Saturday, August 3, 2013

Coimbatore Bishopric Election Held But Hit By Court Stay

It was a case of so near yet so far for the victorious candidates in the Coimbatore bishopric elections held today. Four of them were elected by members of the Diocesan Council to be on the bishopric panel from which the Synod will ultimately choose one as the new bishop. In all there were 11 contestants in the fray. Rev Timothy Ravinder who is the Liaison Officer on the CSI-EMS India Desk topped the panel closely followed by Rev Paul Selwyn Prabhudas who is the incumbent vice president of the diocese. Both were elected in the second round of polling while in the third round two more candidates made it to the panel. They were Rev D. V. Karunakaran, a former Moderator’s Commissary for Coimbatore Diocese, and Rev Richard Durai from Erode.
But a serious question mark now hangs over the election itself as a court stay on holding the poll was pasted on the door of the diocesan office this afternoon. Yesterday a city court had issued a stay but the orders were only typed this morning and when the court official went to serve it at the venue of the election, no one accepted it resulting in the court official then pasting it on the door of the diocesan office. The stay is based on a case filed by a member of the CSI church in Yercaud which was not given representation in the diocesan council polls held earlier. The case has been going on for several months now and was being contested by the diocese. Therefore the diocese cannot really claim ignorance about the stay. In fact some sources say the delay in typing the stay order was ‘managed’ to ensure it did not prevent the elections from being held.

Rev Timothy Ravinder is clearly the favourite to become bishop, not least because he has a very good equation with Moderator G. Devakadasham. This relationship blossomed when Rev Ravinder served as head of the CSI Centre in Chennai for a number of years and the Moderator was in charge of the Pastoral Affairs Department of the Synod. Less than a year ago Rev Ravinder had been selected to head the high profile CSI-EMS liaison desk at the Synod Office. With Bishop Devakadasham having less than six months left as Moderator and highly unlikely to seek a second term as head of the CSI , any court-induced delay in validating the election held today will be a worry for Rev Ravinder , perhaps more than for others in the race.


James Joy said...

It showing that in CSI community spiritual growth declined. It turn like political state.
Can we select a BISHOP unanimously ? The time is coming for change the present system which are going under against the spiritual way. Quarrel between head priest (Bishop) and Priests (clergys), division groups with clergy among churches. In public media every thing clear about corruption ....... Ashamed to CSI.

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