Thiruvananthapuram: Most of the leaders of the church welcomed the move of the government to evict encroachment in government land but expressed reservation on the way the cross was removed. KCBC President Archbishop M Sooapakiam said that the church would not oppose any action against encroachment. The government has the power to act against encroachments. There is nothing wrong in it. However, he said that he was saddened by the way the cross, an object of worship, was demolished. "It should not be removed using a JCB; this what the chief minister said. This stand should be welcomed," Archbishop M Sooapakiam said.
Syro Malabar Church head Cardinal George Alencherry said that the church did not encourage the practice of erecting cross in encroached land. The church would not justify the move to encroach on forestland. However, there was protest and anxiety about the way in which the cross was removed from Pappathipara. He also justified the remarks of the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan saying that he was forced to make such a comment, as the act would have been seen as an act against communal harmony otherwise.
Auxiliary bishop of Ernakulam-Ankamaly diocese Sebastian Adayanthrath said that cross is a belief and a sentiment. It should not be placed at an encroached site. Thamaraserry Archbishop Mar Remigiose Inchananiyil has said that that way in which the cross was demolished at Munnar was like insulting the cross. We can even suspect that it was part of a conspiracy to malign the image of the present government.