DEVALOKAM, Kottayam — The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (MOSC) has formed a new Synodical Commission for Moral and Ethical Issues.
Dr Abraham Mar Epiphanios, Metropolitan of Sultan Battery, Dr Yuhanon Mar Dimitrios, Metrpolitan of Delhi Diocese, Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Metropolitan of Ahmedabad Diocese constitute the Commission Members. Dr Mar Yulios will act as the Convenor of the commission which was formed during the recent Autumn session of the Holy Episcopal Synod.
The commission’s preamble states that it aims its focus on discussion and debates on pressing issues like surrogate motherhood, in vitro-fertilisation, drug abuse, homosexuality, euthanasia, drug experiment on human beings, contraceptives, embryonic stem cell research, gender reassignment surgeries, organ donation, abortion, genetic screening, cloning, parthenogenesis abusive use of medias, social-networking and cell-phones.
The Commission has laid out its objectives, tasks and mode of actions to be carried out.
felt there was a situation where the official teaching of the Church was essential to guide the life-style of the believer and the urgent need to address moral and ethical issues prevailing in the present church and society at large which have not been addressed by the church so far.
The Synod which met under the presidentship of the Catholicose of the East HH Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, felt that there was an urgent need to have scientific studies on those issues and to come up with position papers and dogmatic stand points. The Commission aims to focus discussion and debates on these issues so as to provide informed documents for the deliberation and resolution of the Holy Episcopal Synod.
The Commission members will have powers to co-opt experts on each issue and report the matter to the commission from time to time, and provide empirical datas and study materials, examine facts and issues and bring it on commission’s table to have adequate discussions.
The Commission will aim to identify issues which are pertinent to the Community and those which are related with modern scientifically advanced lifestyle of our society which were not a concern of the Church earlier. They will aid the Synod to come up with official stand points of the Church.
Theologians and experts in various fields will be brought together to deliberate and discuss on dealing with the complex issues affecting the life of the Orthodox faithful and also provide possible avenues for the Church to arrive at a position on ethical and moral issues.
The Commission will provide guidelines so that the Church’s teachings can become an important component in the curriculum of the seminaries, laymen orientation programmes like Divyabodhanam and Sunday School. The Commission has also been tasked with bringing together theologians and experts on various topics to deliberate on various aspects of these issues so that an informed document can be prepared. They will present documents to the Holy Episcopal Synod in order to provide a basis for it to arrive at an official declaration on such issues.
The Commission will prepare position papers to the Synod and discuss and come up with the official position and stand points of the Church on different social issues. They will also provide material to equip theological schools namely Sunday School, Divyabodhanam, Seminaries and other teaching mechanisms of the Church. They have also been tasked to provide refresher and inservice courses and internships to clergy and lay-ministers to address issues in their parish and social contexts. — LC