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Theology Commission
 
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Bp. Varghese Chakkalakal
Chairman

Bp. Abraham Mar Julios
Vice Chairman

Bp. Mar Jose Puthenveettil
Vice Chairman

Rev. Fr. Stanley Mathirappilly
Secretary

Rev. Fr. Shaji Jerman
Joint Secretary

Rev. Fr. Joseph Pamplany
Joint Secretary

Rev. Dr. Cheriyan Kottayil
Joint Secretary

Rev. Dr. Wilson Srampical OCD
Joint Secretary


DEPARTMENT OFFICE BEARERS
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THEOLOGY COMMISSION

Theology commission is one of the different Commissions of Kerala Catholic Bishop’s Council. It has a chairman and two members. Bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangatt is the Chairman and Abp. Most. Rev. Dr. Thomas Mar Koorilos and Bp. Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Kalathiparambil are the members. Rev. Dr. Joseph Maleparampil serves as the Secretary to the Commission. The Commission as its office at Pastoral Orientation Centre, Palarivettom, Kochi.

Vision

The Theology Commission of the KCBC is set up with the vision of bringing to limelight the official teaching of the Church in the context of the present day challenges. It analyses theological problems that arise occasionally in the field of theology, doctrine and faith, and proposes apt solutions thereof.

Mission

The Commission brings to the notice of the people the latest teachings of the Church.

  • Make the faithful aware of the dangerous trends in the field of theological teachings proposed by various sects.

  • Conducts seminars and Symposia on the teachings of the Popes through encyclicals and other documents.

  • Organize communications campaigns on the teachings of the Synods and Episcopal conferences.

   

THEOLOGY COMMISSION

Theology commission of the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC) is set up for bringing to limelight the official teachings of the Church in the context of the present day challenges of the Church in Kerala. 

A. OBJECTIVES

• To analyze theological problems that arise occasionally in the field of the theological doctrine and faith and proposes apt solution thereof.
• To equip the laity in this modern world with the theological skills and thus to make them true evangelizers and missionaries of Jesus Christ.
• To strengthen the faithful in ongoing theological discernment, ecumenical dialogue and interfaith collaboration.
• To warn the people of the danger of distorted teachings which are harmful to genuine Catholic faith. 

B. LEADERSHIP
The commission at present functions actively under the efficient leadership of Rt. Rev. Dr. Varghese Chackalakal as its Chairman and Rt. Rev. Dr. Bishop Abraham Mar Julios and Rt. Rev. Dr. Bishop Mar Jose Puthenveetil as its Vice Chairmen and Rev. Dr. Stanley Mathirappilly as Secretary. 
C. THE IMPORTANT VENTURES IN 2018

1. Duc in Altum: MISSIONARIES’ MEET 
The Theology Commission collaborated with POC in organizing a missionaries Meet in connection with the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of POC from 26-28 January 2018. The Secretary to the Commission was the Co-ordinator of the Program. A National Mission Expo was also arranged. Around 500 delegate missionaries participated in the program. 
2. SEMINAR ON CATHOLIC CHURCH IN KERALA
A Seminar on “Catholic Church in Kerala: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’ was conducted at POC in connection with the concluding celebration of the Golden Jubilee of POC on April 20-21, 2018. The commission collaborated in organizing the seminar and the Secretary to the Commission was the Program Co-ordinator. 
3. ANNUAL COLLOQUIM FOR THE KCBC WITH THEOLOGIANS 
The annual theological colloquium for bishops under the regulation of the Commission for Theology together with the KCBC Commission Secretaries, Major Seminary Rectors, faculty members of theological Institutes, members of Kerala Theological Association and other theologians in Kerala was held on Tuesday 7 August 2018 at Mount St. Thomas, Kakkanad, Kochi. Rt. Rev. Bp. Varghese Chakkalakal , Chairman of the Commission for Theology welcomed the delegates to the Colloquium. His Grace Archbishop Soosa Pakiam, the KCBC President inaugurated the colloquium on the theme “Call to Holiness: Pastoral Challenges in the Context of the Church in Kerala” based on the Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsulatate of Pope Francis issued on April 2018. We are called to be holy by living our lives with love and by living witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves, Archbishop said in his Inaugural talk. His Grace Archbishop Mar Mathew Moolakkatt, the Secretary General of KCBC presided over the inaugural function. The Major Archbishop of the Syro Malabar Church H.B. George Cardinal Alencherry and the Major Archbishop of Syro Malankara Church H.B. Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos graced the occasion. The program began at 10.00 am with a prayer.


