THE SYRO-MALANKARA CATHOLIC CHURCH
MAJOR ARCHIEPISCOPAL CURIA
CATHOLICATE CENTRE, TRIVANDRUM - 695004, KERALA, INDIA
Thirteenth Ordinary Holy Episcopal Synod
(5 - 8 March 2012)
His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholicos convoked the Thirteenth Ordinary Holy Episcopal Synod of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church at Blessed John Paul II Synod Hall of the Major Archiepiscopal Curia at the Catholicate Centre, Pattom, Trivandrum from 5 to 8 March 2012. The Holy Episcopal Synod (HES) began with the concelebrated Holy Qurbono led by Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholicos, the President of the Synod. It was also the fifth anniversary day of the enthronement of His Beatitude as Major Archbishop-Catholicos.
All the members of the Synod - His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholicos (President of the Synod), Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos (Secretary of the Synod), Most Rev. Geevarghese Mar Divannasios, Most Rev. Yoohanon Mar Chrysostom, Most Rev. Joshua Mar Ignathios, Most Rev. Joseph Mar Thomas, Most Rev. Abraham Mar Julios, Most Rev. Vincent Mar Paulos, Most Rev. Thomas Mar Eusebios, Most Rev. Jacob Mar Barnabas, Most Rev. Thomas Mar Anthonios OIC, Most Rev. Samuel Mar Irenios and Most Rev. Philipos Mar Stephanos-were present. Most Rev. Geevarghese Mar Timotheos, the Bishop Emeritus of Tiruvalla was absent due to his ill-health.
Most Rev. Thomas Mar Anthonios OIC, the Curia Bishop and the Chancellor of the Major Archiepiscopal Curia, recorded the minutes.
The First Session of the Synod began at 9 p.m. on 5 March 2012. At the outset, Most Rev. Vincent Mar Paulos, Bishop of Marthandom congratulated His Beatitude on the fifth anniversary of His Beataitude’s Enthronement as Major Archbishop-Catholicos. Most Rev. Mar Paulos recounted the contributions of His Beatitude in the ecclesial and socio-political field.
His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholicos delivered the opening message of the Holy Episcopal Synod. His Beatitude welcomed all the Bishops to the Thirteenth Ordinary Holy Episcopal Synod. He thanked Most Rev. Vincent Mar Paulos for the words of appreciation on behalf of the HES. His Beatitude thanked the Synod Fathers for their solidarity with His Beatitude in all matters. His Beatitude also thanked all the members of the HES for the witness that we are a united body and which others emulate.
The Catholicos said, "We have been led through the path of a wonderful ecclesial experience. In the recent history of our Church, as we have traversed eight decades of ecclesial life, how lovingly and with what foresight does God intervened in our Life! From nothingness, we have now churches, we have now well-known institutions, we have become established in infrastructure, our vocations have increased; we have crossed the borders of language, culture: from two Eparchies we have branched out to eight Eparchies, an Exarchate in USA, Extraterritorial Regions in India and Abroad. With thirteen Bishops we made the ad limina visit and expressed our communion with the Holy Father. Now we enter another cross-road. We rededicate ourselves, our Church rededicates herself to the proclamation of the Gospel; the Church should become the Gospel to the world. The Holy Spirit has shed this light in us. We are not a tiny flock before the world. We become preachers of the Gospel. In spirit of prayer we had convoked the Church Assembly and the Assembly gave a message to the Church. The Church is imbibing the spirit of the Assembly, the spirit of evangelization. It is after this historical event, today, we are gathered as a Holy Synod. God calls us to be illumined by the spiritual fervor. His Beatitude also narrated his experience of participating in the celebration of the elevation of His Beatitude Mar George Alanchery as Cardinal. All appreciated the presence of the Major Archbishop-Catholicos of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church as a sign of the deep communion between the two Churches. His Beatitude was also greeted well in Rome with gestures of due protocol.
His Beatitude also expressed the Church’s condolence at the demise of Mr. P.K. Narayana Panickar, the President of the Nair Service Society and His Grace Mar Osthathios, the senior Metropolitan of Malankra Othodox Church. His Beatitude recalled the great friendship and close collaboration of the NSS with SMCC that Mr. Panickar had nourished in the long years of his service. Similarly, His Beatitude said that, His Grace Mar Osthathios was a great man by his own contribution to the ecclesial life in Kerala.
Praying that the present Synod be for the greater glory of God and for strengthening the spiritual fervor of our Church, His Beatitude declared the HES open.
