Hon Supreme Court Verdict with regard to Malankara Church Disputes: How to make unity implementable?
- The recent unanimous verdict pronounced by the apex court may be seen as the best opportunity for the warring factions to declare loudly the serenity prayer for the cause of peace , justice and development.
- It is very clear that the present verdict is totally unambiguous .It said among others ,unambiguously that no sharing or partition of the listed parish churches or any arrangements for alternate Sunday worship, alternate timings for worship and cemetery use by anyone other than those who owe allegiance to the 1934 constitution of the Orthodox Church.
- It is illegal and tantamount to trespass by anyone if they have a semblance of the same dress code for priests and bishops and same rituals like the Orthodox clergy! What does it mean fairly and squarely? It says only one thing namely fall in line with the law established of the land.
- . It is only prudent to repeat this serenity prayer namely “God, grant us the serenity to accept the things I cannotchange; courage to change the things I can-and wisdom to know the difference”. Let’s make the challenges our opportunities.
- This is the challenge to the Orthodox Syrian and Syrian Orthodox churches in the present context alike.
- CBM—Confidence Building Measures- are to be promoted consciously by design.
- Special efforts are to be in place to bring awareness among all to convey that it is the victory of the law of the land and nobody is defeated in the But the final victor is the church and its future generations.
- One strategy is to educate the ordinary gullible people among the target areas to say that no one will be outside the spiritual purview of the faith and order on account of the implementation of the Mass campaigns must be in place where leading and respected persons to be persuaded by the Orthodox Church to address as many sensitisation meetings to explain the gist of the verdict in the most vulnerable areas where people may be manipulated by vested interest groups.
It is clear that the 1913 agreement and the 2002 church constitution are declared null and void by the apex court and as such only 1934 constitution and the 1995 and now the 2017 verdicts are the only final and binding documents- Magna Carta of the Church.
- All priests and bishops of the Patriarch faction are to be reassured that they will be accommodated with honour and respect as per the verdict without any animosity, malice or ill
- Dioceses may be redrawn based on geographical and administrative considerations to accommodate all the bishops of the unified church. Relatively juniors may be considered for posting as Assistant Bishops to help very senior bishops. Spiritual institutions like Sunday School, Servants of the Cross, Mothers Forum, Monastery , Nunnery, Healing Ministry set ups, seminaries, Gospel outreach, etc, etc may be considered for bishops postings to accommodate them all.
- Relatively weak priests in theology training may be sent for quick refresher courses to make them thematic and
- Mr George Paul, Lay Trustee of the Orthodox Church may be given free hand to select appropriate people to various committees who will facilitate the smooth reunification
- From the existing bishops HG Dr Athanasius of Muvattuuzha and HG Joseph Gregarious of Kochi may be considered to be elected/ appointed as successor to
- Rev Dr. KM George may be sent as the emissary of the Catholicose to HH Patriarch ASAP to brief him about the reunification strategy and to facilitate the meeting between Patriarch and Catholicose at a suitable The meeting agenda may be worked out by Rev Dr George KM in consultations with Mr George Paul may be finally approved by HH Catholicise.
- HH Catholicose may visit HH Patriarch ASAP to discuss the judgement to avoid bloodshed in the streets and premises of the various parish churches in the Malankara Please recall gullible people may be manipulated to become martyrs!
- Once the judgement is well examined and scrutinised from all angles, it may be widely published though mass media for education of the ordinary Again it may serve the purpose of nipping in the bud any other malicious propaganda stuff. (Good work done in today’s Manorama News paper).
Dr KM George,
President and CEO of Sustainable Dev Forum,
+91 99 47 67 08 87