An application filed in the Kerala High Court challenges the anointing of new Catholicos without the participation of the Patriarch

A petition has been filed in the Kerala High Court, requesting that the Supreme Court’s ruling in K.S. Varghese v. St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s Syrian Orthodox Church be implemented, and that the Patriarch of Antioch be canonically invited to the Catholicos’ imminent consecration.

On Wednesday, Justice Murali Purushothamam adjourned the case until October 20th, citing the fact that service had not been completed in the case. The President of Malankara Syrian Christian Association and the Secretary of Holy Episcopal Synod Malankara, Orthodox Syrian Church of the Catholicate Palace, Devalokam, were served with notice by the Court on Tuesday.

The Bench, furthermore, was informed today that the messenger had returned and reported that the service of notice to the stated respondents had been unsuccessful. The petitioner’s attorney, Haris Beeran, alleged that they were dodging serving on purpose. It was attempted to point out that the consecration was scheduled for the 15th, and that the matter would become infructuous by the 20th.

In the meantime, the Counsel advised that the consecration be postponed for the benefit of the petition. The Court did note, however, that a stay could not be imposed without the other party being heard. As a result, the case has been postponed until after the court holidays.

The petitioners are Malankara Church members and parishioners of Piravom’s St. Mary’s Syrian Orthodox Church. They filed a complaint with the Court, claiming that the Patriarch of Antioch was not canonically invited to the Catholicos’ consecration, which is scheduled for October 15, 2021.

They claimed that failing to invite the Patriarch was in violation of the Supreme Court’s decision in the K.S. Varghese case, as well as the Supreme Court’s orders reminding the State that no violation of the order can be committed by anyone.

The way in which Catholicos are consecrated is addressed in section 114 of the 1934 constitution. The petitioners pointed out that the Supreme Court dispensed with the condition in that clause, “if there be a patriarch recognised by the Malankara church,” by ruling that the current Patriarch of Antioch is the Patriarch envisaged under section 114 of the 1934 constitution.

“As a result, the canonical invitation of the Patriarch for the consecration of the Catholicos is an obligatory condition prior,” the request states. They claimed it was in violation of several Supreme Court orders issued in response to the K.S. Varghese decision.

The petitioners learned that immediate efforts are being made to consecrate the Catholicos on election day. As a result, they sent a representation to the Chief Secretary to the Government of Kerala and the Director-General of Police to ensure that there will be no violations in the subject of the consecration of Catholicos by anyone, as required by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Exts P2 and P3 rulings They said, however, that their protests had gone unheard and that no constructive action had been done thus far.

“It will be considered connivance in illegality if the respondents remain mute observers. The Chief Secretary and Director General of Police, as the highest-ranking officers in the State Government, have a duty to ensure that the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s ruling and different orders are carried out, or the state will send the incorrect signal. As a result of this Civil Writ Petition, “The plea continues.

As a result, they requested that a direction be issued to the respondents to ensure that the Supreme Court’s decision in the K.S. Varghese case in the matter of consecrating Catholicos is not violated.

The plea also asked for a declaration that the consecration of the Catholicos without canonically inviting the Patriarch for the consecration of the Catholicos is in violation of the judgement in K.S. Varghese v. St. Peter’s and St Paul’s Syrian Orthodox Church and subsequent orders. Several writ applications have been filed before the court, requesting police protection in order to carry out the verdict.

Title of the Case: K.A. John and Others v. State of Kerala and Others

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