CC Jacob, a retired professor, was buried at his house near here Sunday. The Church of South India's East Kerala Diocese, to which Jacob belonged, had earlier excommunicated him for a book on baptism he authored. Church authorities, however, denied they had prevented the professor from being buried in the cemetery.
Speaking to IANS over phone, a senior priest of the CSI Church, Jacob Antony said that the professor was excommunicated in 2008. However, the bishop of the diocese, K.G. Daniel, paid his respects to the dead man and visited his mourning relatives, and assured them that the burial could occur in the parish cemetery, he said. "We do not know why, even after permission was granted, they chose to bury him in the house," Antony said.
The 66-year-old Jacob was a prominent member of the CSI Church here and had retired as a professor from one of the colleges run by the CSI Church in Kottayam district. Laity secretary of the diocese, C.L. Samkutty told IANS that Jacob was excommunicated over differences with the church in a book he authored on baptism. "Soon after the excommunication, Jacob approached a lower court near here. The court directed the church to accept him back. But the church approached a higher court, and there too Jacob won the case. He had approached the Kerala High Court to see that the lower court's verdict be implemented," Samkutty said.
Priest Antony, however, said that under the rules of the church, a member holding a grievance should seek redressal through the appellate authority of the church, and not take the matter to a civil court of law.