Synodal Commission for Ecumenism

The Synodal Commission for Ecumenism aims at promoting healthy relations between different Churches of St. Thomas Christian traditions. It may function in collaboration with the KCBC Ecumenical Commission wherever it is expedient. Ecumenical gatherings and inter religious meetings were convened in the parishes and eparchial centers;..

The Synodal Commission for Ecumenism is part of the Major Archiepiscopal Curia of the Syro-Malabar Church at Mount St. Thomas. It is governed by a Board of Directors and headed by the Executive Director.

CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS

Chairman

Archbishop Joseph Perumthottam
Member

Bishop Joseph Kodakallil
Member

Bishop Thomas Thuruthimattam CST
Secretary

Rev. Fr. Cherian Karukaparampil

AIM

The Synodal Commission for Ecumenism aims at promoting healthy relations between different Churches of St. Thomas Christian traditions. It may function in collaboration with the KCBC Ecumenical Commission wherever it is expedient. Ecumenical gatherings and inter religious meetings were convened in the parishes and eparchial centers. In several parishes friendly gatherings of pastors of different Episcopal Churches and local leaders of different Religions have been conducted as a first step to form local Ecumenical and Inter-religious Forums. Many of these gatherings were presided over by the Chairman of the Commission. In many ways these meetings help to create cordial and healthy relations among Episcopal Churches and different Religions at grass root level. Gradually such forums may take a lead to organize common campaigns to deal with social issues such as alcoholism pollution, etc

MEETING

Prayer Meetings and gatherings are being conducted in different parts of Kerala in view of the Unity Octave. The Commission convenes regularly gatherings of the directors of the department of Ecumenism of the Syro Malabar eparchies of the proper territory of the Syro Malabar Church. The Commission has convened on 21. June 2016 a gathering of the directors of the department of Ecumenism of the Syro Malabar eparchies. The meeting started at 10 am at Mount St. Thomas Kakkanad and H.B. Mar George Cardianal Alencherry inaugurated the same. Mar Joseph Perumthottam gave the presidential address. Bishop Mar Mathew Vaniakizhakkel, the commission member felicitated the Meeting and Rev. Dr. Philip Nelpuraparampil presented a summary of the forthcoming Ecumenical Directory of the Syro Malabar Church. He clarified also some guide lines regarding different Agreements between the Catholic Church and other Churches. The meeting has become a fruitful event due to the active presence and sharing of the directors from different eparchies. All underlined the fact that today we face a kind of frigidity in the field of Ecumenism. But at the same time all expressed in a unanimous voice the need to foster the cause of ecumenism and inter religious Dialogue in the changing situation of today’s society. The gathering made a constructive discussion on the project of the Ecumenical Directory and put forwarded certain suggestions

ACTIVITES

The Catholic Church especially the Syro-Malabar Church has a privileged position to give leadership to ecumenical activities. If our parish priests are well-informed and rightly oriented they can animate programmes to promote ecumenism and inter-religious harmony on the local level. We shall also inculcate a genuine ecumenical culture among our seminarians so that they will become confident to be actively involved in the ecumenical and inter-religious activities in future. So to give a better understanding of Ecumenism among the priests importance must be given to the course on Ecumenism in the formation period. Moreover the need of ecumenical formation was emphasised by the gathering. It should be extended to the catechetical formation of the Catholic and non- Catholic Youth and Adults. The meeting was enriched by the presence of the professors of Ecumenism at Mangalapuzha and Vadavathoor seminaries and the secretary of the KCBC commission for Dalogue and Ecumenism.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity must be taken more seriously and be conducted at the parish level effectively. It also suggested the collaboration with other Churches and religious denominations to fight against social evils and to join hands for charitable activities.

The need to prepare a handbook for the use of our priests, religious and seminarians containing proper guidance and information regarding Ecumenism and Inter-religious Dialogue based on the Vatican and Post Vatican teachings and other directives was also a suggestion of the meeting. It will also include the texts of the agreements reached upon between the Churches as a result of the non-official and official Ecumenical dialogues.

Besides these, Ecumenical activities such as “Nilackal Ecumenical Committee”, Ecumenical Christmas gatherings, Ecumenical Bible conventions, Unity Octave Prayers etc. have been going on regularly since long. The text of the Unity Octave prayer service based on the text given by WCC and Pontifical Council for promoting Christian Unity is used to be prepared and circulated under the auspices of the Synodal Commission for Ecumenism.

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