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Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Conference concludes meeting

Date:

The Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Conference (KCBC) convened at its headquarters in Palarivattam PO, Kochi, from December 4th to 6th, 2023. During this period, the bishops engaged in thoughtful discussions and analyses regarding various crucial matters impacting Christians in Kerala, both as members of the Church and as integral parts of the larger societal fabric. They critically assessed the sobering reality of Christians being increasingly marginalized in the realms of politics, social life, and cultural spheres amidst the rapid transformations characterizing the state’s social landscape.

Key Points:

  • Release of the J.B. Koshy Commission Report: The bishops emphatically urged the government to release the complete report of the J.B. Koshy Commission, constituted to comprehensively study the socio-economic backwardness prevalent within the Christian community. They expressed their strong desire for open discussions with the government concerning the commission’s recommendations and proposed solutions.
  • Critical Evaluation of New Trends: The bishops voiced deep concern about the growing influence of emerging trends like same-sex marriage, abortion, and cohabitation. They expressed their conviction that these notions undermine the very foundation of traditional societal values and pave the way for widespread chaos. In light of this concern, they encouraged young people to adopt a critical lens while evaluating such trends and to actively dedicate their skills and talents towards building a sustainable and harmonious society.
  • Year of Youth: In a significant decision, the bishops declared 2024 as the “Year of Youth” as part of the ongoing second phase of the Kerala Church Renewal initiative. This year will be dedicated to empowering and actively engaging young people within the Church and society.
  • Emphasis on Spiritual Formation and Social Awareness: Recognizing the immense significance of holistic development for future Church leaders, the bishops underscored the crucial role of spiritual formation and social awareness in the education and training of seminarians and religious students.
  • Carbon-Neutral Parishes: Committed to environmental stewardship, the bishops called for concerted efforts to transform parishes into carbon-neutral entities. This initiative aims to minimize the environmental footprint of the Church and promote responsible ecological practices.
  • KSU Accident Tragedy: The bishops expressed profound sorrow and offered heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the students who tragically lost their lives in the recent KSU accident at CUSAT. They commended the government’s swift action in announcing financial assistance for the families affected by this immense loss and urged the authorities to continue providing all necessary support during this difficult time.
  • Appeal for Peace in Manipur: Deeply troubled by the ongoing conflict in Manipur, the bishops made a fervent plea to the government to prioritize urgent action towards restoring peace and normalcy within the state. They emphasized the dire need for measures that alleviate the suffering of people, particularly vulnerable children and women, currently residing in displacement camps.
  • Controlling Pest Animals: Recognizing the increasing instances of wild animals encroaching into human settlements and agricultural lands, causing damage and disrupting social peace, the bishops urged the government to declare such animals as “pests” and implement necessary control measures. This move is intended to protect crops and safeguard public tranquility.

In conclusion, the KCBC meeting served as a platform for addressing a multitude of pertinent issues confronting Christians in Kerala today. The bishops’ pronouncements not only called upon the government to actively address these concerns through concrete actions but also emphasized the responsibility of Christians to remain actively engaged in the public sphere and strive for the creation of a more just and equitable society for all.

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