Catholic Church silent on Thrikunnath church row
Indian Express, February 13 2008
KOCHI: While the feud between the Jacobite and Orthodox factions is continuing with no end in sight for a compromise, the Catholic Church in Kerala is remaining silent.
The Catholic Church leadership is yet to intervene in the issue even after the members of two factions encountered on street.
Though Kerala Catholic Bishops� Council(KCBC) had intervened in the issue some years back, it was not fruitful. But the Church or the KCBC has not made an effort to settle the issue after the recent developments in Thrikkunnath Seminary in Aluva.
It is learnt that the Church is remaining silent over the issue as there are many undercurrents in the issue. The Church leadership has also a feeling that the dispute cannot be solved easily. Both the factions are firm on their stands and there is a dilemma before the church as there is socio-economic and regional reasons in addition to the dispute over worship, which is the primary reason.
However, the Catholic Church says that it is ready to take the role of a mediator if both the factions want the intervention. ``The issue should be settled in a Christian way. The Catholic Church is ready to intervene in the dispute if both the factions are interested.
The dispute continuing without a solution is painful and it will also tarnish the image of the entire community,�� said Fr Paul Thelakkattu, spokesman of the Syro-Malabar Church.
But the Jacobite faction said that they had approached the Catholic Church leadership seeking assistance to solve the dispute. ``The Jacobite Church is ready to accept the assistance of Catholic Church to put an end to the issue. But the Orthodox Church is not ready for an out-of-the court settlement,�� said Fr Varghese Kallappara, spokesman of Jacobite Church.
These are not the only reasons why the Catholic Church remains silent. There is a trend among the members of both Jacobite and Orthodox factions of moving to Syro-Malankara Catholic Church with the dispute remain unsettled. Like the Jacobites and Orthodox, the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church is an Antiochian Rite which follows the eastern tradition and there is no change in the liturgy.
Comparing to Syro Malabar and Latin Catholic, Syro-Malankara Church has less number of faithful. The Church is reported to have more than 4,00,000 members in 2006,who organized into a major archdiocese, an archdiocese, and four suffragan dioceses.