KOCHI: Alleging that the Supreme Court verdict on July 3, 2017, ratifying the sanctity of the constitution of the Orthodox Church in 1934 was hurting the sentiments of the faithful, Jacobite Syrian Church Metropolitan Joseph Mor Baselios said no church will be handed over to anyone under any circumstance.
“We have faith in the judiciary. We will not hand over the church to anybody. They may forcefully remove us from the church and put us behind the bars. But we are ready for any sacrifice to uphold faith,” he said while explaining the arrangements for the Patriarch Day celebrations and Faith Declaration Meet scheduled to be held at Kaloor Stadium ground here on Sunday.
He refuted allegations the Jacobites have refused to cooperate with the efforts for conciliation. “The Patriarch is the supreme head of the Church and everyone has to accept it. The Orthodox Syrian Church is a universal Church and there can’t be two heads for the Church. We had always cooperated with the efforts to bring a truce.
“The case is regarding the churches built by us and the Orthodox faction hasn’t spent a penny for them. We should be given freedom to conduct prayers or it will lead to confrontation,” he said. Denying allegations the Jacobite Church was inching closer to the BJP, Metropolitan Kuriakose Mor Theophilose said the Church has no political leanings. “We met the Chief Minister yesterday. Does that mean we are their followers? We maintain good relations with everyone and don’t think that the BJP is untouchable,” he said.
Faith Declaration Meet tomorrow
The Faith Declaration Meet will start at Kaloor Stadium ground at 3 pm on Sunday. Around two lakh people are expected to attend the meet. The torch procession from Thiruvananthapuram, a portrait procession from Kunnamkulam and the flag procession from Murikkumthotty will converge at the Patriarchal Centre at Puthencruz at 3 pm on Saturday. The joint procession will reach Kaloor ground at 5 pm and Catholicos Baselios Thomas I will hoist the flag.
Mar Thoma Church supremo Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan will attend the Faith Declaration Meet on Sunday as chief guest. Catholicos Baselios Thomas I will preside over the meeting. Patriarchal Vicar of Belgium, France and Luxembourg Mor George Kourieh will also participate.