Submission of the Catholicos Day Offering
Next on the Agenda was the submission of the Catholicos’ Day Offerings. All the Bishops submitted to HB the Catholicos, the collections from their respective Eparchy/Exarchate/Region. The following list gives the contributions:
1. Major Archieparchy of Trivandrum - Rs. 100,000.00
2. Archieparchy of Tiruvalla - Rs. 50,000.00
3. Eparchy of Marthandom - Rs. 25,000.00
4. Eparchy of Muvattupuzha - Rs. 35,000.00
5. Eparchy of Mavelikara - Rs. 25,000.00
6. Eparchy of Bathery - Rs. 30,000.00
7. Eparchy of Puttur - Rs. 10,000.00
8. Eparchy of Pathanamthitta - Rs. 50,000.00
9. Exarchate of USA - US $ 3,195.00
10. ETRI - Rs. 40,000.00
11. Doha - Rs. 100,000.00
THE PRESENTATION OF THE AGENDA
His Beatitude, the President of the HES, presented the following proposed agenda of the Synod:
2. Inaugural Address by His Beatitude
3. Submission of the Catholicos’ Day Collection-Years 2011 & 2012
4. Report of the Eleventh and Twelfth Holy Episcopal Synod
5. Decisions of the Eleventh and Twelfth Holy Episcopal Synod
6. Follow-up of the Decisions and Action-Plan of the First Syro-Malankara Catholic Church Assembly (SMCCA)
7. The Synodal Commissions: Completion of the Process
8. The Rights and Obligations of the Curia Bishop of the SMCC
9-12 Matters Subsecreto
13. Presentation of the Financial Accounts of the Construction of the Catholicate Centre; Maintenance and Financial Administration of the Major Archiepiscopal Curia
14. Matters Concerning the St. Mary’s Malankara Seminary
15. Revision of Salary in Hospitals/ Unaided Schools/ Ecclesiastical Institutions
16. Exarchate in USA
17. New Ventures in the Eparchies, Exarchate, ETRI, ETROI (Bishops have 10 minutes each)
18. Report of the Visitation to Singapore and Australia; Missions in Australia
19. On the promulgation of the Code of Particular Canons of the SMCC
20. Other relevant matters, if any, with the consent of President
To the proposed agenda were added the following:
1. On MCA
2. An orientation on financial Accounting from Mr. Kandaswamy
3. CBCI proposals on Process of Delicts against Minors
4. Honouring Corepiscopo Kaniyamparampil
The Synod Fathers approved the proposed agenda.
Presentation of Reports
The Report and the Decisions of the Eleventh Ordinary Holy Episcopal Synod held on 2 and 3 March 2011 and its decisions were read out. Observations of the members and corrections proposed by them were recorded. The report was proposed to be passed by Most Rev. Joshua Mar Ignathios. The proposal was supported by Most Rev. Geevarghese Mar Divannasios. It was passed with applause.
The Report and Decisions of the Twelfth Ordinary Holy Episcopal Synod convoked from 23 to 25 September 2011 was also read out. Observations of the members and corrections proposed by them were recorded. The report was proposed to be passed by Most Rev. Joseph Mar Thomas. The proposal was supported by Most Rev. Geevarghese Mar Divannasios and was passed with applause.
The report of the Extraordinary Holy Episcopal Synod, on the occasion of the second visit of His Eminence Leonardo Cardinal Sandri, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, on 15 January 2012, was also read out. After an evaluation of the content of the report, it was proposed to be passed by Most Rev. Yoohanon Mar Chrysostom and supported by Most Rev. Jacob Mar Barnabas. The report was passed with applause.
1. The Date of the Next Ordinary HES
The members wanted that the date of the next Ordinary Holy Episcopal Synod be fixed, as it would be helpful for future programming. Considering the convenience of all Bishops who will be participating in the 82nd Reunion Day Celebrations at Pathanamthitta, it was decided that the Fourteenth Ordinary Holy Episcopal Synod of our Church shall be convoked from 6 p.m. on 21 September to 8 p.m. on 22 September 2012 at Marygiri, Archbishop’s House, Tiruvalla.
2. The HES and Most Rev. Geevarghese Mar Timotheos, Bishop Emeritus of Tiruvalla.
HB the Catholicos enquired, whether, Most Rev. Geevarghese Mar Timotheos, due to his old age and health condition, be granted permanent leave of absence from the HES. No decision was taken on this matter.
