KOCHI: Ending two days of uncertainty over the burial of an octogenarian woman of the Jacobite faction, the authorities of St Thomas Orthodox Church, Nechoor, near Piravom, finally consented to bury her in their cemetery on Wednesday after her daughter agreed to join the Orthodox Church. It is alleged Mini, the daughter of Chinnamma, who passed away on Monday, was ‘emotionally blackmailed’ to convert to the Orthodox faction in a desperate bid to ensure a decent burial for her mother in the family crypt.
After the Supreme Court verdict, the St Thomas Church in Nechoor, which originally belonged to the Jacobite faction, was handed over to the Orthodox faction. According to Mini, her mother wanted a decent burial in their family crypt where her father was interred and the dispute between the Churches did not matter to her.
“My mother always told me that she should not be buried in another cemetery. She wanted to be buried in the family crypt, but now it belongs to the Orthodox faction. When I approached them, they were ready for burial only if I joined their faction,” said Mini.
The ruling of 2017 came on a petition moved by the Orthodox Church, which demanded that all churches under the Malankara Church be governed as per the Church Constitution of 1934. The verdict of the Supreme Court came in favour of the Orthodox faction, handing over governance of 1,064 churches in dispute.
Fr Joseph Malayil, vicar of St Thomas Church, said they have entered her name in the church registry. “We are not against burial of any faithful. She approached us for a decent burial and we did not deny it. It is a matter of humanity,” said Fr Joseph. Meanwhile, a source of the Jacobite faction said that Mini had not approached St Thomas Jacobite Church for the burial of her mother. “There are many cases in which the Orthodox faction has denied decent burial grounds for the faithful. This is another stunt put up by the faction for gaining media attention,” said the source.