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Kolencherry Church Re-opening Issue: Church Needs Court Order To Implement


KOLENCHERRY: The Kandanadu Diocesan leadership of Malankara Orthodox Church informed that implementation of the court order would be the most feasible way to have regular services in Kolencherry Church, which is currently locked. So far all court judgments against the cases of Kolencherry Church were in favor of Malankara Orthodox Church. In a joint statement issued by Fr. Abraham Vaalayil, Fr. John Thenumkal, Fr. Kuriakose Chelattu, who are also the members of Kolencherry Parish explains that the lack of co operation from the Patriarch faction and irresponsible approach and opportunism of certain members of our own faction have delayed the re-opening of the locked Church.

Bishops of the Orthodox Church fasted a day at Kolencherry, with the demand to get the implementation of the court judgments. The proposals of the sub committee of the council of ministers for the settlement of issues were spoiled due to the false approach of the Patriarch faction. The priests who released the note explained that few of our lay leaders (of Laity Forum) were instrumental in joining hands with the Jacobite Church in undermining the treaty made when the Church administration was taken back from the Government Receiver as well as the proposals of the Council of Ministers’ sub committee. When Fr. Zachariah Echikkottil, vicar from the Jacobite faction revolted against Dr. Mathews Mar Severios, the Diocesan Metropolitan, there started tensions and it resulted in the closure of the Church.

The statement of the Orthodox Priests, suggest the following:

1) The decisions of the Malankara Association held at Parumala in 2002, must be implemented in the Parish.

2) There is a case regarding the above topic in the court and it is heard from reliable sources that the case would be considered by the Court in the near future.

3) His Holiness the Catholicos, Head of Indian Orthodox Church has given clear intimation personally to the Diocesan Metropolitan and the Vicar of the Parish that the issue of the Parish is to be taken for discussion only after the court judgment of the abovementioned case.

4) All attempts to settle the existing problems other than the established means and ways would reach us in further deep pits. It will create an atmosphere of riots in Kolencherry.

5) There is no right for the people who accepted a Constitution of their own in the Kolencherry Church, where the constitution of 1934 of Malankara Orthodox Church, is in prevalence. If a right is granted to such, will the policy not applicable to the ones who embraced Pentecostal Churches or rite (Reeth) factions?

6) The decisions of the Church are liable for all members of the Church alike. No one, who ignores and work against the instructions and decisions of the Church and Church Fathers, whoever it might be, are not entitled to represent the Church or Parish in any of the Forums.

7) The decisions of the opportunists, other than the Church Leadership wont be binding to Kolencherry Church. The Parishioners as a whole are getting ready to resist all such steps from any side, at any cost They have decided to oppose such moves with all force.

8) It is doubted that a few members of Orthodox Laity, who are trying to co-operate with the Patriarch faction, are doing so with the feeling and fear to summon all records and the wealth of the Church they enjoy at the moment illegally, back to the Indian Orthodox Church as and when the court cases are completely over soon.

There is no doubt for the fact that the Kolencherry Church is to be governed as a part and parcel of Malankara Orthodox Church according to the judgment of the Supreme Court of India and in the guide lines of the Constitution (1934 )of the Church. This means the Church (Parish) administration must be by a Vicar and assistant Vicars, and the managing committee elected as per the 1934 Constitution, appointed by the Diocesan Metropolitan, who is under the Malankara Metropolitan, who is re-confirmed in the Malankara Association held at Parumala on 20th March 2002. Only such an arrangement could be enforced in Kolencherry Church. All other arrangements would be illegal , null and void. That is why we are not favoring any other substitute arrangement.