4. Follow-up of the Decisions and Action-Plan of the First Syro-Malankara Catholic Church Assembly (SMCCA)
To facilitate the discussion on the “Follow-up of the Decisions and Action-Plan of the First Syro-Malankara Catholic Church Assembly (SMCCA)”, Rt. Rev. Msgr. Antony Kakkanattu, the Executive Secretary of the Suviseha Sangam and Rev. Sr. Namita SIC, the secretary of the Synodal Commission for Evangelisation were also invited to the HES, to present along with Most Rev. Jacob Mar Barnabas, the Chairman of the Synodal Commission for Evangelisation, the progress of the formation of the Suvisesha Sangam and the action-plan for the same. HB the Catholicos welcomed them and introduced them to the members of the HES. They shared with the HES that the training of the Ecclesial level Suvisesha Sangam has already begun. A five-day course is already done and the members from all the Eparchies are now ready to be commissioned on 10 March 2012, the day of the blessing of the Holy Myron. Msgr. Kakkanattu also stressed the need to conscientise the parish priests in this regard. He also informed the HES that plans are being chalked out to form and train the Eparchial Suvisesha Sangam. Most Rev. Jacob Mar Barnabas also informed the HES that Rev. Sr. Francina DM and Bar Itho Kasiro Paulos are also appointed to work as full-time members of the Suvisesha Sangam. For the Ecclesial level Suvisesha Sangam, further courses are to be arranged and they will finally be commissioned with an oath and promise on 21 September 2012 after the Holy Qurbono of the Reunion Day Celebrations at Pathanamthitta. It was pointed out that at least a symbolic presence of a person from the ETROI would be much appreciated. The attention of the members of the HES was also drawn to the expenses of the Suvisesha Sangam. No concrete suggestion emerged from the matter.
5. The Synodal Commissions: Completion of the Process
The formation of the new Synodal Commissions with the appointment of new members and consultors was the next topic taken up for discussion and finalisation. The Chairmen and Secretaries of the respective Commissions were already appointed. Discussing in common, the members and consultors were selected.
During the discussion Most Rev. Abraham Mar Julios expressed his difficulty to be the Chairman of three Synodal Commissions. Hence he was relieved of his office as Chairman of the Synodal Commission for Vocation and Most Rev. Geevarghese Mar Divannasios agreed to take up that office. All the Chairmen were asked to complete the list of the members and consultors of each SC and to send it to the co-ordinator of the SC Most Rev. Thomas Mar Anthonios OIC. The Chairmen of the Synodal Commissions were asked to prepare the working guideline of the respective SC and to present it for the approval of the HES. As an aid for this, the Chairmen were supplied with an orientation guideline prepared already by Most Rev. Thomas Mar Anthonios OIC.
During the course of this discussion, the need to appoint a priest to co-ordinate our ecclesial activities in the Gulf Region was discussed. This need was also raised during the first SMCCA. Rev. Fr. John Padipurackal, the Priest-in-Charge of the Syro-Malankara Catholics in Kuwait was proposed to be appointed as the Co-ordinator of our Church in the Gulf Region.
To the question which all institutes of consecrated life are to be represented in the Synodal Commission for the Religious, it was decided that Congregations of the Order of Imitation of Christ, Sisters of the Imitation of Christ, Daughters of Mary, Franciscan Missionary Brothers, Sisters of Sacred Heart, Holy Spirit Sisters, Gathsamen Samarpitha Satsangam, and sui iuris Monasteries of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (Kurisumala Ashram), Dhyana Ashram and Sisters of Mount Tabor will be represented. The Superiors General and Provincial Superiors of the Congregations and the Abbots or Abbesses of sui iuris monasteries shall be members of the SC for the Religious.
Most Rev. Geevarghese Mar Divannasios requested the HES to relieve him from the Episcopal Commission for St. Mary’s Malankara Seminary, as he being away in Puttur and could not take care of his duties. His request was granted. Most Rev. Vincent Mar Paulos was proposed to the post and he accepted the proposal.
6. Matters Concerning the St. Mary’s Malankara Seminary
The first session of the HES on 8 March was utilised to evaluate the formation programme and the governance of the St. Mary’s Malankara Seminary. Rev. Fr. John Kochuthundil, the Rector of the Seminary, was invited to the Synod Hall to present the report of the Seminary and to introduce other relevant matters. The written report of the Seminary for the academic year 2011-’12 was already circulated to the members of the HES. Then he spoke on the need of more members on the staff of the Seminary. After clarifications Rev. Fr. John left the Synod Hall.
