ORTHODOX CHURCH at Elamkulam-Kochi.
- Dear Moderators,
I had been to Kochi recently and visited the Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church located at Elamkulam,Ernakulam-KOCHI. It was shocking to know that we have two factions within this Church who have separate Masses being held at different timings .
I do not know if similar practices are being followed elsewhere too. It reminds me of those days when we used to share my mother parish in Kerala between the Baava kakshi- Methran kakshi factions on weekly basis. I have seen another arrangement at the " Bava Palli" Arthat,Kunnamkulam ( with a large majority of Patriarch faction membership) sharing the church on hourly basis. The Prtiarchial group had to finish off their Sunday Services before 8.30 am and for the rest of the day the Church remained under the control of the Orthodox group. On a recent visit there I found the position is reversed on a compromise arrived at.
As a person associated indirectly with the inceptional stages of the Elamkulam Mar Gregorios Church, it pains me a lot to see that for conducting our Mass and other Church related rituals we have to go to the collector ( who at present happens to be a person of Muslim faith) to get the key of the Church. As there was poilce guard and security ( comprising of lady & men forces in uniforms), it gave a sense of insecurity to be there as if some terrorist attack or other untoward incidents are expected. I talked to some of my friends and got to know more about the happenings there.
It seems that most of the younger group are not aware of the fact that the original piece of land on which the Church is built was donated by a well wisher under specific written understanding in the deal that the land is to be used only for building a Church in the name of "Parumala Thirumeni" . There was a 'marble plaque' on the rear side pillor of the original church depicting the name of the person who donated the land . On one of my much earlier visits I found this plaque missing from the pillor and made enquires with some members who were ignorant of the backgrounds. Then I learned that there were some disputes going on between the "Elamkulam & Boat Jetty -as known in common parlance- Church" members. At that time I gave documentary evidence to a relative of mine to prove that the original land was donated for building a Church in " Parumala Thirumeni's " name.
I am given to understand that the feud among the Church members has risen to such extreme levels; resulting in separate Masses for the groups and the Church going to the Collector's custody under police protection and even our Catholicos " Baava" himself has no freedom to enter the premises at His will.
If such is the case in our own family how can we "Suriyani Christiyanis " progress and move forward. Perhaps we make ourselves a laughing stock in front of our own children, not to mention of outsiders.
I do not wish to hurt the feelings of any members of the Elamkulam Church , but the happenings over there is NOT a good guidance to our younger generation and
IF THEY ARE DRIFTING APART WHOM TO BLAME.
JUNAS from Mumbai.