Kochi (Agency): The Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC), which met at its secretariat at the Pastoral Orientation Centre (POC), in Kochi, held discussions and analysed various issues facing Christians as members of the church and as part of the larger society. It concluded that the community was being sidelined and neglected in the political, social and cultural spheres.
The council deplored the situation in Manipur. “The fact that there has been no abatement in the ongoing tension in Manipur is a major concern. It is time for the government agencies to wake up and act to give hope to the thousands of destitute and marginalised people, including children and women, living in camps,” the KCBC said.
It urged the state government to make public the J B Koshy Commission report, which was appointed to study the backwardness of the Christian community. “…the government has tasked various departments to study the recommendations… However, as the report has not been made public to date, the findings and assessments of the commission are not known to the general public. Moreover, the government should be ready to discuss the suggestions made by the commission with various churches,” the council said.
While lauding the state government’s initiative in announcing financial aid to the families of victims of accidents, KCBC urged it to extend the same gesture towards the families of Cusat stampede victims.
Discussing matters within the Church, the council sought training for priests and monks, saying there is a need for timely reformation in priesthood and the monastic order. Students studying to become priests or monks are expected to have academic excellence and maturity, spirituality and a sense of justice and social awareness. They should be aware of gender equality and new trends emerging in society, it said.
“They should live their life as consecrated members with knowledge of the legal systems of the church and the country,” said KCBC.
It urged stakeholders to take care to make parishes carbon neutral. As early as 2012, the KCBC had laid out the Church’s policy on this matter, ‘Towards Greener Pastures’.