The members of the HES spoke of the need to improve the standard of the Seminary in the various domains. The seminary has a good staff; but we need to improve further. The ability of the students to communicate in English has to be improved. There was also consensus on the need to conscientise the students on the spirit of evangelisation and the present developments in the Church on evangelisation, especially with the formation of the Suvisesha Sangam.
The atmosphere of formation in the Malankara Seminary came in for discussion. It was opined that the students need a better exposure and wider horizon of vision. The lack of this atmosphere in our seminary formation affects the quality of the presbyterate in our Church and Eparchies. Hence it was suggested that for studies in Philosophy our students shall be sent to other seminaries and that the Eparchial Bishops shall have the freedom to decide on this. The proposal was put to voting. With one abstention, the proposal was passed with 12 votes. It was also decided that the decision shall become effective from the beginning of the academic year 2013-’14.
With regard to finding new personnel for the Seminary, Most Rev. Yoohanon Mar Chrysostom, Bishop of Pathanamthitta offered the service of Rev. Fr. Sebastian Ambasseril as Spiritual Father. Most Rev. Vincent Mar Paulos, Bishop of Marthandom offered the service of Rev. Fr. S. Varghese as Procurator of the Seminary from the beginning of the academic year 2013-’14, if the present Procurator, Rev. Fr. Alummoottil, whose term of office expires, would agree to continue his service for another year.
Most Rev. Abraham Mar Julios, the Chairman of the Episcopal Commission for St. Mary’s Malankara Seminary and Chairman of the Synodal Commission for Seminary Formation reported the highlights of the recent meeting of the Minor Seminary Rectors. First of all he appreciated the dedication of the Rectors in their task of formation. He introduced in the HES some of the suggestions of the meeting.
a. A common programme for all the fourth Year Minor Seminarians of our Church to be organised in North India, in view of providing a better atmosphere of exposure to study English language.
The suggestion was considered in its ecclesial context, especially that it would be yet another common seminary for the entire SMCC; and whether it would be feasible to have it outside Kerala; and whether it would be feasible to find out the necessary staff. It was suggested that, if the Eparchial Bishop finds it difficult to impart a solid formation to the fourth year Minor Seminarians of his Eparchy due to the less number of students, he can send his students to another Minor Seminary of another Eparchy with an agreement with the respective Eparchial Bishop. It was also suggested that the fourth year Minor Seminarians from all Eparchies could attend the three- months Syriac course in SEERI. If there is sufficient accommodation facility, all could attend the course together. This would be an occasion for common living together and interaction. Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos agreed to make the necessary arrangements for the same.
b. A common gathering of all the Minor Seminarians every year, coinciding with the common celebration of our Church, like July 15 or Reunion Day celebrations.
The suggestion was analysed but no definite response emerged from the HES.
c. A common text book for curricular formation in the Minor Seminary.
The HES agreed to this and entrusted Most Rev. Abraham Mar Julios to do this in collaboration with the St. Mary’s Malankara Seminary.
It was informed to the Synod Fathers that the Bethany Madhom intends to discontinue the service of the Rev. Sisters in the St. Mary’s Malankara Seminary as the Congregation has not sufficient number of Sisters to be appointed for the service. H.B. the Catholicos suggested that he would discuss the matter with the Provincial Superior of Trivandrum.
10. The Malankara Catholic Association
Most Rev. Joshua Mar Ignathios, the Chairman of the Synodal Commission for the Laity, introduced in the HES the proposed amendments to the bylaws of the MCA for the approval of the HES. The HES discussed in detail the proposals, made the necessary changes and approved them.
11. Catechism and MCCL
Most Rev. Philipos Mar Stephanos introduced the outcome of the meetings with the Directors of Faith Formation programmes of the Eparchies and their recommendations to the HES. His Excellency shared that the common catechism text books were well accepted. Regarding the schedule of the Sunday School academic year, the Directors differ in its applicability. However, the HES confirmed its previous decisions on the matter. The decisions of the 12th Ordinary HES would become effective from the academic year 2013.
