Orthodox faction members enter Kattachira church

It had remained closed following clashes between Orthodox, Jacobite factions

Members of the Orthodox faction of the Malankara Church on Saturday entered St. Mary’s Church at Kattachira, near Kayamkulam, based on a Supreme Court order.

It had remained closed for the past several months following clashes between the Orthodox and Jacobite factions over the ownership of the church. Officials said they executed the Supreme Court order allowing the Orthodox faction the legal mandate to administer the church. It was opened amid tight security and in the presence of Alappuzha Subcollector Krishna Teja and police officers. Although members of the Jacobite faction tried to take out a march to the church, they were blocked by the police. A woman was injured in the ensuing scuffle. The police said security had been tightened in and around the church.

The apex court in 2017 ruled on the ownership of Malankara churches. It had upheld the 1934 constitution of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and dismissed a dozen review petitions filed by the Jacobite faction.