Thursday, September 11, 2014

Parishioners turn against Fr. John Ayyankanayil,

Parishioners turn against 
Fr. John Ayyankanayil, 
Vicar of Palayur St. Thomas Shrine

Report: Times of India 11/09/2014 

St Thomas caught in church crossfire
Ramavarman T
Sep 11 2014 : Courtesy:  The Times of India (Kochi)
While Some Want To Celebrate `Thirunal' On A Sunday, 
Others Prefer Status Quo
The raging row is over a date. Caught in the crossfire is the historic St Thomas Shrine at Palayur near Guruvayur.While a section of believers want to celebrate the `thirunal' on a Sunday, others want status quo.
For centuries, the shrine has been celebrating the `thirunal' on July 15--with a reason.
It has been believed that the shrine was one of the first seven churches Apostle St Thomas had set up in the country. Popular belief has it that the date of the `thirunal' coincides with the anniversary of the apostle's arrival in 52 AD.
Brahmins, baptized by St Thomas, are considered to be among the first Christian community in India, and a large section of Christians see Palayur as the cradle of Christianity in the country.
The row erupted with the church vicar John Ayyankanayil and his supporting trustees deciding to shift the festival from July 15 to a Sunday. The row even reached the court in the form of an affidavit, which rejected the lore that St Tho mas had visited Kerala. The official church faction has now appealed to the diocese to take action against dissidents, opposed to shifting of the `thirunal' date. The dissidents did not sit quiet. They shot a letter to the Pope, demanding action against the vicar.
Dissident leader C F Jose said they were forced to approach the Pope as the church hierarchy in Kerala, including the Archbishop of Thrissur, had failed to respond to their requests to act against vicar.
Interestingly, the Archdiocese conducts an annual pilgrimage to Palayur from Thrissur, commemorating the contributions of St Thomas. Faced with criticisms from the church, the vicar and trustees later filed another affidavit in the court, stating the earlier one, rejecting the legend about St Thomas's arrival was an “unintentional slip“.
The Chavakkad munsiff court rejected the amended version and stayed the vicar's decision to change the festival date.
The sub-court at Chavakkad also rejected their appeal and the case has been posted for hearing on January 15. Jose said the supporters of the vicar wanted to shift the `thirunal' date to Sunday as it would attract more people to the festival which in turn would mean higher revenue for the church.
“Shifting the `thirunal' to another date on such flimsy grounds is sacrilegious“, he said.
Meanwhile, father John Ayyankanayil said it was for the diocese to decide on action that has to be taken against the dissidents.
Error in affidavit not accidental: Kalliath
Thrissur: John Kalliath, who has been in the forefront of the campaign to conserve the more than 300-year-old church, refuses to buy the argument that the authorities at St Thomas Shrine at Palayur would have accidentally denied the arrival of Thomas Apostle to the area.
Kalliath, who is waging a similar battle against the official faction of the church, narrates his experience during his initiative to protect the St Francis Xavier's Forane Church, established by the German missionary, Arnos Padre.
“The vicar at Velur wanted to demolish the church and construct a new church in the early 1990s even though the existing church was a protected monument. When the decision raised a hue and cry, the church authorities issued a media statement asserting that Arnos Padre had not come to Velur. The views of some of the church leaders are so myopic that they have no qualms to deny their own rich heritages to settle scores,'' he said.

അയ്യങ്കാനയുടെ ഭീഷണി വിലപ്പോവില്ല.

എല്ലാ കൊല്ലവും 15 ന് നടത്തിവരുന്ന തിരുന്നാള്‍, കച്ചവടതാത്പര്യം മുന്നില്‍ കണ്ടാണ്‌ വികാരി ഞായറാഴ്ചയിലെക്ക് മാറ്റിയത്. അത് എതിര്ത്ത ഇടവകാംഗങ്ങളുടെ പേരിലാണ് നടപടി ആവശ്യപ്പെട്ടുകൊണ്ട് ആര്ച്ച് ബിഷപ്പിന് പരാതി കൊടുത്തിരിക്കുന്നത്.

ആര്ച്ച് ബിഷപ്പിന് വിശ്വാസികളുടെ നേരെ ഒരു നടപടിയെടുക്കുന്നതിനും അധികാരമില്ല.

ഭരണഘടന നല്കുന്ന പൗരന്റെ മൗലിക അവകാശമാണ് ഏത് മതത്തില്‍ വിശ്വസിക്കണം ഏതെല്ലാം ആചാരങ്ങള്‍ അനുഷ്ടിക്കണം എന്നതൊക്കെ.

ഈ അവകാശം ബിഷപ്പും വികാരിയും നല്കുന്നതല്ല. അവ്ര്ക്കിത് തടയാനോ നടപടിയെടുക്കാനോ അധികാരമില്ല. Govt ഒരു പള്ളി നിയമം നിര്മ്മിക്കുന്നത് വരെ കുറച്ചുകാലം കൂടി ബിഷപ്പന്മാര്ക്ക് ഈ സമ്പത്തെല്ലാം കൈവശം വെച്ച് മേനിനടിച്ച് കഴിയാം.

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