KOCHI: The Orthodox faction on Saturday said the propaganda of the Jacobite faction regarding the funeral of one Joseph Pailey at St John’s Church, Kanaittunirapu, was baseless. According to Malankara Orthodox Church Association secretary Biju Oommen, from 2001 onwards, St John’s Church has been owned by the Orthodox faction as per the 1934 constitution.
“Fr John Moolamattom is the rightful vicar of the Church and the Jacobite faction has no ownership over the church. “Funeral rites at the cemetery are the responsibility of the vicar. Fr Moolamattom was not against the funeral. He had conveyed the matter to Joseph’s relatives that the funeral must be done as per the guidelines of the 1934 constitution,” said Fr Johns Abraham Konat, official spokesperson of the Malankara Orthodox Church, in a press release issued on Saturday.
Since the Jacobite faction did not agree to the funeral rites being conducted by the Orthodox vicar, they forcefully buried the body in the cemetery with the connivance of the police. Since the funeral was not done in a rightful way, the vicar filed a violation petition at the District Sessions Court Ernakulam, said Fr Konat.
He also added that the prominence of the petition was not to exhume the body but to take action against those who violated the norms. However, Fr Sleeba Paul Vattavelil, priest trustee of the Jacobite Church, said that the vicar of St John’s Church was forcefully staying at the church under police protection, but the governance of the church was still with the Jacobites.
“The trustee and committee members of the church belong to the Jacobite faction and then how can they claim the church to themselves?” said Fr Sleeba.