Rev. Dr. Jolly Karimpil and Rt. Rev. Bp. Mar Joseph Pamplany presented the papers on the pastoral challenges and possibilities towards the call to holiness in the context of the Church in Kerala. 
Rt. Rev. Bishop Abraham Mar Julios, Vice Chairman of the Theological Commission, Rt. Rev. Bp. Alex Vadakkumthala and Rev. Dr. Tomy Paul Kakkattuthadathil, President Pontifical Institute, Alwaye moderated the different sessions. Rt. Reb. Bp. Mar Tony Neelankavil and Rev. Dr. Joy Ainiyadan, Rector, St. Thomas Seminary, Vadavathoor made the responses to the presentations. Sri. Joyce George MP and Smt. Lizzy Joy shared their visions in the Panel Session on the Call to Holiness and its challenges in the political social and cultural Society in Kerala. Rev. Dr. Thomas Marottickaparambil President of Jyothirbhavan Theological Institute, Kalamassery presented the Concluding Statement of the Colloquim. The colloquium concluded at 3.30 pm with vote of thanks and a short prayer led by Rev. Dr. Stanley Mathirappilly, the Secretary to the Commission for Theology and nearly 150 persons consisting of 35 bishops participated in the Colloquium. 
4. THEOLOGY COURSE FOR THE POC ALUMNI 
A theology seminar for the POC alumni was conducted on 18-19 February 2018 with the intention of strengthening them in theological discernment, ecumenical dialogue and interfaith collaboration in their life situations. It was inaugurated by Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Karikkassery. 

5. A FULL DAY STUDY CLASS ON GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE 
A full day Study Class on the Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate was conducted at POC Auditorium on 2 June 2018 together with the releasing of the same document in Malayalam, ‘Anandichu ahladikuvin.’ Nearly 200 persons including Priests, Religious and Laity participated. Rt. Rev. Bp. James Anaparambil released the document during the inaugural session and Rev. Fr. Varghese Vallikkat, Rev. Dr. Stanley Mathirappilly, Rev. Dr. Mathai Kadavil and Rev. Dr. Jacob Naluparayil presented the document in the session. 
6. A THREE DAY STUDY CLASS ON GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE 
Considering the importance of the document Gaudete et Exsultate where Pope Francis offers powerful magisterial reflection on the Vatican Council’s ‘universal call to holiness’ the Commission with PTI conducted a three day study class for the laity and religious at POC from 15 - 17 June 2018. Rev. Fr. Varghese Vallikkat, Rev. Dr. Jacob Naluparayil, Rev. Dr. Stanley Mathirappilly , Rev. Dr. Sebastian Kuttiyanickal, Rev. Dr. Mathai Kadavil, Rev. Dr. Jolly Karimbil, Rev. Dr. Jacob Prasad, Rev. Dr. Augustine Mulloor, Rev. Dr. Joshy Mayyatil, Rev. Dr. John Puthussery and Rev. Fr. Jolly Vadakkan presented the document in detail. Nearly 100 persons were participated. 

7. APOLOGETIC DESK
The apologetic desk of the Theology Commission with the collaboration of Rev. Fathers in-charges of various Commissions and offices in POC and with the help of a group of committed youth is always vigilant to study the relevant questions related to the Catholic faith, the issues related to the interreligious matters and inculturation and other issues mainly found in the Social Media against the Christian teachings. This is to warn the pastors and the people of the danger of distorted teachings which are harmful to genuine Catholic faith.

8. THEOLOGY DIPLOMA COURSE AT POC WITH PIA FOR LAITY 
A residential theological program for the lay people run by POC with the granted affiliation with the Pontifical Institute, Alwaye since 2017 has been suspended for short period of time due to certain inconveniences caused regarding the accommodation of the participants. Now taken into consideration the importance of equipping the laity in this modern world with the theological skills and thus to make them true evangelizers and missionaries of Jesus Christ, the commission has initiated to start a theology diploma course in collaboration with Pontifical Institute Alwaye (PIA) at POC in its Golden Jubilee Year. 
This course is expected to be held every year from January to December and this year it was inaugurated by His Grace Archbishop Emeritus Francis Kallarakal on 18 December 2017. All essential theological subjects are integrated in the syllabus and the renowned professors of the Pontifical Institute Alwaye and Jyothirbhavan are fruitfully joining with this endeavor. Seventy lay persons from different diocese in Kerala are actively participating in the first batch of this course. The certificates will be issued on 27 December 2018. 
POC is providing its good Library opened to the students for their studies and research. Classes are conducting for every Thursday evening from 5pm to 7 pm regularly and the first half an hour in every class has been kept for teaching the classical languages such as Latin, Syriac and Sanskrit.

