Syro-Malabar Church to set up internal committees11:37 PM, January 10, 2019
India(Kerala):The decision to implement the "Safe Environment Policy" was taken at the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Archiespicoal Church being held in Kerala.
The Kerala-based Syro-Malabar Church has decided to set up internal committees at the diocesan level co-opting lay leaders to study complaints of sex abuse and financial mismanagements.
The ongoing synod of the Syro-Malabar Archiespicoal Church Thursday decided to implement the "Safe Environment Policy" in order to create a "safe environment" for all, including children and vulnerable adults.
This policy is being implemented to ensure safety and security for all, especially children and vulnerable adults, a Church official told media said.
Claiming that the safety and security for all have already been ensured in parishes, diocese, religious congregations and institutions of the Syro-Malabar church, the official said that the implementation of new "Safe Environment Policy" would further strengthen it.
According to the policy, representation of the laity should be ensured in the committees being set up in the diocesan level to solve the complaints.
The new policy was evolved on the basis of directives issued by the Vatican, Catholic Bishops Conference of India and the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council, the official said.
The Church in India has been hit by various scandals involving priests recently.
A controversy hit Kerala Church last year when some priests of the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese alleged that their Major Archbishop Cardinal Alencherry, along with two senior priests, sold several plots of land, incurring a loss of more than US$10 million.
In another shocker, Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar was arrested in September amid mounting public outrage over allegations of repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting a nun in Kerala.
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