The Patriarch has invited the church for peace talks

Orthodox Church cautious

George Jacob

The Patriarch has invited the church for peace talks

Even as they have received an explicit invite from Patriarch of Antioch Ignatius Aphrem II for initiating peace talks during his visit to India this week, the Malankara Orthodox Church appears to be taking a cautious approach to the issue.

Speaking to The Hindu, church spokesperson P.C. Elias said the church had already made its stance clear on the peace talks with the Pontiff when he had made the overture last year. “We are ready for talks on the basis of two key points; one, it should be on the basis of the 1934 Constitution of the Church and second, it should be based on the Supreme Court verdict in the case,” he said. The definition of peace shall be identified on the basis of these two key factors, he said. He, however, said the Church had not made any formal reply to the recent invite from the Patriarch. The communications are being handled by the Ecumenical Relationship Committee of the church.

According to him, a meeting of the Church Synod has been scheduled for Wednesday. “Naturally, the issue will come up at the meeting. However, the Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan, if he prefers so, can initiate any steps in this regard on the basis of the framework decided by the Synod earlier when a similar invite was communicated by the Patriarch last year,” he said.

Catholicos Baselius Mar Thoma Paulose II, the head of the Orthodox Church, would be busy on Monday and Tuesday as he would be leading the consecration of deacons and priests.

Meanwhile, Biju Oommen, secretary, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, said the synod, scheduled for Wednesday, will take a decision on further steps. The Patriarch will be in India from May 22 to 26. He is expected to land in Kerala and then move to New Delhi and call on the President and Prime Minister.