Madurai: The Madras High Court bench here on Friday directed a petitioner to approach the officials of churches for conducting religious ceremonies for his son, observing the church officials could not compel the petitioner to change the name of the "god father" of the minor child.
Closing the petition filed by one X A Valter Edward, Justice T S Sivagnanam said it is upto the family members to take a decision on it (changing the name of the "god father") and directed him to approach the officials, including Bishop of Tuticorin diocesan, priest of the Our Lady Lourdes Church at Idinthakarai near Kudankulam and Father Jayakumar.
The petitioner submitted his family had been excommunicated for supporting the government on the nuclear plant at Kudankulam though the entire village opposed it.
Merely because his family refused to heed the advice of the church, which was against the nuclear plant, the church should not refuse permission to the petitioner to baptise the minor child, the Judge said.
The Judge said the church is always open for the petitioner and his family members and they should approach the officials there.
The petitioner said the excommunication had been perpetuated by the church officials and they were not even permitting his family to conduct worship and baptise his son. He had lodged a police complaint against this but no action had been taken on it.
The counsel for the police submitted that if any police protection was given to the petitioner for conducting baptism in the church, then there would be a law and order problem in the village.
The court then directed the Additional Government pleader to assess the situation and status in the matter and ordered notice to the church officials.
The Church submitted the parish priest had only rendered advice to the petitioner requesting changing the name of the "god father" of the child to be baptised since there was difference of opinion between him and one group in the village.
They said there was no compulsion for the petitioner to do so but with an intention that the function to be smoothly conducted, the parish priest adviced the petitioner and this had been "misunderstood" by him.