St. Mary's Church, West Nyack
- I am writing this in response to a posting on another Forum some one forwarded to me with regard to St. Mary's Church, West Nyack, NY. There is court case pending before the Supreme Court of Rockland County with regard to this Church. This litigation was initiated by Mor Ivanios, Fr. Varkey Mundackal, etc to snatch the church from the members. In the beginning itself they did not try to go to the court directly as it has been always their style they came with group of people and try to physically occupy the church. When this attempt was resisted and police was called in they went away and file the court case. Not a single person who is a member of that parish at the time of the initiation of the court case is with them.
On October 4, 2004. The court gave its summary judgment on the matter. The court findings were.
1. St. Mary's was established to worship according to the traditions of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church.
2. Based on the Constitution of the Church the Defendants have left the Church and cannot continue the possession of the church. (Actually the Parish do not have a constitution)
3. The membership of the St. Mary's church shall be determined by the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church and the court shall not interfere with it.
The only clause they are interpreting on their behalf is the part about the possession of the property by the defendants. This the defendants had already submitted in the court that they do not have the possession of the property hence that part of the order do not have any effect.
Meanwhile they try to hide the fact that they have been trying very hard in all the procedures that they do not have any formal links to the Malankara Church and they are directly under the Patriarch. In effect court has rejected their stand and categorically asserted the fact St. Mary's belong to the Malankara Church.
All the litigations on this issue (total three) in the American Diocese were initiated by Mar Ivanios ( Mor Theethose is continuing these more vigorously as his successor) one of the members of his faction. I hope they will honor there own argument in Malankara that the Parish Church shall decide where they should belong and leave these parishes alone.
I had taken stand that I will not initiate a legal action in this matter in any of the parishes. Even in other parishes at present loyal to Mor Theethose now there is unrest and many want me to intervene and start legal procedures. I have told them it is not worth it. If you are uncomfortable there or are in favor of united Malankara Church I can arrange to have them given membership in one of the local parishes of the American Diocese. Many have accepted this suggestion also.
God bless you.
Tel: (718) 470-9844
Fax: (718) 470-9219