The Syro Malabar church synod also decided to take action against media outlets that portrayed nuns and priests badly.

Syro Malabar Church issues new guidelines to curb nuns priests asking for justiceImage for Representation / By Mathen Payyappilly Palakkappilly (User: Achayan) (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons
news Nuns protest Saturday, January 19, 2019 - 14:14

The Syro Malabar church synod (a meeting of the metropolitans in the church) which concluded on Friday decided to take action against priests and nuns who conduct protests and violate the laws of the church. Syro Malabar church Cardinal Mar George Alancherry issued a pastoral letter on Friday which stated that the church will take strict action against the priests and nuns who do so. The synod also sent directions to the Bishops and Superior Generals of each congregation to take action against those who break canonical law.

The letter reads, "The recent protest by nuns and priests in the church has crossed the limitation of the discipline of the church. Some priests and nuns are active members of the anti-church groups.”

The synod also issued guidelines to ostensibly ensure discipline within the church. The guidelines state that Bishops and Superiors must demand explanation letters from the nuns and priests who violate the discipline. If their replies are not favorable, strict action must be taken against them. It also mandated that the official stand of the central Church authority would be the stands of individual churches and their members on various issues. The synod also decided to take action against media outlets that portrayed nuns and priests badly.

The guidelines to ensure discipline within churches stipulated that priests and nuns will not attend channel debates and media interviews without permission from the Major Superior or Bishop in the church. They also stated that priests and nuns who join protests must follow the canonical laws of the church. A failure to follow canonical law in protests would be considered as a violation of the discipline of the church. It stated that priests and nuns must follow canonical laws in order to continue as priests and nuns. 

Meanwhile, sources inside the church told TNM that the guidelines were issued in order to take action against Fr Augustine Vattoly, and Sister Lucy Kalappura, who protested against rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal.

The Syro Malabar synod is the body of the Syro Malabar church and all Bishops under Syro Malabar church participated in the two-week long synod.

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