THE SYRO-MALANKARA CATHOLIC CHURCH
MAJOR ARCHIEPISCOPAL CURIA
Catholicate Centre, Trivandrum - 695 004, Kerala, India
SYNODAL COMMISSION FOR THE CLERGY
Chairman: Most Rev. Dr. Geevarghese Mar Divannasios
Secretary: Very Rev. Dr. John Thundiyath
Malankara Catholic Church, Mylapra P.O., Pathanamthitta-689671
The Report of the First Meeting of the Synodal Commission for The Clergy
The first meeting of the Syro-Malankara Synodal Commission for the Clergy was held at 10 am on 06-04-2006 at the Catholicate Centre, Pattom. The meeting was presided over by the Chairman of the Commission for Clergy, His Excellency Yoohanon Mar Chrysostom. The following members were present.
His Excellency Yoohanon Mar Chrysostom (Chairman)
Fr. Thomas Naickamparambil (Secretary)
Corepiscopo Geevarghese Mannikarottu
Msgr. Joseph Plankala
Msgr. John Easwarankudiyil
Fr. Thomas Poovannal
Fr. James Mulackavilayil
Fr. Maria John
Fr. Antony Chethipuzha
Fr. Varghese Kunnumpurath
Fr. Antony Valiyavilayil OIC (Chancellor of the Curia)
The meeting started with a prayer and a reading of a passage from the Holy Bible. The Chairman, His excellency, welcomed the participants. He highlighted the importance of this commission. As the Church has entered into a very important phase of its growth with the new status as a Major Archiepiscopal Church, the clergy has a vital role to play in its present phase and for further growth. Hence, the importance of this commission, His Excellency added that at present all the members of this commission are priests, and if needed, we will include some lay persons also in the commission.
The introduction of His Excellency was followed up by a short class by Fr. Antony Valiyavilayil OIC, the Chancellor, on the canonical significance of the new status of the Church and the importance and functioning of the various commissions of the synod, with special reference to the commission for the clergy. According to him this Commission is deals with:
• Matters regarding priests and deacons of the secular clergy; their persons and pastoral ministry; and resources available to them for the exercise of their ministry.
• The life, rights, and obligations of the clergy.
• Matters that help the suitable distribution of priests.
• The ongoing education of clergy, especially concerning their sanctification and the effective exercise of their pastoral ministry, primarily the preaching of the Word of God.
Those matters as:
1. presbyteral councils, colleges of eparchial consultors, clerical associations, pastoral councils, parishes, churches and shrines.
2. those matters concerning Holy Qurbono obligations as well as pious wills in general and pious foundations
3. welfare of the priests, such their salary, allowances, insurance schemes, pensions and old age healthcare,etc.
This was followed by a general discussion. At first the members wanted to clarify the nature of the autonomy that the Church has attained with its new status as a Major Archiepiscopal Church. There was a discussion on this topic. This was followed by certain concrete suggestions and decisions. As the commission’s primary concern is the clergy of the Church, it was decided that a scientific survey must conducted to study the life of the clergy in the Malankara Catholic Church. It was also decided to conduct common gatherings of the diocesan clergy in three centres, namely, Bathery, Tiruvalla and Trivandrum in the months of October and November, 2006. The meeting may start at 4.00 pm and conclude at 4.00 pm on the following day. There could be a gap of one week between these three meetings. The Vicar General and priest representative of the hosting diocese shall be directly in charge of the conducting of these meetings. The secretary of the commission shall see to the correspondence. Invitations to these gatherings could be sent on the basis of the civil districts. The themes to be dealt with in these meetings are: (i) the new status of the Church and (ii) life and ministry of the Malankara Catholic clergy today.
It was decided that the next meeting of the clergy is to be conducted on 21st September, 2006.
The meeting was concluded at 1 pm with noon prayers and lunch.
Fr. Thomas Naickamparabil