Church opposes peace march

Council to stage march against the violent standoff between Church factions

The Kottayam Press Club witnessed dramatic scenes on Wednesday after members of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church staged a protest against leaders of a ‘people’s council for peace’ which plans to take out a march to the Catholicate Palace at Devalokam, near here, on May 10.

The drama began to unfold around 12 noon when members of the outfit emerged out of the press club building after addressing mediapersons.

Soon, a team led by Fr. P.K. Kuriakose Pandarakunnel, a priest attached to the Kottayam diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, intervened and warned Kollam Panikkar, one of the council leaders and a member of the Orthodox faction, against holding the march.

However, the council leaders stood firm on their stance. Later, the crowd dispersed on the intervention of the police and journalists present at the location.

Earlier in the day, the peace council announced that it would hold the march in protest against the violent standoff between the Orthodox and Jacobite factions of the Malankara Church.

Way to the Cross

The march, named Way to the Cross, is slated to begin at the Logos Centre b

y 10.30 a.m. Former MP Scaria Thomas will inaugurate the march while Geevarghese Mar Coorilos Metropolitan will deliver the keynote address. Addressing the media, the council members also called for reconciliation talks between the heads of the two Church factions for a peaceful settlement of the issue. Decon Thomas Kayyathra, Suresh James Vanchipala, and Father Kuriakose Kadavumbhagam were present.

The Orthodox faction, however, maintained that the peace march was aimed at garnering media attention and warned that the march to Devalokam would only help trigger violence.