Interference of religion in politics not desirable: Catholicos of the East

Kunnamkulam: The Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan Baselius Mar Thomas Paulose II has said it is ‘not desirable' for religions to interfere in politics.

The 64-year-old was enthroned as Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan at the St. Paul's and St. Peter's church at Parumala on November 1.

The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church would not ask its over two million faithful either to vote or not vote for a particular political party, he told PTI on Tuesday night.

The faithful of the Orthodox Church belong to different political parties, he added.

‘‘The Church will, however, direct its faithful not to exercise their franchise for tipplers as increasing alcohol consumption in Kerala is a great economic, moral, social and spiritual threat,'' he said.

The Church would take strong steps against this social evil, he said adding, with this in view, a short film, ‘U-Turn' (Madakka Yatra), was released under the auspices of the Malankara Church.

Value erosion

The Church would take all efforts to bring down value erosion and moral degeneration in society and create political awareness on the right direction for the benefit of society, he said.

Priority would be given for unity of various factions of the Church with a view to maintaining permanent peace, he said

The differences between his Church and the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church were not based on ‘faith,' but only on the administration and ownership of property. The Catholicos expressed the hope that unity would soon prevail among the two rival factions. The dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church would resume next month.

He alleged that globalisation had created an ‘adverse' impact on the Church the world over, as it laid stress on ‘material prosperity.' Divorce among Christians has seen a rapid increase in the past two decades.

The number of such cases, which were one or two about 25 years ago, had gone up to 10 a month, which he attributed to the adverse impact of globalisation.

He is the third Catholicos of the East hailing from Kunnamkulam