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Social Harmony and Vigilance Commission
 
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Bp. Joshua Mar Ignathios
Chairman

Bp. Joseph Kariyil
Vice Chairman

Bp. Pauly Kannukkadan
Vice Chairman

Rev Fr. Saju Kuthodiputhenpurayil CST
Secretary

Rev. Fr. George Madathiparambil
Joint Secretary


DEPARTMENT OFFICE BEARERS
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SOCIAL HARMONY AND VIGILANCE COMMISSION

Social Harmony and Vigilance Commission is the official body under Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) committed to Social   harmony and peace.   The Commission for Social Harmony and Vigilance is established with an aim to promote social harmony and peace, spreading the message of humanity and oneness, thus avoiding the social discomforts and division in the society. It aims to remain ever vigilant and to  act upon issues at the regional and national levels along with with the Church’s efforts in maintaining a true harmonious holistic social order. The commission is committed to build an indivisible society on universal lines, which calls for spreading the message of unity of human race based on the precepts laid down by Jesus Christ.

 

At  present the Commission functions actively with Bishop Dr.Joshua Mar Ignathios as its Chairman, Rt. Rev. Dr. Stanley Roman and Mar Sebastian Adayantharath as Vice Chairmen, and Rev.Dr. Saju Kuthodiputhenpurayil CST as Secretary and Rev. Dr. George Madathiparambil as Joint Secretary.

Goal:

To make a collective entreaty to the God of the universe, who transcends the frontiers of race, culture, and religion and to make himself present among men, so as to shed His light on our path and free us from confusions, uncertainty, disharmony and chaos arising out of the injustice and fear that darken the horizon with enormous and insurmountable array of problems and challenges today.

Vision:

To realize a transformed Society where Justice, Peace and Love prevails, as divine as designed  by God, and for a society  which ensures human rights, performance of duties, human dignity, celebrates diversity and promotes equality, common good and respect for human life and justice.

Mission:

To be a fearless united voice challenging injustice, awakening social consciousness and fostering integral development. We strive to do this through:

*  Social Justice Education and Advocacy

*  Upholding the uniqueness of every human being and promoting universal brotherhood.

*  Encouraging ways of thinking and actions that promotes social harmony.

*  Preventing the origin and operation of forces, which threaten social harmony.

*  Initiating peace processes in the events of social disharmony and injustice.

*  Promoting the doctrines and institutions of the Catholic Church.

*  Media intervention.

*  Promoting people-centered development

*  Working for the transformation of inequitable structures and systems and

*  Guiding the faithful and to restore confidence and peace in the hearts of all men of good will.

   

SOCIAL HARMONY AND VIGILANCE COMMISSION


Social Harmony and Vigilance Commission is the official body appointed by Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC). The Commission for Social Harmony and Vigilance started with an aim to promote social harmony and peace, spreading the message of humanity and oneness thus avoiding the social discomfort and division in the society. The commission is committed to build an indivisible society on universal lines, which calls for spreading the sermon of unity of human race based on the precepts laid down by Jesus Christ. The vision is to transform the Society where Justice, Peace and Love prevail. The mission is to encourage a fearless common voice challenging injustice, awakening social consciousness and fostering integral development. 
At Present the commission functions actively with Rt. Rev. Dr. Joshua Mar Ignathios as its Chairman and Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Kariyil and Mar Pauly Kannookadan as its Vice Chairmen, and Rev. Dr. Saju Kuthodiputhenpurayil CST as Secretary and Rev. Dr. George Madathiparambil as joint Secretary. 
Developmental Strategies:


 Encouraging the trends, events, forces, practices and any other opportunities which can promote social harmony and peace in the society and also the doctrines and institutions of the Catholic Church.
 Being ever vigilant about the trends, events, forces, practices and any other threats, which can create social disharmony and disintegration in the society.
 Documenting, promoting information about positive trends, events, forces, practices and opportunities for maintaining social harmony and peace in the society
 Reporting and intervening proactively in all trends, events, forces, practices which promote social disharmony.
 Networking with other groups working with similar vision.
 Resorting to advocacy and lobbying.
 Enabling individuals to live in dignity and honor irrespective of class, caste, creed and gender and status related to social, economic, political and health conditions.
 Building up groups of population (both for the present and future) who are committed activists of Social Harmony and who can also act as eyes and ears of the Commission.


Activities during the year 2018
Media Scan, News Alert Service and Monitoring Media Stories on the Wire, Screening of Publications etc.: The Commission has developed a proper mechanism to scan the media news and other publications to trace the anti-Christian elements and issues that appear there about Catholic Church and the society at large. For this commission evaluates almost 20 daily newspapers, Periodicals and Social Media.


