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.
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.