Pay Scale For Bishops To Be Implemented

Written By: on Oct 13th, 2009 and filed under Columns, Opinions.

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A new pay commission is established to revise the priest salary, parish contribution, diocesan contribution, Catholicate day collection, etc., (all together let us call then church taxes) seems to be good idea. However, we need to include members from outside Kerala dioceses especially the two dioceses in North America in the committee. In the US scene, clergy transfer has been a “bubblegum issue” giving little a momentary satisfaction. I call it a bubblegum issue because of the direction of the discussion and the result it produces and the attitude these discussions show toward clergy in American diocese.

Some suggestions:

1. Revise clergy salary according to their qualification and education
2. Salary must be descent, that no priest (and bishops) shall accept monetary gifts from the parishioners.
3. All members donation should go to the church and church should give decent salary to the clergy. (Parity)
4. Appoint fulltime clergy in the American dioceses- consolidate small parishes in a locality to achieve that goal. Clergy transfer without fulltime (fully paid) appointed priests in American diocese will not be a realistic dream at this time.

Salary System for Bishops

Establish a new trend devise a salary system/scale for Bishops. Technically, bishops, as the term itself means, are the supervisors of priests and the diocese. Bishop’s should draw a supervisory salary not the whole revenue of the diocese. In the current system, each diocese functions like an independent entity- like rajabharanam of the Travancore Kochi kingdoms. In the 21st century, we need to be proactive and creative to establish a system that will help the church bring about state of the art administrative system. Today we support Bishops in many ways and ignore poor parsons and the church’s mission as a whole.

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Disclaimer: Indian Orthodox Herald does not moderate or edit the comments posted in this column. All opinions are solely of the writers and IOH holds no responsibility what so ever for the views written here below.

1 Response for “Pay Scale For Bishops To Be Implemented”

  1. Thomas Kuttikandathil, Houston says:

    Subject: Payscale for bishops-An illconcieved idea.

    Payscale for bishops and it’s implementation which was a subject of debate recently is not at all advisable for the following reasons.

    1.This will lower the status of our bishops(the term’ bishop’ for our thirumenis is another subject for debate as the term ‘Metropolitan’ is more suiting with more power vested in them than a bishop) as mere paid employees of the church.

    2.They are the vicars/representatives of Christ.

    3.The salary system for them will be an additional burden on the center.
    The bishops are to be looked after by the parishes under them.
    Most of the dioceses have their own fund collected through various heads.they are as follows;
    1.Diocesan day cover like catholicate day cover for the center.
    2.Office fund.
    3.Charity/missionery fund.
    4.marriage kaimuthu(a certain percentage of marriage donation received by parishes)
    5.Annual kaimuthu.(this is some time equal to one month salary of the priest-exclusively for thirumeny’s maintenance not subject to audit.)
    All the above are clubbed together and known as’ diocesan dues’ which each parish has to send to the diocesan office before the end of the financial year.
    In addition the dioceses get a proportionate amount of share from the catholicate day collection.

    Some dioceses have their own income from the educational institutions run by them.

    But we have to agree that there are some backward dioceses for obvious reason like Idukki,one or two dioceses in north Kerala, and the newly formed U.k.diocese etc.which need the support from the center financially.

    And here is the importance of the long outstanding cry for a regular rotation transfer for our bishops preferably every five years so that few of our bishops will not be made to suffer through out their life when few others enjoy the green pasture permanently.And also this will enable the bishops with strong will and administrative capabilities to make the backward diocese to leap forward.

    As seven more new bishops are expected by next year we are going to have majority of our bishops competitively younger and there should not be any problem for a transfer anywhere in the world.
    A few anomalies observed in the diocesan administration is as follows.
    1.Nowhere in our constitution says that the diocesan secretary has to be a priest.All it says that a secretary is to be elected by the diocesan assembly.Let there be a priest secretary.No problem.

    2.The constitution is silent about a trustee for the diocese why?When we have a 3 tier administrative system, the lower level parish have a trustee and secretary and the top central level (Association) have secretary and trustees,the secretary alone has to deal with the huge financial matters of a diocese.

    A clause need to be inserted in the constitution for an elected trustee preferably a laity to handle the financial matters of dioceses.

    There need not to be a compulsory retirement for our bishops but they should retire voluntarily when they think they can not effectively administer.

    The already existed retirement home for retired bishops in Parumala with out occupants,should be allotted to needy retired priests.

    With prayers,
    Thomas Kuttikandathil,
    Houston.

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