Kottayam: In the pluralistic context of India, Theological Education should help creating a new humanity which impart social justice and virtues that give sanctity to life, says Catholicos
Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, the head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.
He reflected this in the commemoration speech of the Convocation of the Senate of Serampore University in the Orthodox Seminary, Kottayam.
From the words of the Catholicos:
“The original vision of Serampore of the founding fathers Carey, Marshman and Ward combined theory and practice in an admirable manner. For them, knowledge was to be at the service of the masses. They did not limit it and research we do should ultimately be in the service of the pastoral care of our people. We have the original model in the ministry of Jesus Christ our lord, whose teachings and acts of healing, his prayer and meditation, his suffering, death and resurrection were all for the sake of this “world that God so loved”.
Our motherland India is likely seeing a major change in the self- understanding of our country. The secular character of our country which recognized the value of all religious beliefs and diverse spiritualities and the constitutional freedom of religious belief, conscience and hence on, seem to be challenged by communal forces. I believe the tiny population of Christians in India of less than 2.5% is not a menace to anybody. On the contrary, Christians are supposed to be at the service of the nation out of genuine love and compassion for the people, not for quantitative growth or power-building of their churches. We are together in the Household of God and nobody can threaten to send us out of our own house.
A genuine friendship and collaboration is required among the Seminaries in the Serampore family for our joint Christian witness in the present setting. The church should return to the original Indian identity and authenticity of our faith in Christ Jesus and to our commitment to justice and compassion of the kingdom of God. There are so much inequality and injustice in our society, particularly the centuries old suffering of Dalits, Adivasis and women and all those poor who are socially and economically marginalized in a globalized economy. Empowering these people is a major task on our hands. But we need to enlist the genuine collaboration of our neighbors of other faiths in carrying out this task of building a new humanity and new nation.”