Tension as Church row boils over in Kattachira

Jacobite faction protests entry of Orthodox faction into St. Mary’s Church

Tension prevailed in Kattachira near Kayamkulam after members of the Jacobite faction of the Malankara Church continued their protest on Sunday against the entry of members of the Orthodox faction into the St. Mary’s Church.

The church, which had remained closed for the past several months following clashes between the Orthodox and Jacobite factions over its ownership, was handed over to the Orthodox faction based on a Supreme Court order on Saturday.

On Sunday morning, the Orthodox faction organised prayers and mass at the church.

Later, the funeral of a person belonging to the Orthodox faction was held. They also hoisted a flag in connection with a festival at the church.

Although, priests and members of the Jacobite faction tried to enter the church in the morning, they were pushed back by the police. The members of both factions exchanged a war of words. The Jacobite faction later assembled at a house near the church and continued their protest.

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, giving Orthodox faction the legal mandate to administer Malankara churches.