KOZHIKODE: The Vatican has initiated parish and diocese level internal councils to address increasing sexual abuse and oppression of children and grownup women under the church system.
A circular issued by Bishop Jose Porunnedam of Mananthavady diocese and read out in churches under the diocese during the Holy Mass on Sunday says Pope Francis had convened a meeting of apostolic nunciature across the globe urging them on the urgent need of constituting one or more such bodies believers can easily access to solve their grievances.
The papal representative in a recent meeting of bishops in India also insisted on establishing such internal councils before June.
The recent synod of Syro Malabar Church deputed Bishop Jose Porunnedam to oversee setting up such systems in all dioceses by March 1.
The circular says the failure of those against whom complaints were received to act in tune with the system would invite further trouble as it might go to the regional committee or the country's justice system.
The circular that calls for ensuring justice for the transgender community instructs to train those who hold responsible positions in parishes and higher bodies to take right decisions in such situations.
It accepts that the church is still a male-dominated entity though it is facing voices of dissent across the globe.
“It is an era of massive advancement in areas of gender equality, individual freedom and human rights,” it says.
Though there are many new church laws to resolve such issues and also on the shift in policy, even those at the top are not aware of its importance.
The circular of the church sequential to the papal intervention comes at a time of stiff resistance in public over the ill-treatment of nuns who demanded action against Bishop Franco Mulakkal and ongoing attempts to expel Sr Lucy of Wayanad for supporting them.
The Mananthavadi diocese formed parish-level forums to address complaints of sexual abuse, after the arrest of Fr Robin Vadakkumchery on charges of raping a minor girl and fathering her child two years back....