Kerala HC – The New Indian Express


Through Express news service

KOCHI: Expressing concern over the endless dispute between Orthodox and Jacobite factions in the state, the Kerala High Court made it clear on Tuesday that the Supreme Court’s verdict in the KS Varghese case upholding the 1934 constitution of the state ‘Malankara Church should be applied. The court only intended to keep the peace in the state.

“Continuing the dispute can only help special interests and not the true faithful on either side,” the court said, and called on both sides to comply with the 1934 constitution and allow churches to function as the home of God, rather than a place of war.

“I try to keep the peace in the state. The Supreme Court has tried to do the same through successive judgments.

This dispute has now gone too far. Now is the time for everyone to understand that this fight cannot continue, ”observed Judge Devan Ramachandran. The court made the order when the Orthodox faction’s petition for police protection for the administration of several state churches was heard. The court is not in favor of sending police officers to churches to implement the SC order, the judge said.

However, if the court is pushed to do so, this option will certainly need to be explored and the necessary force may need to be ordered. The court reminded lawyers for both factions that it cannot recognize the “factions”. Each parishioner will have the absolute right to participate in the activities of the churches, including management, as long as he respects the constitution of 1934.

“Both factions will now have to understand that the history of church litigation virtually ended with the verdict in the KS Varghese case. That being the situation, one would certainly understand how the rift between these two groups of people continues and how they will call themselves factions even at this point.

“The deliberation of the bar, however, gives me a glimmer of hope as both parties agree that they are bound to uphold the 1934 constitution. However, it must be borne in mind that the old ‘factions’ were ruled by their own sages and leaders on ecclesiastical and temporal matters. Certainly, these people are deciding how the long-standing disagreement between these two factions can be resolved.

This is an imperative necessity because of the decisions rendered in the KS Varghese case, because from the moment of the judgment, the factions of the Malankara Church can in no way be tolerated, ”the court said. . The vicar and clergy appointed under the 1934 constitution can direct church services and only that vicar can direct the management of the individual church.

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