THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The intermediary talks chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday to find an amicable settlement to the dispute within the Malankara Church failed after both the Jacobite and Orthodox factions stuck to their guns. While the Jacobite faction pressed the demand for a referendum, the Orthodox faction wanted the Supreme Court verdict to be implemented. The latter, however, expressed its willingness to have a joint discussion with the Jacobites.

The meetings, held separately, had gained importance in the wake of the Kottayam sub-court’s order last Friday to hand over the St Mary’s Jacobite Syrian Cathedralat Manarcad, a major pilgrimage centre, to the Orthodox faction. The Supreme Court had ordered the state government to take over the Jacobite churches and hand over them to the Orthodox faction.

The Jacobite faction exuded confidence in the talks convened by the CM, but the Orthodox faction maintained that any discussion should be based on the apex court order. Orthodox representatives also expressed their displeasure at the state government’s reported move to come up with an ordinance in case the discussions end in a stalemate. 

We hope CM resolves issue in fair manner, say Jacobites

“The  state government should take a decision solely based on the majority opinion of the devotees. An ordinance too should be brought out,” said Jacobite faction’s media cell chairman Kuriakose Mar Theophilos. “The discussion was cordial. We hope the CM resolves the issue in a fair manner. He has informed us that he will hold a second round of talks with us after his meeting with the Orthodox faction.” Synod secretary Thomas Mar Timotheos and Niranam diocese Metropolitan Geevarghese Mar Coorilos also attended the meeting held at the CM’s office.

The talks with the Orthodox faction at Cliff House, the CM’s official residence, lasted for almost two hours. Thiruvananthapuram diocese Metropolitan Gabriel Mar Gregorios, Kandanad East diocese Metropolitan Thomas Mar Athanasios and Synod secretary Yuhanon Mar Diascoros represented the Orthodox faction in the talks. “A consensus, where everyone works together for peace as per the Church’s constitution, should be reached. The CM has said another round of talks will be held if necessary. We haven’t been informed of other decisions,” Orthodox faction spokesperson Father Johns Konat told media.

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