KOCHI: The Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese on Saturday came out with a statement undersigned by Cardinal Mar George Alencherry and four senior-most bishops of the Archdiocese urging the laity to refrain from staging a protest at Mount St Thomas on Sunday. Mar Jacob Manathodath, Mar Thomas Chakyath, Mar Sebastian Adayanthrath and Mar Jose Puthenveetil are the other signatories.
On the other hand, discussions held by the Athirupatha Almaya Munnetam (an association of laymen) with the prelates taking part in the Syro-Malabar Church Synod on Friday were inconclusive. While they agreed verbally to the association’s demands, a written agreement was not forthcoming.
According to Riju Kanjookkaran, spokesperson of the association, the Synod agreed to fulfil the demands that were raised, but was not ready to give it in writing. Riju also added that they would intensify their protest against the Synod if they fail to address their demands.
“Though the Synod says that they have to seek the approval of Rome for appointing an administrative archbishop and publishing the report of the commission which probed the controversial land deal in the archdiocese, there are certain issues to which they can directly put an end to,” said Riju.
The association also demanded suspension of Fr Joby Maprakavil, who filed a complaint against Bishop Mar Jacob Manathodath, former apostolic administrator of the Church and withdrawal of cases against the priests of the archdiocese. “The Synod has also agreed to it, but if they fail to do so, we will stage a mass protest on Sunday,” said Riju. He also added that they would wait till Saturday before taking a final call on the protest.
Withdrawal of cases against priests sought
According to Riju Kanjookkaran, spokesperson of Athirupatha Almaya Munnetam, the Synod agreed to fulfil the demands raised by the association, but was not ready to give it in writing. Riju said they would intensify their protest against the Synod if they fail to address their demands. The association also demanded withdrawal of cases against the priests of the archdiocese.