CATHOLICOSE – PATRIARCHAL FACTIONS
Vattasseril Mar Dionysius and his faction recognised and accepted the Catholicate and remained thereunder to be known as Catholicose faction or Catholicate faction. Those ones, who did not recognise Abdul Messiha as Patriarch, but supported and recognized Abdulla as Patriarch, namely, Kochuparampil Mar Coorilose and his faction, began to be known as Patriarchal faction. The Patriarch continued the practice of consecrating Metropolitans and sanctifying Holy Myron for the Patriarchal faction and for the Catholicate faction these spiritual needs were met by the Catholicose himself (Kurian Cor-Episcopa Kaniamparampil, pp. 51).
As a consequence, the question arouses that who shall receive the interest of Vattippanam, which is the property of the Church of Malankara. The Patriarchal faction filed a case to have the right to receive the interest of Vattippanam as well as for the authority to rule over the Church of Malankara.
However, the case was settled in favour of the Catholicose faction and Patriarchal faction had to pay to the Catholicose faction the legal expenses of the suit. Catholicose faction, as legally affirmed, received the interest of Vattippanam(Kurian Cor-Episcopa Kaniamparampil, pp. 44, 45, 46).
Time passed and both factions continued the fights and legal procedures with ever new arguments. Patriarchs and Catholicoses have passed away in the mean time and their successors were consecrated as needed. Some reconciliation talks also have taken place amidst initiated by some peace loving good souls, yet none of them reached the ultimate goal (Kurian Cor-Episcopa Kaniamparampil, pp. 52-56).Finally, after the legal battle for long 43 years, on 12th September 1958, the Supreme Court of India settled the issue in favour of the Catholicose faction. Five Judges have unanimously issued the verdict and it also had directed the Patriarchal faction to pay all legal expenses to the Catholicose faction.
Patriarchal faction, who lost the legal suit, filed a review petition and the Supreme Court rejected that too. In this context reconciliation talks gained wind and the Patriarchal faction had no option but to loosen their grip from the demands that they were firmly holding on until that time.
PEACE IN MALANKARA
The Patriarch and his faction insisted on that H.H. Abdul Messiha had been condemned and therefore, the Catholicose and Metropolitans, whom he had consecrated, had to be re-consecrated. Moreover, that the Catholicose should not sanctify the Holy Myron and the right to sanctify the Holy Myron shall alone rest upon the Patriarch; they argued (Kurian Cor-Episcopa Kaniamparampil, p. 51).
The Catholicose faction, however, did not accept these two conditions. They believed that the consecration by the Patriarch Abdul Messiha had no mangle and spiritual blessings of a person do not get affected by the withdrawal of recognition (Ferman) by a heathen Sultan of Turkey. St. Peter and St. Paul, whom the heathens have killed, had no mangle on their apostleship. Status of all the holy fathers, who have been persecuted and have been killed in prison, had not been questioned too. In this context, how the withdrawal of Ferman by the Sultan shall be affecting the spiritual blessings, they counter argued. The Catholicose faction maintained their stand as the Catholicose had the right to sanctify Holy Myron and they were not at all ready to forfeit that right.
The Patriarchal faction, nevertheless, was then in a difficult situation. They had lost the legal suit, had to pay the legal expenses to the Catholicose faction and also had to hand over the administration of parish churches too. In such a predicament of deadlock, they were ready to embrace peace. The then Patriarch, H.H. Jacob III, handed over to the Catholicose the document of unconditional acceptance as well as recognition of the Catholicose through his delegate Mar Julius. On the other hand, the Catholicose handed over to the Patriarchal delegate the document of acceptance and recognition of Patriarch as per the relevant clauses of the current constitution passed in 1934. It was on 16th December 1958 that the Metropolitans of both sides prayed in front of lighted candles and thereafter exchanged the above said documents of peace in the Holy Altar Room of Old Seminary, Kottayam, and this historical hour was proclaimed by spectacular fireworks. Children of the Church of Malankara were happy for the fact that the Church that had been divided for almost half a century became one and they praised God Almighty for the same.
We need to notice one very important fact here. The Patriarch accepted the Catholicose unconditionally, whereas the Catholicose accepted the Patriarch under a very important condition, namely, as per the relevant clauses of current Constitution, that they themselves have passed in 1934. Now, one question pops up. Who have violated this contract of peace? Who were the culprits?