Kochi: Hit by controversies, including sexual abuse involving priests, the Kerala-based Syro-Malabar Catholic Church has decided to set up internal committees at the diocesan level to create a "safe environment" for all, including children and vulnerable adults.
The decision to implement the "Safe Environment Policy" was taken at the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Archiespicoal Church being held here. This policy is being implemented to ensure safety and security for all, especially children and vulnerable adults, a Church official said.
Claiming that the safety and security for all have already been ensured in parishes, diocese, religious congregations and institutions of the Syro-Malabar church, the official said that the implementation of new "Safe Environment Policy" would further strengthen it.
According to the policy, representation of the laity should be ensured in the committees being set up in the diocesan level to solve the complaints. The new policy was evolved on the basis of directives issued by the Vatican, Catholic Bishops Conference of India and the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council, the official said.
The Catholic Church in India has been hit by various scandals involving priests recently. Bishop Franco Mulakkal, a senior member of the Roman Catholic clergy in India, was arrested in September amid mounting public outrage over allegations of repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting a nun in Kerala.