21 October 2013; KOCHI: Catholicos Baselious Thomas I on Sunday evening declared that he was ending the fast, which had been on for over two weeks, demanding right of worship at Kolenchery St Peter’s and St Paul’s Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church (Kolenchery Valiyapalli).
The fast was ended following a promise by the state government for an amicable settlement between the Jacobite and Orthodoxs faction by October 26. However, the prayer meet by the Jacobite Church would continue until the government facilitates a compromise.
The Jacobite and Orthodox factions were engaged in a legal battle over the right to administration of the church for many decades now. Citing a Supreme Court order, a division bench of the high court had, on October 4, ruled in favour of Orthodox faction, upholding the legality of a 1934 constitution that granted a Malankara Association the right to administration.
Tension had prevailed in the area after the Jacobite faction started a prayer meet and Catholicos Baselious Thomas I began an indefinite fast.
A subcommittee of ministers led by chief minister Oommen Chandy had met with leaders of both the factions on Saturday and had promised to bring in an amicable settlement to the issue. In the meeting, it was promised that terms of the settlement will be revealed to both the factions by the government soon. As an interim measure, the indefinite fast by the Jacobite leader should be called off, government had demanded.
It was also suggested by the government that no mass should be conducted by both the factions on Sunday, in an effort to prevent the situation from flaring up even more. Both the factions had complied with the request by the government.