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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 25 May 2024 10.16 PM IST

CSI Church moderator: Bishop Dharmaraj's election cancelled

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Madras High Court quashed the selection of Thiruvananthapuram Bishop Dharmaraj as CSI Sabha Moderator. A constitutional amendment that raised the retirement age of priests and bishops from 67 to 70 was also repealed. Justice Senthilkumar Ramamurthy also stated in the verdict that the election should be held within four months. A retired judge will be appointed as the election observer.

D Lawrence, Former Secretary of South Kerala Diocese, is the one who approached the court alleging that the amendment was brought without proper election. The petition was filed in the Madras High Court because the HQ of the Church (Synod) is in Chennai. The Synod amended the Constitution to make the age limit of the moderator 70. An amendment was also introduced to vest the right of immovable and movable property of the Church in the moderator. As it was registered as a company, the rights of these belonged to CSI Trust.

The Synod is attended by representatives of 24 Dioces of South Indian states. The amendment will be effective only if it has the support of two-thirds of the dioceses.

Will file an appeal

The South Kerala Diocese leadership said they would appeal against the verdict. The Synod approved an amendment to raise the age limit of bishops and priests to 70. It had the support of 16 of the 24 dioceses, but the Bengaluru diocese's election was cancelled by its court. With that, the majority in the Synod decreased. The order of Madras High Court is in view of this. 550 priests in various parishes are over 67. They may also approach the court.

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