Peace bid by heads of sister churches
By Our Staff Reporter
KOCHI AUG. 26. The Patriarch faction (Jacobite Syrian Christian
Church) has welcomed the help offered by the heads of five episcopal
churches to end the factional feud in the Malankara Church.
Addressing mediapersons here today, the Catholicos, Baselios Thomas
I, announced the Patriarch faction's acceptance of the offer and
praised the initiative being taken by the heads of five sister
churches. The Catholicos offered his faction's `total support and
cooperation' to the efforts of other church leaders to bring peace to
the Malankara Church.
The Catholicos' announcement comes as a ray of hope in the church
feud that led to street brawls and attempts to grab churches by rival
groups being reported from several parts of the State. Holding up of
burying the dead and barring of entry of the faithful to churches
have vitiated the atmosphere.
The Catholicos said his faction was ready for any negotiated
settlement `rooted in Christian faith and based on the 1995 verdict
of the Supreme Court'. "The Jacobite Church is duty-bound to find a
permanent solution, based on Christian ideology to the church row,''
The five high priests, including heads of the three Catholic Rites in
Kerala, had, in a joint letter on August 16, written to both the
Catholicoi offering their mediation in resolving the row. They
suggested that the two factions sit across the table and talk it
The church heads who have offered the helping hand are: Cardinal
Varkey Vithayathil, Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church;
Daniel Acharuparambil, Archbishop of Varappuzha and head of the Latin
Catholic Church; Archbishop Cyril Mar Baselius of the Malankara
Catholic Church who is also the president of the Catholic Bishops
Conference of India; Bishop K.J. Samuel of the Church of South India
and Philipose Mar Chrisostum, Metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Church.
The Orthodox faction is yet to respond to the offer of mediated
Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Tuesday, Aug 27, 2002