Press Release on Current Controversial Social issues, Letter to the Editors and Articles on Current Social issues: The commission is responding to current controversial social and religious issues through media that affect the Catholic Church and society. It takes efforts to make effective interventions by training the lay people to respond to the issues and to give awareness to the general public on social issues by writing and publishing articles.

 
Documentation: The commission documents all the press release and the circular of the KCBC the relevant news from the daily newspapers and other important documents for future reference. 


Jagratha E- Journal: The commission publishes the Jagratha News, online e-journal. This e-journal reaches widely to every reader interested in relevant social issues, church matters and KCBC interventions by way of open access system through internet. It provides timely and informative news relating to social, religious, political, and economic situations in the country. It is also sent in printed form to the bishops, major superiors, etc.

Apologetic Desk: The apologetic desk of the commission in collaboration with the KCBC Theological Commission and Rev. Fathers in-charges of various offices in POC studies questions related to Catholic Faith and issues related to inter-religious matters and inculturation. Under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Joshy Mayyattil, Rev. Fathers from POC and a group of committed youth studied in different sessions the questions allegations and misinterpretations mainly found in the social media against the Christian teachings and prepared the second hand book “Jesus the only Seviour” for private circulation.

“Catholic Vibes” You Tube Channel. Mr. Sachin and Johnson under the guidance of Rev. Fr. Joshy Mayyattil and POC fathers with the indirect support of this commission started a you-tube Channel “Catholic Vibes” visual media for promoting Catholic faith. Almost twelve video clips on different topics like Apologetics, Private Revelations etc. are launched. A short film on gaudete et exsultate is also transmitted. 

Duc in Altum: Missionaries’ Meet: In connection with the Golden Jubilee Celebration of POC a Missionaries’ Meet Duc in Altum was organized in POC from 2018 January 26-28. A national Mission expo was also arranged. Around five hundred delegate missionaries participated in the programme. The commission collaborated with POC in organizing the whole programme. 

Seminar on “Catholic Church in Kerala- Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” was conducted at POC, Palarivattom in connection with the concluding celebration of the Golden Jubilee of POC on April 20-21, 2018. The commission collaborated in organizing the Seminar. 

Colloquium on “Kerala Vikasanavum Adhivasishamavum” was organized in collaboration with Kerala Catholic Federation (KCF) on March 4, 2018 at POC, Palarivattom. Adhivasi Gothrashaba president, M. Githanathan and Kerala Dalit Mahashaba President, C. S. Murali were the resources persons. Bishop Dr. Joshua Mar Ignathios, the Chairman of the KCBC Laity Commission and Social Harmony and Vigilance Commission inaugurated the function. 

KCBC Guidelines for Safe Environment Programme for Church Personnel connected with institutions where minors or vulnerable are given particular care for children and vulnerable was published after the approval of the KCBC. As the Church and society are growing increasingly sensitive to the need for ensuring safe environment for the minors and vulnerable adults the commission and POC took up serious studies on safe environment programme for them and prepared this draft, based on the provisions in the Code of Canon Law, norms of the Congregation for Doctrine of Faith, other Roman documents and directives of the CBCI and respecting to the demands made by the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 and the Juvenile Justice (JJ Act) Act, 2000, for the approval of the KCBC.

Study on “Indian Church and Contemporary Context”. Training programme for the Diocesan PROs’ and Media Directors’ held on February 15th 2018 at P.O.C Palarivattom did a serious study on the topic “Indian Church and Contemporary Context”. Rev. Fr. Binoy Pichalakattu SJ and Rev. Fr. Deepak Anto, Archdiocese of Trivandrum, were the resources persons. Rt. Rev. Dr. Sebastian Thekethecheril, the Chairman of the Media Commission and Bishop Dr. Joshua Mar Ignathios, the Chairman of the Social Harmony and Vigilance Commission were present.

Kottayam Zonal Pastoral Council Members’ Meeting on Pastoral Witness and Vigilance was held on 16th December 2017 at Chythanya Pastoral Centre, Kottayam. Mr. Jacob Poonus IAS and Mr. Shaji George presented the papers. Archbishop Mar Mathew Moolakkatt presidied over the function, Archbishop Mar Joseph Perumthottam inaugurated the programme and Bishops Joshua Mar Ignathios, Rit. Rev. Dr. Sebastian Thekethecheril, Mar Joseph Pandarasseril were present. Delegates from Kottayam, Vijayapuram, Idukki, Changanachery, Kanjirappally, Thiruvalla, Mavelikara diocese/eparchy were present for the programme. 

