KOCHI: Protest is brewing among Jacobite Syrian Christians against the alleged illegal activities of Catholicos Baselios Thomas I. Jacobite Almaya Forum, an organisation of the Jacobite Laity has come up with a demand that Catholicos should follow the constitution of the Church before taking crucial decisions.
The Almaya forum leaders have also filed a petition before the Munsiff Court, Ernakulam, seeking to declare that the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church and Catholicos Baselios Thomas I have no authority to establish any diocese outside India and depute priests or bishops to those dioceses.
The forum leaders alleged that the Catholicos was not following the orders of the Patriarch of Antioch, the supreme head of the church.
“Catholicos is the head of the church in India, and his powers are limited to the territorial jurisdictions in India. He is appointing/removing bishops as he wishes, and present it as the decision of the synod. We suspect that the Catholicos’ aim to convert the church as an independent church,” they said.
“The Malankara Church in India is also part of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church under the supremacy and control of the Patriarch of Antioch. Therefore, the Catholicos cannot have independent powers to function,” they pointed out. The forum leaders specified that the Catholicos did not issue an order to remember Patriarch during qurbana, as per the traditional practice.