High Court urges Church heads to follow norms

Kochi (Matters India): The Kerala High Court has held that the parish of St Mary’s Orthodox Church, Varikoli, should be run in accordance with the ‘Constitution of 1934’, framed by the Malankara Association.

The court also made it clear that only priests appointed in accordance with the constitution were competent enough to conduct religious services at the church.

The High Court passed the order on an appeal filed by a group of parishioners, challenging an order by the Ernakulam District Court dismissing a suit filed by them seeking a decree that the church should be administered by the Constitution of 1934, Indian Express reported.

It was alleged that those elected as trustees of the Church were continuing in office even after expiry of the one-year period stipulated in the Constitution. It was also alleged that accounts of the Church had not been audited since 1999.

Setting aside the lower court order, the high Court restrained the defendants and their supporters from obstructing the conduct of religious services by priests appointed in accordance with the Constitution of 1934. The High Court has also directed the present parish priest of the Church to convene a parish assembly and elect a managing committee in accordance with the Constitution. The present trustees can continue until the election.

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