The summer Bible camps are to be organised with the theme “Suviseshakayaya Malankara Katholicka Sabha” under the title Credo 2012 and with the Bible Verse “Let the children come to me” (Mt 19:14). The camp prepared and guided by the Synodal Commission for Faith Formation will be known as “Malankara Bible Orientation Camp-MBOC”
On the progress of the organisation of the MCCL, His Excellency Mar Stephanos said that the new Director is very active and efforts to establish the MCCL at all levels of our Church and its unit in every parish are progressing. An ecclesial level gathering is planned on the occasion of the 82nd Reunion Day Celebrations. A copy of the draft bylaw was distributed to the members of the HES for their study. It was not definitively approved by the HES. It would be taken up for approval in the next Synod.
The possibility of combining the MBOC with the Bethany Bible Studies (BBS), the summer camp for children organised by Bethany Ashram, was also discussed. Most Rev. Philipos Mar Stephanos was asked to talk to the officials of Bethany Ashram on this. This would help a common orientation in the faith-formation of the Children in the entire SMCC.
12. Malankara Catholic Youth Movement (MCYM)
Most Rev. Vincent Mar Paulos, the Chairman of the Synodal Commission for the Youth introduced the current activities of the MCYM. Eparchial Youth Conventions are planned in the month of May. MCYM is planning to distribute YOUCAT for youth catechesis. It was observed that the Priests and Religious engaged in youth ministry needs proper training. Hence a training programme is planned for them
In the election of the office bearers of the MCYM, the rota system of election listing all Eparchies, whether big or small, whether far or near is to be continued. This enables the youth in every Eparchy to come to leadership.
13. Report of the Visitation to Singapore and Australia; Missions in Australia
Most Rev. Thomas Mar Anthonios, who as per the decision of the HES was sent on a visitation to the Syro-Malankara Catholics in Singapore and Australia, submitted a report of his visitation to HB the Catholicos. He was asked to share briefly the same with the HES. Mar Anthonios briefed his visit to Singapore, Brisbane, Adelaide, Darwin, Katherine, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney. In all these places, he visited the Local Ordinary or his delegate and submitted the credentials of his visitation and apprised him of the need to cater to the pastoral care of the Syro-Malankara Catholics of the respective Diocese, though they are small in number. Mar Anthonios also shared with the HES that the Bishops or their delegates whom he met were all very cordial, understanding and welcoming. In all the big cities, there are ten to fifteen Malankara Catholic families. During the visitation they gathered together in each city as prayer groups.
His Beatitude the Catholicos informed the Synod that the Archbishop of Adelaide, through his letter, has already asked His Beatitude for a priest who could be appointed in his Archdiocese and who could also take care of the Malankara Catholics. His Beatitude also enquired with the Synod Fathers of the possibility to avail the services of other priests from their respective Eparchies to be sent to Australia and Ireland. Bishops of the Eparchies of Mavelikara, Pathanamthitta, Bathery and Marthandom have expressed their willingness to lend the service of one priest each from their respective Eparchy.
During the discussion Most Rev. Abraham Mar Julios informed the HES that he would visit the Syro-Malankara Catholics in New Zealand in the month of May.
14. The promulgation of the Code of Particular Canons of the SMCC
His Beatitude the Catholicos informed the HES that all formalities for the promulgation of the Code of Particular Canons of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church have been completed and that it will be promulgated on 10 March 2012, after the celebration of the blessing of the Holy Myron. His Beatitude paid glowing tributes to Moran Mor Cyril Baselios of happy memory, who initiated the process of codification. He also remembered with gratitude all those who collaborated in the codification work. His Beatitude gave each Synod Father a copy of the CPCSMCC to be promulgated.
15. The Rights and Obligations of the Curia Bishop of the SMCC
Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos presented the following text that he had prepared on the rights and obligation of the Curia Bishop. It was read out point by point. Together with His Beatitude he clarified the queries of the members of the HES. It was passed by the HES:
1. The Curia Bishop has all the rights and duties of an ordained Bishop in the Church and is immediately under the Major Archbishop Catholicos. The exercise of a specific ministry or service in a place requires consultation or even consent of the local hierarch.
2. He resides in the Curia Centre (Catholicate Centre) and is immediately responsible for the daily activities of the Curia and all working in the Curia are subject to him. He has to coordinate such activities including appointment and dismissal of staff as and when directed by the Major Archbishop-Catholicos. The Curia Bishop is to see to the spiritual care of the Reverend Fathers, Sisters and other staff working in the Curia.
3. The Curia Bishop has to coordinate the activities of the various Commissions, Chancery, Finance Office, Major Archiepiscopal Ordinary Tribunal, etc. He has to see that the archives are maintained well and up to date.
