First Diocesan Synod
Synod Acts that were signed by Bishop Lucas Abadamloora on 28th April, 2001 contained the following themes:
- The Mission of the Family Church to evangelise within and beyond the Local Church: Identifying the agents of evangelisation-Youth, Catechists, teachers, parents, School apostolate; Resistant Situations; Gender balance.
- The Diocese as a Family: Unity in Diversity:
- Some recommendations for serious reflection
- The tendency to show favouritism towards members of the same ethnic group, social standing, is detrimental to the unity of the Family Church.
- The tendency to manipulate the Church and use its structure as a means to dominate others is detrimental to unity and integrity of the Church.
- The tendency to associate the Church with purely material and earthly things such as the building of social amenities like schools, clinics, obscure the full meaning of the Church as a spiritual entity.
- The tendency to over-criticise the authority in the Church should be modified by the fact that the Church is not a pure democracy as such, but a Hierarchy.
- The leadership is not based only on authority or status but on the witness of life.
- On the Parish and Diocesan levels there must be a concerted effort to integrate the Christian values with the traditional values in order to ease the life of new converts in the Church.
- Issues that need attention for Diocesan Unity: tribalism and favouritism, the fear to denounce evil where it is perceived, false solidarity among birds of the same feather, exaggerated pride in and preference for one’s own ethnic community, greed and materialism.
- Inter-Religious Dialogue in our Diocese
- The Synod Fathers and Mothers were struck by the fact that our Diocese is not only multi-ethnic but also a multi-faith or multi-denominational Diocese.
- In the context of this religious pluralism, the Synod called for the need for religious tolerance.
- By fostering this collaborative effort these three religious [African Traditional Religions, Christianity and Islam] traditions can influence our youth to develop mutual respect for one another’s religion and to avoid fanaticism, intolerance, bigotry and sectarianism.
- It was the firm resolution of the Synod to encourage and promote inter-religious dialogue on various levels, both institutional and non-institutional.
- The Synod is convinced that we have enough common ground for collaboration in many areas in spite of our differences.
- The Synod therefore resolved to look out for various ways to promote bridge building among the various religious bodies.
- The Role of the Youth in the Church:
- Essential nature of youth apostolate
- Problems and needs of the youth
- Aims of youth apostolate
- Christian Marriage and Family Life:
- Christian Marriage expounded
- Causes and instances of infidelity
- Factors to facilitate the successful building of Christian families
- Diocesan Administration in the Spirit of the Family Church:
- Recommendations for the improvement of Diocesan Administration
- That the Diocesan Finance Council as required by Canon Law, is to be established as soon as possible.
- The Synod acknowledged the fact that properly trained and competent lay people could undertake positions like Finance Administrator and Project Co-ordinator in order to release priests for pastoral work.
- The Synod acknowledged the need for more transparency in financial transactions and in the appointment of diocesan personnel.
- More diversified training in leadership skills should be given to both the laity and the clergy in order to enable them to take up the various leadership positions. Appointments should be based on competence and loyalty and not otherwise.
- Self-Reliance in the Family Church:
“It is therefore urgent that the particular Churches in Africa have the objectives of providing for their own needs as soon as possible, thereby assuring their self-sufficiency” (Ecclesia in Africa).
Our Synod called for a healthy and cohesive unity within our own local Church at all levels. It also called upon all to cultivate the spirit of truth, honesty, justice, accountability and transparency in our Diocese at all levels, from the most important leaders to the least, from diocesan level to parish level.