Jacobites: Unity call to mislead public

The Malankara Jacobite Church on Monday dismissed the “olive branch” extended by the rival Orthodox faction as an attempt to mislead the public.

Reacting to the call by Catholicose Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II for peace, at the centenary celebrations of the Catholicate here on Sunday, Joseph Mar Gregorios, the Episcopal Synod secretary of Jacobite Church, said as long as the Orthodox faction refused to accept the authority of the Patriarch of Antioch, there was no scope for unity.

“This (acceptance of Patriarch) is a question of faith for us. Unless they (Orthodox faction) accept the universality of the church, unity will remain a dream.

They claim their church as autocephalous and Indian, and this is something that’s not accepted even by the Supreme Court as per its verdict in 1995,” Mar Gregorios told DC.

According to the prelate, a practical solution was to remain as two churches in peaceful coexistence and to settle the ownership over parishes in an amicable manner.

“Most of the disputed churches are in Ernakulam district where we are in a majority. In southern districts, where we are a minority, we moved out and set up new churches.

But the Orthodox faction insists on ownership of churches in places where they are a minority. This led to court cases and even closure of churches,” he said.

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