4. The Major Archbishop-Catholicos can entrust the Curia Bishop with the care of the faithful in areas or regions which are not ordinarily looked after and coordinated either with spiritual services or effective administration.
5. As directed and advised by the Major-Archbishop Catholicos the Curia Bishop has to: a) prepare dispensation documents for the religious from the vows of religious life in as much as they are subject to the Major Archbishop-Catholicos.
b) prepare dispensation from the Form of Marriage presented by the Eparchies/ Exarchate/ ETRs.
6. It is the responsibility of the Curia Bishop to:
a) distribute to the Eparchies and Exarchate and ETR the Information, Circulars. Pastoral Letters of competent authorities (Major Archbishop-Catholicos, Chairmen) for the entire Church.
b) publish the Books (liturgical and other) pertaining to the entire Church, that are published from and kept in the Catholicate Centre.
7. Common Celebrations of the entire Church, such as July 15, Reunion Day, etc. are overseen by the Curia Bishop.
8. Prepare the budget for the Curia with the Finance Officer of the Curia to be presented to the Major-Archbishop Catholicos.
9. Unless otherwise provided, the Curia Bishop functions also as the Chancellor of theMajor-Archiepiscopal Church.
10. Being the custodian of the Archives, the Curia Bishop has to diligently keep copies of communications like. Annual Statistics, Tribunal Report, from the Eparchies. Exarchate and ETR to the Holy See in the archives of the Curia.
11. The Curia Bishop attends to the Press Release and other Communique from the Curia, after getting consent from the Major Archbishop-Catholicos.
12. The Official Website, the publication of “Malankara” are supervised and regularly monitored by the Curia Bishop.
13. The expenses of the Curia Bishop are to be met from the common pool of fund.
His Beatitude informed the HES that the present Curia Bishop will be issued a letter of canonical provision with the above terms and conditions.
16. Presentation of the Accounts of the Construction of the Catholicate Centre; Maintenance and Financial Administration of the Major Archiepiscopal Curia
The accounts of the construction of the Major Archiepiscopal Curia/Catholicate Centre were presented by Most Rev. Thomas Mar Anthonios. Till date the total cost of construction amounted to Rs. 106,068,759/-. The donations from the Bishops amount to Rs. 1,586,550/-. The contribution from Eparchies is Rs. 8,998,037/-. The loan amounts to Rs. 17,511,790.00.
A Finance Council consisting of His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholicos (Chairman), Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos, Most Rev. Yoohanon Mar Chrystostom and Most Rev. Thomas Mar Anthonios OIC was formed to see to the financial administration of the Catholicate Centre and raise the finances for the expenses of the Curia.
All the Bishops agreed to share the expenses for installing the transformer and generator for the centre. It was decided that a “cover collection” shall be introduced on the Catholicos’ Day. Holy Qurbono intentions absolved according to the intention of the donors in favour of the Catholicate Centre could be another means of income for the maintenance of the Major Archiepiscopal Curia and the Catholicate Centre. It was recommended that the commission given to the Eparchies for the sale of liturgical books shall be withheld in favour of the Curia.
17. Revision of Salary in Hospitals / Unaided Schools / Ecclesiastical Institutions
The present situation was explained by His Beatitude the Catholicos. Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos shared with the HES, the developments in Pushpagiri Medical College. Similarly, His Beatitude gave the details of the staff and their payment in St. John’s Malankara Medical Village Pirappancode, the new community health service initiated by the Major Archieparchy of Trivandrum. All shared the fact that the expenses of management and maintenance of these health care institutions are exorbitantly high. The HES also appreciated the dedication and service of the Staff of our institutions and expressed solidarity with them.
While there is a need to increase the salary of nurses and other auxiliary staff, there is no corresponding support from the government or the political parties to alleviate the difficulties these institutions face. There are also hidden agenda behind the recent spate of strikes in the hospitals. However, it was decided that the nurses and other staff of the health care institutions shall be paid the scale of pay prescribed by the government.
Regarding the payment in unaided schools also, it was decided that the teachers shall be paid according to the pay scale fixed by the government.
The HES also revised the minimum wages given to the office staff and domestic staff in our institutions.
