Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], March 5 (ANI): Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister KV Thomas on Thursday said that the way to settle the ongoing dispute between Orthodox and Jacobite church in Kerala is through negotiations.
"This is an issue that can not be settled politically. It has to be settled by negotiations between the Jacobite church and the Orthodox church in a 'Christian spirit'," he said.
"This is a hundred-year-old dispute. I was in touch with both factions when K Karunakaran was the chief minister. The only way to solve the dispute is through discussions in a 'Christian spirit'".
He urged the churches to find solutions in the Central Travancore area like how they solved disputes in the Malabar area.
"The churches have to find some solutions like how they have done in Malabar area. The majority group will have the church in dispute in Malabar. The group in minority can have a new church," Thomas said.
He said, "In the Central Travancore area, the legal fight has been going on for more than a hundred years. Now the verdict has come but the implementation is not practically possible. Congress party leaders such as Ommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala are trying to speak to both the groups to solve the dispute in a Christian spirit."
He further said that the dispute cannot be settled with a political motive in mind.
"BJP used the governor himself and the Prime minister has called the concerned bishops. Nothing has happened," he said adding, "If you are trying to find a solution with a political motive it can not be settled," the Congress leader said.
He also said that the Congress party does not have any bias towards both factions.
"We have got our own leaders in all these churches. Benny Behanan MP, P C Chacko, P P Thankachan belong to Jacobite Church. Oommen Chandy himself belongs to the Orthodox church. We are trying to help both the churches and find a solution," he said.
The dispute between the Orthodox and the Jacobite factions has been going on despite a Supreme Court verdict that gave the Orthodox faction control of all parishes under the Malankara church in Kerala.
On the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church's (MOSC) decision to support a BJP candidate in Cheppad, Thomas commented," That is a small issue confined to that particular area, nothing more than that."
The MOSC has decided to support Dr R Balashankar, likely the BJP candidate, in the upcoming Assembly polls as he took the initiative to protect a 1000-year-old Christian church in Kerala's Alappuzha district from demolition due to a proposed widening of a national highway. (ANI)