Aphrem II, who met Vijayan at the Cliff House, lauded the efforts made by the Chief Minister to settle the dispute between the Orthodox – Jacobite factions of the Malankara Church.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church Ignatius Aphrem II met Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday with both sides expressing the hope that the former’s visit to Kerala would help end the long-running feud between the Orthodox and Jacobite factions of the Malankara Church.
Aphrem II, who met Vijayan at the Cliff House, lauded the efforts made by the Chief Minister to settle the dispute between the two factions. The majority of the faithful owing allegiance to both factions desired peaceful co-existence. Aphrem II should continue with his efforts to forge peace among them, the Chief Minister said. He did not agree with the argument that peace between the two groups was a mirage as the feud went back beyond a century.
The dispute can be solved through talks since the faithful desired peace, Vijayan said. Notwithstanding court orders, the efforts for peace should emerge from the hearts of the faithful, Aphrem II said after the meeting. He said he had come over to Kerala from Damascus due to a firm conviction that the dispute can be settled. ”We know that the people want peace,” he said, adding that he would do all that was possible to create peace between the two factions.
The Patriarch is in Kerala on the invitation of the Synod of the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church to speed up efforts to settle the differences between the twin factions of the Malankara Syrian Church, which traditionally traces its origins back to the arrival of the apostle St Thomas in Kerala. Catholicos Baselios Thomas I, the head of the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church; and Bishop Theophilus George Saliba were also present at the meeting.