Malankara Association To Meet in March 2012

Written By: on Aug 23rd, 2011 and filed under Church News, Features, News.


KOTTAYAM: Sources informed IOH that the largest ecclesiastical parliament, namely, the Malankara Association, is to meet in March 2012. This meeting will elect members to the next Malankara Managing Committee and the new Managing Committee will replace the present one that completes its tenure next year. Date and venue of the Association will be known in the coming days.

The 2012 Association will elect the new Priest and Lay Trustees. This Association will be the first one to be convened by the reigning Catholicos Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulose II.

The new Malankara Association Secretary will be elected in the first meeting of the new Malankara Managing Committee meeting.

The present Malankara Managing Committee was elected at the Malankara Association meeting convened by the then Catholicos Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Didymus I at Parumala on March 21, 2007. The September 2006 meeting decided that the Managing Committee shall have 129 elected members and 30 nominees of Malankara Metropolitan.

The last Malankara Association was met at Sasthamkotta on February 17, 2010 and it was the Catholicos Emeritus Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Didymus I, who had convened the meeting. Seven priests were elected in that meeting to be elevated to the bishopricate.

The 2012 Malankara Association gains utmost importance considering the fact that the Centenary of the establishment of the Catholicate also falls in 2012.

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4 Responses for “Malankara Association To Meet in March 2012”

  1. Achen, you right about the last paragraph.

    I am amused to learn such petty politics in ‘higher places’ and offices in the name of religion and spirituality. For fairness and equal representation, we may need an upper house and a lower house for our church government: one based on membership and the other based on the number of dioceses/administrative jurisdictions.

    Our association operated with an upper house or US senate model only, when we had 1 clergy and 2 laity from each parish in the association; but the Supreme court ruling and resulting amendments to the constitution made it congressional or Lokasabha model.

    Currently, there is an uneven or unfair representation in the Association. To make a balance, we need to change the composition of the managing committee. The 129 number was fixed in 2006, now after the formation of new diocese we should have increased seats in the managing committee- proportionally increased and fairly distributed.

    Our managing committee is the upper house but it is not fairly represented.
    Managing committee should have equal number representatives from each of the dioceses. Both houses should work together for the better operation of our church government.
    I hope 2012 association will be a historic one in many respect. Our members should feel that the church belongs to them and their voices are heard. Today, there is growing frustration among people because of the hurdles they face in their everyday life- getting a special exemption to 2nd marriage, (second marriages are becoming a new trend for many different reasons) getting school admission or employment in church owned institutions and so on.

  2. Joy Acha this proposals of elections are being suggested to give a chance for all diocese.As of now with regard to Bishops election there were candidates even from outside kerala in the last list of 11on the final day,but those candidates were defeated as they are little known in Kerala.So to avoid such mistakes it was proposed to get a chance for all diocese atleast once or else the Diocese from Trivandrum to Kottayam will enjoy all privedges throughout ,though we too are from that region.
    Joy Acha If you are from Canam in Kottayam I visited your house in January 1990,seems that my wife hailing from Mukuttuthara is related to your mother, also a relative of Severios Metropolitan.

  3. I concur with Varghese Achen, that the upcoming association should not be a venue for the “show of hands”. Our Association should function as the “Parliament of World Indian Orthodox/Malankara Orthjodox Syrian Church”.
    The Association being the decision making body should consider several items in the agenda including the revision and amendments to the church constitution.

    Our constitution designed and devised in 1934 requires contextual modification- democratic and cultural modification. In 1934, the church was confined to Travancore, Kochi and Malabar kingdoms. Today our church is a “trans national church”.

    I hope HH in consultation with the rule committee, will appoint a constitution revision committee to address this issue and a draft constitution will be presented to the Association for its first hearing after sending it to concerned parties for comments. All amendments and revisions should be discussed, debated and approved by the Association. (Roberts Rule of Orders). No court case should be a deterrent to the revision of our constitution.

    Let me give an example. Our constitution does not approve the diocesan metropolitan to operate the diocesan bank accounts. It states, the diocesan funds should be deposited in Metropolitan’s name. The spending authority and accountability are with the diocesan secretary (Article 53) (banking was not a major business practice in Kerala at that time. That may be the reason that we found so much collection of ancient gold at Sri Padbhanabha Temple, Trivandrum). Other items include our corporate operations, health care facilities, educational trusts, etc. Of course you will have a concern over the first and second article of our constitution.
    The whole constitution needs to be revised proactively; we don’t have to wait for a court order to make contextual changes to our constitution.

    Our association should be a historic event. We have to make it the “World Parliament of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church”. I hope it will be at least a three day event of productive discussions. As we practice today, we have undefined and unlimited authority vested in certain individual and offices. We need a re-vision.
    If it is a half day or one day event just to elect few people, then it would be a great loss and waste of valuable resources, time energy and effort.

    However, I cannot fully agree with Varghese Achen’s suggestions to make these “key positions” on zonal basis because such restriction will curtail the basic principle of democracy- equal rights. Every qualified person should get equal opportunity without any foul play as we witnessed in several occasions and associations. Screening and other strategies will not support the true congregationalism of the Episcopalian and congregational nature of of our church.

    Thank you.

  4. For the election process of our MOC I would suggest that the Dioceses of our MOC are to be divided into Zones namely South Zone (Trivandrum to Kottayam,including Kottayam Central Dioceses),North Zone (Idduki,Kandanad to Sulthan Bathery Dioceses),OKR Zone (All outside Kerala,including outside India Dioceses).For the key posts like Priest Trustee,Lay Trustee,Association Secretary, the representations should be from above 3 zones rotationally. As of now the Priest trustee is from Kandanad diocese of North Zone,Lay Trustee from Delhi of OKR Zone and Association Secretary from Thumpamon Diocese of South Zone.Now in the 2012 Elections the Priest trustee should be from OKR Zone -other than Delhi Diocese,as Delhi Diocese was represented,Lay Trustee from South Zone-other than Thumpamon Diocese as that Diocese was already represented,similarly Association Secretary from North Zone -other than Kandanad diocese as that diocese is already represented.This practice should be followed in future elections too, so that all zones and all Dioceses of the MOC church will get a representation rotationally atleast once.Hope this proposal may put into practice.

    Also to avoid a huge expenditure only for an half day programme Ballot System should be introduced on Diocesan Basis, as the Malankara Association is found to be met for election purposes only (Presently the diocesan representatives are elected on diocesan level meetings and are just ratified in the association meeting)

    Fr Varghese Yohannan Vattaparampil
    Bombay Diocese.

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