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India: "Foster consensus to promote Synodality," says Archbishop George Antonysamy

Archbishop George Antonysamy, Vice President of the CCBI, the President of the Tamil Nadu Regional Bishops’ Council and other officials of CCBI

Church leaders should foster consensus in decision-making to transform the Church into a Synodal Church, exhorts Archbishop George Antonysamy, Vice President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI).

The CCBI is the national episcopal body of the Latin Catholic Bishops of India.

He released the Indian edition of the Instrumentum Laboris (working instrument) for the Synod of Bishops at a function held during the Tamil Nadu Regional Bishops’ Council meeting at Coimbatore on July 11.

Bishop Antonysamy is also the president of the Tamil Nadu Regional Bishops’ Council and the Metropolitan Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore, Tamil Nadu, South India.

"The Church is guided by the Holy Spirit, and we must continuously listen to the Lord's Spirit in our decision-making. Balancing the voices of the majority and minority and ensuring an equitable outcome is the Synodal way of making decisions," said Bishop Antonysamy.

He stated, "Consensus is by far the most effective method for mutually acceptable decision-making, as the involvement of all in arriving at one will allay the concern that a majority decision can be thrust on a minority who disagrees."

The Instrumentum Laboris is the fruit of a vast synodal journey. It is a document signed by the entire Church. All who took part in the synodal process at the diocesan, regional, national, and continental levels are co-authors of this document.

The Synod for the Synodal Church was conducted in all dioceses, and the national Synod consultation was held from July 26 to 28, 2022, in Bangalore, the capital of the southern Indian state of Karnataka.

The Asian Continental Synod took place in Bangkok from February 24 to 26, 2023.

The suggestions from these were incorporated into the document.

The first session of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is scheduled to be held from October 4–29, 2023, at the Vatican.

Cardinal Filipe Neri Ferrão, president CCBI and Archbishop of Goa and Daman, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, Cardinal Antony Poola, Archbishop of Hyderabad, Cardinal George Mar Alencherry, Major Archbishop of Syro Malabar Church, Cardinal Baselios Mar Cleemis, Major Archbishop of Syro Malankara Church, Archbishop George Antonysamy, Vice President CCBI, Archbishop Andrews Thazhath of Trichur, Archbishop Joseph Pamplany of Tellicherry, Bishop Alex Joseph Vadakumthala of Kannur, Sister Lalitha Thomas, S.J.T., Principal, Jyoti Nivas College, Bangalore, Sister Maria Nirmalini, A.C, Superior General, Sisters of Apostolic Carmel and Sister Tania George, M.Id, from India, will participate in the forthcoming Synod.

For copies, kindly contact the CCBI General Secretariat or call Mobile: +91-9886730224. - Stephen Alathara


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