Indian Catholic News

Syro-Malabar Church eyes more roles for women

Elders in the community say that traditionally women have never stood as witnesses in wedding ceremony.

 
Kochi: 

In a bid to involve more women in its administration, the Syro-Malabar Church, through its official diocesan bulletin, has urged parishioners to encourage women to sign as witnesses in wedding ceremonies and also take up the role of church trustees.

Elders in the community say that traditionally women have never stood as witnesses in wedding ceremony.

"It is actually true that there is a sort of male dominance in church administration. However, we are making changes in keeping with the modern times. Earlier, there used to be only men in parish councils. But now more women are getting elected to parish governing bodies. This is definitely a welcome change," said church elder and Kerala Catholic Students League moderator Kuriachan Puthukkattil.

"It is alright for women to sign as witnesses, as per the canon laws. However, we hardly used to put this in practice. These are suggestions based on the canon law and it is recommended that the parishioners follow it so that women are also involved in the functioning of the church," said Fr Jimmy Poochakkattil, the official spokesperson of the Syro-Malabar Church.

While women signing as witnesses is being widely welcomed, there are some people who have reservations about women playing the role of trustees.

"Trustees have several responsibilities which a woman won't be comfortable doing. A trustee is sometimes required to be present in the church during night to attend to administrative matters. It will be alright, however, when there are more than one trustee," said a senior church-goer, adding that there will be more discipline in financial dealings when a woman is in charge.

The recommendations, attributed to bishop Mar Sebastian Adayantharath, appeared in the February edition of the Ernakulam archdiocese's official gazette, Ernakulam Missam.

Source: Times of India

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