Kerala court stays suspension of Metropolitan of Knanaya archdiocese of Syrian Orthodox Church

Mor Severios Kuriakose
Mor Severios Kuriakose

Kottayam (Kerala) | A Kerala court on Saturday stayed the suspension of the Metropolitan of the Knanaya archdiocese of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church who was relieved of all his powers and responsibilities by the Patriarch of Antioch Ignatius Aphrem II a day ago.

A Munsiff court here passed the order on a plea moved by the supporters of the Metropolitan -- Mor Severios Kuriakose.

The court said that the status quo shall continue till May 25 when the petition will be heard in detail.

During the day, supporters of Kuriakose, who was also the 'Samudaya' Metropolitan of the Knanaya archdiocese, gathered at the Knanaya Church headquarters at Chingavanam in protest against his suspension.

They also burned the order of suspension and an effigy of Patriarch of Antioch Ignatius Aphrem II.

Besides that, they took down the flag of the Patriarch and raised that of the Knanaya archdiocese.

On Friday, in an official communication conveying the suspension to Kuriakose, the Patriarch had said that he was "not setting a good example in the clergy and believers" as mandated in the Constitution of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch.

The action was taken following a hearing on the same day with regard to the charges against Kuriakose of alleged lack of concern and action from his side on the issue of Indian Orthodox priests conducting 'Passion Week' services in Knanaya parishes in the USA.

The Patriarch had said the explanations given by Kuriakose were not satisfactory.

"We are unconvinced about your explanation regarding the reception given to the Catholicos of the Indian Orthodox Church," the Patriarch had said in the communication.

It had also said that Kuriakose's actions amounted to "challenging the authority of the Holy Throne of Antioch".

It had also reminded him that his titles of Archbishop and Chief Metropolitan of the Knanaya Archdiocese of India were taken back "because you were found unworthy of it".

"The present charges against you show that you did not introspect and mend your ways even after that," it had further said.

"Hence, with a heavy heart, we are constrained to hereby suspend you. You are relieved of all your powers and responsibilities as a Metropolitan and the 'Samudaya Metropolitan' of our Knanaya Archdiocese during the period of suspension.

"You are restrained from all episcopal and priestly functions and duties until further proceedings and order from us. We are praying for your repentance after thorough reflection and remorse," the order of May 17 had said.

The Patriarch's order had further said that the suspension of Kuriakose will be reconsidered and reviewed if the church was convinced of his repentance.

Following the decision, supporters of Kuriakose had protested in front of the Knanaya Church headquarters at Chingavanam here on Friday also.

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