'No politics involved': Kerala Church criticises minister's 'cake and wine' remark

In response to Kerala Minister Saji Cheriyan's criticism of bishops attending the Prime Minister's Christmas event, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church emphasised that participating in government functions is a "responsibility, not a political act".
'No politics involved': Kerala Church criticises minister's 'cake and wine' remark
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, a prominent Christian body in Kerala, has criticised state Minister Saji Cheriyan's remarks against bishops present at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Christmas event.

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'No politics involved': Kerala Church criticises minister's 'cake and wine' remark

A controversy erupted after Saji Cheriyan criticised Christian leaders for failing to raise the issue of Manipur violence in their meeting with PM Modi.

"Some bishops got goosebumps when the BJP invited them for a Christmas feast. They had cake and wine offered but forgot about the Manipur issue. Manipur was not a concern for them," the minister stated.

Yuhanon Mar Dioscoros, the Metropolitan of the Kottayam Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, stated that participating in state or central government events is not a political act but a "responsibility when invited".

"The church maintains similar relations with both state and central governments. When invited by the government for a function, it becomes our responsibility to participate. There is no politics involved in it. If someone perceives politics in our actions, we can't help it," the Metropolitan said.

He also stated that the church remains apolitical, and people vote according to their own preferences.

Saji Cheriyan's remarks invited sharp criticism from different corners, forcing the ruling CPI(M) to distance itself from the minister's statement.

The Kerala Catholic Bishops' Council chairman Mar Baselios Cleemis Catholica Bava urged the minister to withdraw his remarks and stated that the Church would not cooperate with the government until he retracts the statement.

CPI(M) State Secretary MV Govindan stated that the remarks were not of the party and asked the minister to review the statements.

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'No politics involved': Kerala Church criticises minister's 'cake and wine' remark

Subsequently, Saji Cheriyan withdrew his 'cake and wine' statement on Tuesday.

Source: India Today

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