Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 27
The St Mary's Cathedral Basilica in Kerala's Ernakulam district witnessed a clash between two groups of believers on Sunday over the issue of unified Holy Mass following which the police decided to shut down the premises till matters were resolved.
The clash occurred after an argument whether the priest should face the churchgoers or the altar during the Holy Mass.
The Thrissur Archbishop Mon Antony Thazhath, who is deputed by the Vatican to look after the affairs of Ernakulam diocese, was not allowed to enter the cathedral by a group of people. The rebel group took control of the church and closed it from inside while the official faction also shut the gates of the church from the outside.
With Sunday mass turning into a place of sloganeering and fisticuffs between the two groups, police intervened and dispersed the crowd by a small measure of caning.
Police have now apprised the district administration to take control of the Church unless the situation turns normal and until then the police have decided to close down the Basilica.
A heavy police presence was deployed at the cathedral as the police were expecting a further escalation in the violence.
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