Interfaith couple's marriage invalidated by Kerala church body
An interfaith marriage between a Muslim man and a Catholic woman was declared invalid by a three-member inquiry commission of the Syro-Malabar church body in Kochi, Kerala.
The commission also recommended action against the priests who solemnised the marriage.
The wedding, which took place on November 9, attracted controversy after it was attended by Emeritus Bishop Mathew Vaniakizhakkel of Satna in Madhya Pradesh. Traditionally, Bishops do not attend interfaith wedding ceremonies.
A photograph of the couple standing with the Bishop also sparked off criticisms, following which the latter issued an apology saying he regretted attending the wedding. The Bishop added that he had only done so due to his closeness with the bride's family.
The church was heavily slammed for ‘promoting’ inter-religious marriages while it was also speaking up against 'Love jihad’. The controversy then resulted in the Syro Malabar Church Archbishop, Mar George Alencherry to order a probe into the wedding by the three-member church panel.
According to the probe, the bride's side had neglected to follow canon law which is the primary prerequisite for an interfaith marriage.
According to the law, marriage as such between people of two different religions must be permitted beforehand by the Bishop, which was not the case here.