KOCHI: The ongoing synod meeting of the Syro Malabar Church took a decision to implement a ‘safe environment’ policy aimed at creating safe spaces and protection to children, nuns and all those who are part of or inhabit parishes, institutions, convents and destitute homes under the Church. Individual dioceses are to form committees to find solutions for complaints received against the Church, said Jimmy Poochakkat, spokesperson of the Syro Malabar Church, in a press release.
Church laity must be given prime importance in such committees, the meeting decided.The synod feels such committees will demonstrate the Church’s sincerity in ensuring closure of such complaints within the legal ambit.The Church desires each individual is accorded the freedom to pray and serve the Church in an environment of safety and happiness.
While the recent issues raised within and against the Church, including the controversial land deal and nuns’ protests have affected its credibility, this policy is expected to herald a change. “Let this be the beginning of a change. This shows that the Church will stand beside the victim, not the accused,” said Fr Augustine Vattoly of the Save Our Sisters movement.