Chaos reigns famed St Mary’s Basilica at Kochi on X’mas eve

Differences over unified mass at the famed St Mary’s Basilica here, which snowballed into violence last month, has cast its shadow on the Christmas celebrations with police being deployed to prevent the situation from deteriorating any further.

Following the violence, the district administration had decided to close down the Church.

An argument on whether the priest should face the churchgoers or the altar during the Holy Mass had assumed the form of violence between the two factions.

Then, the Thrissur Archbishop Mon Antony Thazhath, who was deputed by the Vatican to look after the affairs of Ernakulam diocese, was stopped from entering the cathedral by a group.

While the rebel group took control of the church and closed it from inside, the official faction also shut the church gates from outside.

After closing down in the last week of November, after a series of talks, on account of Christmas, the Church opened on Tuesday, but soon a section took strong position against the newly-appointed administrator Fr Antony Puthuvelil who was prevented from performing his priestly duties.

Since Saturday morning, the issues have taken an ugly turn between the two warring factions leading to unruly scenes inside the Church as some light equipment were broken.

“Our job is to ensure that law and order. Talks have to be held between the two warring factions and there are people who have been given the responsibility,” said the top police official entrusted with keeping the law and order intact.




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