meanwhile, former spokesperson of the Jacobite faction Fr Varghese Kallapara said the primary discussions give a new ray of hope for the Church. “The discussion shows this issue cannot be resolved by law or the court. It can only be resolved outside the courtroom. The initiative taken by the former Chief Justice is much appreciated,” he said.
He also added the meeting was attended by Sleeba Paul Corepiscopa Vattavelil, the priests’ trustee; Peter K Elias, church trustee; and Shaji Chundayil, laity trustee; apart from the representation from the Metropolitan of the Kandanad East diocese.