Ignatius Aphrem II, 122nd successor of St. Peter in the Apostolic See of Antioch and All the East and supreme head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church, has directed bishops of the Jacobite faction of the Malankara Church to be present in Lebanon between November 21 and 24.
In a recent decree, the Patriarch said the Jacobite Syrian Christians in India were facing an unprecedented situation, which had plunged him into great sadness and anxiety. It is on this count that the bishops have been summoned to the seat of the Patriarchate now in Lebanon.
Heads of the Knanaya American archdioceses too have been invited to Lebanon, said a communication from the headquarters of the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church at Puthenkurish here. However, the Patriarch said that Catholicos Baselios Thomas I should come to Lebanon only if his health allowed him.
Protest on Nov. 12
Meanwhile, the Jacobite faction said it would organise a massive protest in the State capital on November 12. Catholicos Baselios Thomas I, announcing the protest programme, told the faithful that the Jacobites were facing a situation in which their dead were not getting decent burials. He alleged that the Jacobites were being expelled from churches where they had majority under the guise of a court order. Under these circumstances, they need to get justice, he said and pointed out that Thomas Mar Alexandrios, some priests and laypeople have been on an indefinite fast before the Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram since November 5.
The Jacobite Church will organise a programme in the State capital on November 27 demanding the implementation of the Church Act, the communication added.