THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Call it next-gen decentralisation, Church style. The governance concept which earned Kerala an envied spot on the world map is entering the next stage of evolution in the Latin Archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram.
The Archdiocese introduced its trademark three-tier, parish-forane-diocese system in 1987. Quarter of a century later, it is taking the next step by devolving more powers to the lower rungs of its hierarchy and the parishioners.
Dioceses will soon shift to a facilitators’ role, while foranes will be strengthened and given more responsibilities.
All spiritual and temporal social activities undertaken by the Archdiocese henceforth - anti-liquor campaigns, women empowerment, counselling and green initiatives included - will reflect this shift, Archdiocese vicar general Fr Eugene Pereira said.
‘’Now the activity is centred around the dioceses. Our plan is to restrict them to policy-making, research, resource support and put foranes in charge of activities such as training, monitoring and evaluation,’’ Fr Eugene Pereira said. The Church Synod will soon discuss the police change in detail, he said.
Today, celebrating its 75th birthday, the Latin Archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram caters to 2.33 lakh people.
The 75 parishes of the Archdiocese come under eight foranes, each one administered by a forane vicar.
‘’In 1987, we formed the parish councils. By 1990, the parishes had developed finance councils. Now we are planning for more democracy in the system. Even in 1987, the emphasis was more on ‘Village’ rather than ‘Parish’ so that people from all walks of life can be included,’’ he said.
The Church plans to increase the number of foranes to nine, and appoint full-time forane vicars. The Church has laid the groundwork carefully before introducing the change. To equip vicars to handle the new scenario better, the Archdiocese is also preparing training modules for them and their team, Pereira said.