Kerala Orthodox Church reads circular in parishes against referendum bill – The New Indian Express

Through Express news service

KOCHI: The Syrian Orthodox Church of Malankara (MOSC) on Sunday read a resolution in its parishes expressing strong disapproval and protesting the recent recommendation of the Kerala Law Reform Commission chaired by the former Supreme Court justice, Judge KT Thomas.

Holding referendums in parishes where there are disputes to decide who gets control of churches is against the laws in the country, according to the resolution. The Church has called on the laity and others to reject the commission’s recommendations.

“The recommendations go against the 2017 Supreme Court verdict and therefore will not be legally valid. The recommendations included are the opinions expressed by Judge KT Thomas at numerous events organized by the Jacobite Church. Therefore, we call on the state government to reject the commission’s recommendations without even considering them, ”the resolution said.

“We hope that the state government will not implement the bill submitted by the commission,” said Secretary of the Orthodox Church Biju Oommen. Church authorities also plan to send the resolution to the chief minister.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Jacobite Church has urged the government to implement the recommendations in churches where there is a dispute over ownership as soon as possible. A resolution in this regard was also read in the parishes of the Jacobite church on Sunday.

“Even earlier, when the bill was published by the Commission on its website, we welcomed the recommendation on holding referendums in churches to end the conflict. The resolution will be adopted by all parishes of the Church in favor of the implementation of the recommendations and submitted to the state government, ”said the Metropolitan Administrator of the Jacobite Church, Mar Joseph Gregorios.

The Kerala Law Reform Commission, chaired by Judge KT Thomas, submitted the final bill to the state government, recently proposing referendums to determine the ownership of churches and their institutions.
According to the proposal, the ownership of churches should be decided by seeking the opinion of the majority after a referendum is held among the respective parishioners. The Committee noted that there had been incidents of churches being taken over from the majority community in particular parishes and handed over to the minority group.

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