Church head nullifies move to remove Kottayam bishop

Holding that denial of a funeral is against Christianity, Bishop Thimothios had facilitated the burial at church cemetery at Ponkunnam, in Kottayam, last Sunday.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Published:June 11, 2016 1:39 am

The burial of actor Priyanka Chopra’s grandmother has stoked a controversy in the Jacobite Syrian Church in Kerala.

A day after the Church Synod divested its Kottayam Bishop, Thomas Thimothios, of all duties for facilitating the funeral of Chopra’s grandmother Madhu Jyotsna Akhouri, alias Mary John, the church head, Catholicos Baselios Thomas, nullified it Friday .

Holding that denial of a funeral is against Christianity, Bishop Thimothios had facilitated the burial at church cemetery at Ponkunnam, in Kottayam, last Sunday.

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Akhouri, 93, died in Mumbai on June 3 and the body was flown to Kumarakam, Kottayam, two days later, as her family members wanted to keep her last wish: a funeral at Kumarakam church, where she was baptised as a child.

However, the local parish and its committee objected, contending that Akhouri was not a member of the church, as her name had been removed following her inter-caste marriage with Dr Akhouri. But, Bishop Thomothios intervened and allowed the funeral at another church cemetery.

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