Family may move rights panel against Kerala Church head for delaying funeral

Though the Church had given permission to conduct the funeral of 67-year-old Jacob Daniel on June 27, it was revoked following the intervention of the Metropolitan on the night prior to the funeral.

Published: 30th June 2018 02:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th June 2018 02:23 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

KOLLAM: A Marthomite family with roots in Kalluvathukal plans to approach the National Human Rights Commission against Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan, supremo of Mar Thoma Church, for delaying the funeral of a family member who died in Delhi on Sunday.

Though the Church had given permission to conduct the funeral of 67-year-old Jacob Daniel on June 27, it was revoked following the intervention of the Metropolitan on the night prior to the funeral. The relatives alleged that Metropolitan did not heed their request to meet him on Wednesday morning so they could proceed with the funeral scheduled at 11 am.  

“He told us that he would be at Kottarakara for a function and would not entertain us there. He told us to meet him at the headquarters in Tiruvalla in the afternoon though the funeral was planned at 11 am that day,” said Arun Mathew, Jacob’s son-in-law.Though Arun and Jacob’s brother Mathew Daniel managed to meet the Metropolitan with the support of a local politician, they were told to collect his consent letter from Tiruvalla.  “We had all the documents to conduct the funeral and we had received the approval from the Thiruvananthapuram diocese. I still do not know why the permission was revoked,” said Arun. 

He said he would take legal recourse against the Church after he goes back to Delhi on Sunday. 
“My father-in-law was a devout follower of the Church. As a Marthomite we were told to follow Jesus Christ and not the Thirumeni,” said Arun.The family got the letter later from headquarters in Tiruvalla where the believers gathered in large number to greet the Metropolitan on his birthday on June 27 and managed to conduct the funeral at Immanuel Mar Thoma Church at Kalluvathukal on June 28. But the event left the Delhi-settled family shattered. 

“We informed our relatives through newspaper advertisement. Many, who came from abroad, had to camp here as the funeral was delayed,” said Mathew Daniel. Jacob of Shanti Bhavanam in Chathanoor was settled in Delhi with his wife Saramma Jacob and two daughters. They were members of Mar Thoma Church at Karol Bagh. He did not recover from a brain surgery that left him in coma for 20 days. It was his wife’s wish the body be buried in the family cemetery at Kalluvathukal. The body was flown from Delhi on Tuesday. 

Arun said the soft copy of police NoC, death certificate and a letter from Karol Bagh parish were given to the diocese on Monday and later the hard copies were submitted when they arrived on Tuesday.The family members said they were still unaware of the reason that prompted the Metropolitan to intervene in the night before the funeral. They believe someone in Delhi, where Jacob was a parish member, might have conspired against him. When contacted a source in Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church said the issue has been resolved. He said the Metropolitan and the Church secretary have already left for the US.

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