18. New Ventures in the Eparchies, Exarchate, ETRI, ETROI
Each Synod Father was given ten minutes each to share the general faith and ecclesial life, various activities and new ventures of his Eparchy. Each one spoke on the general life of his Eparchy, the new projects undertaken by the Eparchy, the new Churches and presbyteries under construction, repair and maintenance of churches, debts incurred by the Eparchy, the specific problem faced by the Eparchy, the functioning of the various pious and other associations, etc. It was a very fruitful session.
19. Administration of Temporal Goods
It was proposed that Mr. Kandaswamy, who gave a talk on the financial management of societies and trusts and the new legislations, regulations and restrictions imposed on them to the CBCI, be invited to give an orientation to all who are engaged in the management of the temporal goods of the Church. HB the Catholicos volunteered to arrange the programme in the month of May.
20. Felicitation to Rt. Rev. Kurian Corepiscopo Kaniyamparampil
Rt Rev. Kurian Corepiscopo Kaniyamparampil who is a centenarian is well known for his liturgical works and translations. He is a good friend of the SMCC. It was suggested that he could be felicitated on behalf of the SMCC. It was proposed that the meeting be arranged in the Eparchy of Muvattupuzha.
21. 82nd Reunion Day Celebrations
Most Rev. Yoohanon Mar Chrysostom reported the planning and the programming for the celebration of the 82nd Reunion Day at Pathanamthitta to be hosted by the Eparchy of Pathanamthitta. About 400 delegates from the ecclesiastical districts of the Eparchy gathered together and planned the programme and conduct of the celebration along with the blessing of the Cathedral of Pathanamthitta. There will be a three-day Bible convention from 17-19 September 2012. On 20 September, forenoon, the conventions of the MCCL, MCYM and MCA are to be organized. At 2.30 p.m. on that day will be the reception to the Bishops followed by the blessing of the Cathedral
21 September 2012:
8.30 a.m. Holy Qurbono
10.30 a.m. – Sending the Suvisesha Sangam
11.00 a.m. – Public Meeting
12.00 Noon – Food
1.30 p.m. – Rally
22. Other Matters
a. July 15, Mar Ivanios Day
15 July 2012 being a Sunday, the Commemoration Feast of Servant of God Archbishop Mar Ivanios shall be celebrated on Saturday, 14 July 2012.
b. Mar Ephraem’s Day.
The commemoration Day of Mar Epharem, the first Bishop of Marthandom will be observed on 10 April 2012
c. Jubilee of the Second Vatican Council
The Synodal Commission for Theology was asked to prepare the programme for the celebration of the golden jubilee of the Second Vatican Council.
d. Tribunal activities
The concerns of the tribunal personnel who met at the Major Archiepiscopal Curia for a conference of the Canonists and Tribunal Personnel of the SMCC were reported to the HES by Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos. The need to train the personnel for the functioning of Eparchial Tribunals and the means to be opted for the proper and efficient administration of justice through our Tribunals were highlighted.
e. CBCI proposals on Processes of Delicts against Minors
The above matter was brought to the attention of the Synod Fathers. It is accepted by our Church as well. We await the final approved copy of the text of the process from the CBCI.
His Beatitude gave the concluding message in the session of the Holy Episcopal Synod that began at 5 p.m. on 8 March 2012. His Beatitude underlined that the Synod-in-session was the first full-fledged Synod convoked in the Blessed Pope John Paul II Synod Hall after its blessing and dedication. There was a lot of sharing in the HES. The Synod convoked just before the blessing of the Holy Myron had its own significance. His Beatitude thanked Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos for confecting the Myron for the blessing. His Beatitude also thanked all the collaborators in the drafting of the Particular Law of our Church. His Beatitude expressed appreciation for the positive direction given to the MCCL to get it rooted in the ecclesial life of our Church, especially in the faith formation of our Children. His Beatitude reminded the members of the HES to urge the Priests and Faithful of their respective Eparchies to use all the recently published liturgical books of our Church. His Beatitude thanked all the staff of the Major Archiepiscopal Curia for their service for the smooth conduct of the HES. His Beatitude wished all the Synod Fathers a blessed Lenten season and a Happy Easter thereafter. Dedicating the successful end of the HES to the honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God and committing the entire SMCC to her motherly intercession, His Beatitude declared the Thirteenth Ordinary Holy Episcopal Synod closed.
HES ended with the evening prayers and supper. The following day was spent in recollection as an immediate preparation for the liturgy of the blessing of the Holy Myron.
Archbishop Thomas Mar Koorilos
Bishop Thomas Mar Anthonios OIC