9. A MEETING WITH CHARISMATIC DIRECTORS AND PREACHERS IN KERALA
A meeting of Charismatic Directors and Preachers in Kerala was scheduled on Tuesday November 6, 2018 from 9.30 am to 3.00 pm at POC under the auspices of the KCBC Charismatic and Theology Commissions. His Grace Archbishop Soosa Pakiam presided over the meeting. HB Baselios Cardinal Cleemis and the Episcopal Members of the Commissions graced the occasion. The meeting reflected on the innumerable blessings that the Church in Kerala has received through the Charismatic Renewal Movement, the present challenges the Movement faces and the responsibilities and prospects it has in the present scenario of the Church. The session in the forenoon was enriched by a presentation of Rt. Rev. Dr. James Anaparambil. In the afternoon there was an open forum and it was followed by an action plan for the future presented by Rev. Dr. Stanley Mathirappilly, the Secretary to the Theology Commission. An executive committee was formed for implementing the action plan under the approval of the KCBC and for further studies in this regard.

10. A DOCUMENT ON YOGA
The commission has prepared a document on Yoga in a Catholic Perspective under the demand of the KCBC and the supervision of a committee of bishops and it is published in December 2018 with the approval of KCBC. 
11. A SEMINAR OF THEOLOGIANS IN KERALA WITH KTA
The commission officially collaborated with KTA for conducting a full day seminar of the theologians in Kerala on the recent theological and pastoral challenges in the Church in Kerala conducted on Tuesday 2 October 2018. The seminar was inaugurated by Rt. Rev. Dr. James Anaparambil. 

D. SCHEDULED PROGRAMS FOR THE YEAR 2019

1. Theology Diploma Course with PIA 2019: The Theology Diploma Course for the lay people with the affiliation of the Pontifical Institute, Alwaye will be continued in the year 2019.

2. Pastoral Training for Formators in the Consecrated Life: On behalf of the KCBC Commission for Theology and Pastoral Training Institute POC, a residential theological Course for formators in the Consecrated Life is scheduled to be held for two weeks in the month of July 2019 at POC. The course is aimed to make the participants competent for accompaniment and vocational discernment roles in their mission. It is to uphold their personal integration and the development of the attitudes required in spiritual formation.


3. A Course on Church Documents: An exciting and relevant study course on the Vatican documents and other recent and significant teachings of the Church is programmed to be held on every second Saturdays for the month of May to October 2018 with the intention of theologizing the laity. 
4. Regular Meetings of Theologians: The commission has planned to conduct meetings with the theologians at once in every three months in the year 2019 with the intention to study and evaluate the relevant theological issues and the matters of faith in the Catholic Church.

E. PUBLICATIONS 
All the papers presented at the theological colloquium on Tuesday 7 August 2017 at Mount St. Thomas, Kakkanad and in the study classes based on Gaudete et Exsultate have been published in June and August 2018 issues of Talent. The Commission is making use of the Talent Publications to study and respond to the relevant theological issues of the time. 

F. FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF INCOME AND EXPENDITURE
The commission has so far no special income and expenditure. The expense of the colloquium is met from the common fund of KCBC. 

G. BUDGET FOR THE YEAR 2018
The commission does not foresee any major expenditure as we expect that the KCBC Central Pool of Funds will continue meeting the expenditure of the Colloquium. 
H. A TOKEN OF GRATITUDE 
We express our thanks to the President, Vice Presidents, Secretary General, deputy secretary General and other office bearers of KCBC for their support and collaboration to the Commission. Thanks to our Chairman, Vice Chairmen, joint Secretaries and diocesan secretaries. 
The commission is determined to intervene effectively in the theological issues arising time to time and present the authentic teaching on various issues as needed.

Dr. Stanley Mathirappilly 
Secretary, KCBC Theology Commission

 
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