Keep spiritual issues off courts: Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II

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The Hindu – 10/2/15

Victory in spiritual matters should not be achieved through civil courts, Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church Ignatius Ephraim II has said.

The Patriarch was addressing a meeting held at the Knanaya Archdiocese of Kallissery at Vallamkulam, near Thiruvalla, on Monday. He said misunderstandings should be sidelined in the larger interests of unity in the community. The Patriarch called upon the faithful to tread the Christian path of mutual trust, respect, and love. Those who filed cases in civil courts should withdraw them, he said. The supreme head of the Syrian Orthodox Church said, “My doors are kept open for you. I am always at your service and ready to address your spiritual needs. Pray to the Almighty and seek His blessings for me to perform the duties bestowed upon me in its fullest spirit.”

Reception at Ranni

The Patriarch was accorded a rousing reception on his arrival at Ranni. The faithful greeted him, waving Patriarchal flags. They escorted the Patriarch in a procession.

The Patriarch led the consecration service of the recently renovated St. Kuriakos Knanaya Church at Iythala in Ranni. Knanaya Archbishop Kuriakos Mar Savarios, Metropolitan Mar Gregorios Metropolitan, Synod secretary of the Jacobite Syrian Church; Kuriakose Mar Gregorios, Kuriakose Mar Ivanios, Ayub Mar Sylvanios, Eldhose Mar Thethos, and the Syrian bishops accompanying the Patriarch were the co-celebrants.

The Patriarch was given receptions at St. Thomas Knanaya Church, considered the oldest church in Ranni, and at the Knanaya Bishop’s House. Addressing the faithful at Ranni, the Patriarch said the strong ties between the Knanaya Church and the Antioch were rooted on mutual respect and trust.

The Patriarch then proceeded to Chingavanom in Kottayam district.