Trivandrum Zonal Pastoral Council members’ Meeting on Pastoral Witness and Vigilance: In connection with the Golden Jubilee of POC the Trivandrum Zonal Pastoral Council meeting was held on April 13, 2018 at Carmel School Auditorium, Trivandrum. The topic for the meeting was Pastoral Witness and Vigilance. Mr. Jacob poonus IPS, Mr Shaji George and Dr. Mary Regina were the resources persons. Most Rev. Dr. Soosa Pakiam, the Archbishop of Trivandrum Archdiocese inaugurated the programme and Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Catholicos, Major Archbishop of Trivandrum gave the concluding message. Bishop Dr. Samuel Mar Irenios moderated the group discussion. More than two hundred delegates representing Trivandrum (L), Trivandrum (M), Parashalla, Neyyattinkara, Punalur, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Changanachery (Trivandrum Zone) diocese/eparchy were present for the programme. 

Ernakulum Zonal Pastoral Council Members’ Meeting on Pastoral Witness and Vigilance: Ernakulum Zonal Pastoral Council members’ Meeting on Pastoral Witness and Vigilance was held on June 23 2018 at POC, Palarivattom. Cardinal Mar George Allenchery Inaugurated the programme, Bishop Abraham Mar Julios presided the function and Bishop Mar George Madathikandathil gave the concluding message. Jacob Poonus IPS, Lidya Jacob IAS and Mr. Shaji George presented the papers. Delegates from Ermakulam-Angamaly, Kochi, Muvattupuzha, Verapoly, Kothamangalam and Alleppy Diocese/ Eparchy were participated in the programme. 

Religious Media Councilors’/Directors’ and PROS’ Meeting: The Commission, together with the Religious Commission and Media Commission organized a training programme for the Religious Media Councilors’/ Directors’ and PROS’ on November 3rd 2018 at POC, Palarivattom. Bishop Dr. Joshua Mar Ignathios, the Chairman of the Social Harmony and Vigilance Commission inaugurated the function and Rev. Fr. Roy Kannamchira CMI and Rev. Fr. Augustine Pamplany CST presented the papers. Almost 125 delegates participated in the programme. 

Media Directors’ and PROS’ Meet: KCBC Social Harmony and Vigilance Commission arranged a training programme for Diocesan Media Directors’ and PROS’ meet on October 13th 2018 at POC, Palarivattom Bishop Dr. Joshua Mar Ignathios, the Chairman of the Social Harmony and Vigilance Commission inaugurated the function and Rev. Fr. Augustine Pamplany CST presented the papers.


Social media groups: In the fast growing social media world, the commission, in collaboration with KCBC Media Commission established different WhatsApp groups and to promote effective catholic witness, communication and collaboration and to respond effectively to the allegations and fake news against Church and Church personnel and social and political issues. A group of catholic youth, including priests active in the social media is supporting this endeavor.


Christian Publishers’ and Editors’ Meeting. The commission collaborated with the Media Commission in organizing the Christian Publishers’ and Editors’ Meeting which was convened on October 24th 2018 POC, Palarivattom. Mr. Shaji George, Rev. Fr. Binoy S. J and Rev. Fr. Bovas Mathew were the resources persons.

 
Colloquium on “Madhiama Swathanthryavum keralasamuhavum”: The Commission organized the colloquium on at P.O.C, Palarivattom on 13th August 2018. Justice Cyriac Joseph, Dr. K. S. Radhakrishnan, Mr. V. Jayakumar, Senior Editor, Mathrubhumi, and Mr. Romy Mathew, Senior Editor, Manoramma Channel were the resources persons. Rev. Fr. Varghese Vallikkatt, KCBC Deputy Secretary General inaugurated the meeting. In addition to the KCBC commission members and persons from educational, social and political realm staff and students from different colleges participated in the programme.

 
Programme for the Next Year
Publication of Jagratha News 
PRO Training Programme
Seminars and Core Group Studies on Relevant Issues
Organizational Meetings
Formation of Central and Zonal Level Legal Vigilant Cell

Special thanks to the chairman, vice chairmen and the joint secretary of the commission, and the deputy secretary general and all the office bearers of KCBC and POC. 

Rev. Dr. Saju Kuthodiputhenpurayil CST
Secretary, KCBC Commission for Social Harmony and Vigilance

 
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