Kerala Council of Churches faces trouble over new admission

Church of South India pulls out in protest


Pathanamthitta: The Church of South India (CSI) has decided to pull out from the Kerala Council of Churches (KCC), an ecumenical forum of Protestant and Orthodox Churches.

This was to protest the council’s decision to provide membership to the Believers Church led by controversial leader K.P. Yohannan.

The latest development has to be viewed in the backdrop of the controversy over the episcopacy claims of the Believers Church that its head.

However, the CSI has outrightly rejected this claim of the Believers Church, saying that the former has never done such a thing at any point of time.

CSI Moderator Bishop Thomas K. Oommen told The Hindu on August 28 that the regional forum of the CSI Synod members had unanimously decided to disassociate with the KCC and its programs.

According to him, the CSI had never consecrated Yohannan and whatever news spread in this regard were baseless.

“The CSI never considers the Believers Church as an episcopal church or accept its leader, K.P. Yohannan, a bishop. As per the CSI view, K.P. Yohannan is a layman and the KCC decision, overlooking the CSI objection, was unfortunate,” Bishop Oommen added.

He said the bishop was the constitutional head of CSI. As per the constitution of the Church, the Synod executive has to authorize the moderator to consecrate a clergy as a bishop. The CSI Synod executive never authorized the moderator to consecrate Yohannan as a bishop, Bishop Oommen explained.

However, being a founder member of KCC, the CSI was not for completely severing its ties with the KCC as it was against the very vision and mission of the Church, the coordinator said.

He said the CSI could never accept inclusion of the Believers Church in the KCC strictly on moral and ethical grounds.

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