KOCHI: Catholicos Baselios Thomas I, head of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, said on Sunday that the churches built by faithful will be administered by them. Addressing a mammoth gathering of the faithful in Kochi, Catholicos clearly gave a message that the Supreme Court order to hand over the administration of the churches to the rival Malankara Church is acceptable. “Courts and governments can take a decision only on churches owned or constructed by them. The rest will be decided by the believers,” he said amidst thunderous applause and cheering.
Hundreds of thousands of members of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church from all over the state converged at Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium to attend Patriarchal Day celebrations. Addressing the gathering, Synod secretary Joseph Mar Gregorios nearly ruled the out possibility of any reconciliation between the two factions. He, however, said that everyone should show the goodwill to part as brothers.
In a televised message Head of the Syrian Christian Church Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II asked believers to eschew violence and use passive resistance to get justice. Terming India as a land tolerance, he recalled the example of Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violence movement as a mode of agitation. Iterating his commitment with the people in the Malankara Church he reiterated the link between the Malankara Church and the throne of Antioch. It was in Antioch that Christians were first called Christians, he said.