Malankara Chruch to back Left-run government policy

 Malankara Chruch to back Left-run government policy

Abu Dhabi - Last month, Kerala Tourism Minister AC Moideen had sought a 'relook' into the closure of bars in tourist spots as it was affecting the state revenue.


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Fri 23 Sep 2016, 1:38 PM

Last updated: Fri 23 Sep 2016, 6:45 PM

The Orthodox Church will 'stand by' the Kerala government if it reconsiders the liquor policy. So far, churches had hailed the previous Oommen Chandy government's stance on closure of 700 liquor bars.
Last month, Kerala Tourism Minister AC Moideen had sought a 'relook' into the closure of bars in tourist spots as it was affecting the state revenue.
Indian Orthodox Church supreme head Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II, who was on a 24-hour visit to Abu Dhabi, said they have always stood by the state government's decision and will do so in this case.
"A government should always discourage liquor consumption. But a government will have its own policies. So, we will go along with those policies," he said reacting to the hotly debated topic on liquor bars in tipplers' paradise - Kerala.
The congregation has had their difference with Chandy, who is a member of the Orthodox Church. They had said that as a chief minister he hadn't helped them during a dispute with the Jacobite faction.
And when Communist Party of Marxist leader Pinarayi Vijayan was sworn-in as the new chief minister, Paulose II had even said that they were no more 'politically orphan'.
When asked about the leaders, the church head said: "It doesn't matter if a chief minister belongs to our congregation or not. What matters is his conduct and work. What we always expect from the government, especially in Kerala is fairness in their dealings. So, irrespective of who the chief minister is, Malankara group will always insist that policies are implemented in a fair manner," he said during an event at St. George Church in the Capital. Malankara group has 2.5 million followers and more than 35,000 are based in the UAE.
Asked about the faction feud in the Malankara church, i.e. the Orthodox and Jacobite groups, he said: "The issues are before the court. It should find a solution. And the state government should take interest too. If the government is proactive, the can solve this issue."
Why can't Paulose II take lead to end the schism?
"See, there are issues and we have a mechanism to solve it. If the judiciary can't solve the disputes then how are these supposed to end," he asked referring to the long-pending dispute over the history and faith of the Malankara church.
On the followers in the Gulf, he said they have contributed immensely to the St. Gregorios International Cancer Care Centre - his dream project in Thiruvalla district of Kerala.
The inauguration is in November to coincide with the 70th birthday anniversary celebrations of Paulose II. "Already, Rs1.1 billion has been invested in the facility. Also, we are launching 'Sneha Sparsham' fund, which is for the benefit of the poor patients. Many people from the Gulf have made contributions in this regard," he said.
He lauded the UAE rulers and paid tributes to firefighter Jassim Iissa Al Balushi.

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