National Assembly
 
 
27th May, 2015

38th Annual Meet & Conference of Indian Theological Association

Theme: “Marriage and Family Today – an Indian Theological Search”
Dates: 30th April, Thursday - 3rd May, Sunday 2015
Venue:Anugraha, Vazhoor, Kottayam, Kerala

(Most Rev. Dr. Mathew MoolakkattArchbishop of Kottayam, giving inaugural address)
Brushing aside the threat posed by unexpected All-India-motor strike the 38th annual meeting cum seminar of ITA took off at 9.30 am on 30th April 2015 in the serene and lush green ambient of Anugraha in Vazhoor, Kottayam with a meditative prayer service and lighting of the lamp. Vice-President, Lourdu Anandam welcomed the participants and T.K. John congratulated the founding father, Fr. Constantine Joseph Manalel on his hundredth birth day with a picturesque felicitation and heartfelt gratitude acknowledging his great contribution for the association as well as for the Indian theological initiatives in the last seven decades. President Shalini honored the centenarian with a shawl as Archbishop Most Rev. Dr. Mathew Moolakkatt presented him the first copy of the ITA’s 2014 volume: Call for a New Theology of Culture. Fr. Constantine appreciated the felicitation and recalled very briefly the vision and the struggle of ITA in the early years. The inaugural address of the Archbishop highlighted the importance of the family both in the civil society and in the Christian community. Bishop Lawrence Pius, Chairman, Family Commission, CCBI presented the findings of the national survey on family and marriage underlining the concerns of the church due to the crisis that the families undergo in the present times. He also acknowledged the pastoral concern of the Holy Father for the families and his interest and personal involvement in the ordinary and extra-ordinary synods on marriage and family. President, Shalini briefly outlined the expectations of the ITA members and Indian theology with regard to the pastoral care of marriage and family.

The panel discussion chaired by Pearl Drego and the panelists,Dr. Astrid Gajjiwala from Mumbai, Mr. Osbert Kalan from Cochin and Ms Sabitha Pramodh from Chennai broke the ice and set the ball rolling with their candid and personal sharing of the joys and pains of married life and the support and guidance from their faith communities and also their disappointments and confusions with the church directives which really paved the way for genuine theologizing process.

There were all together 16 scholarly papers dealing with different aspects of marriage and family. Dr. Praveena Kodoth, Centre for Development Studies, Trivandram presented a sociological analysis of the marriage and family. She exposed the pathetic situation of the families today torn between traditional values and postmodern demands. Dr. Raj Irudaya, Delhi presented in a lucid and convincing manner the personal attention rendered by the Gospel narratives for the care of families and marriage. Dr. Valan dealt withthe pastoral problem of marriage in the Ephesian community and the mind of the biblical author to uphold the sanctity of marriage.Dr. Pauline Chakkalakal gave a brief summary of the paper on the Theology of Marriage & Family – from women’s perspective by Ms Dhanaseeli, who couldn’t attend the meeting due to inevitable reasons.

Dr. X. D. Selvaraj’s paper on “Theology of Family & Marriage” exposed the lacuna in the Canon Law and called for a reform in the theology of marriage and the section of the Code of Canon Law on marriage and family in the light of the dynamic nature of the marital love upheld by the Gospels. He pleaded for a compassionate and sympathetic approach to the married people who in difficult situations struggle to live their nuptial commitments in compliance with Christian values. Dr. C.J. John’s presentation on “Marriage in Crisis. A Contemporary Scenario”gave a psychological analysis of marriage and family in today’s India.

‘Theology of Marriage & Family’ in other religious traditions in the country and its repercussion on Christian theology were dealt by Dr.Thomas Chillikulam, Dr. Victor Edwin and Dr. Paulose Mangai. They invited a lot of queries from the participants with regard to the contribution of other religious traditions for the Christian theology and celebration of marriage. The tribal understanding of marriage and family was made known to the participants by Dr. Suman Ekka from Ranchi & Fr. Pappu from Nagaland.Dr. Navya Thattil presented the ‘Special Family Situations and Canonical Considerations’, Dr. Margaret FMA gave ‘a review from Indian perspective of the synodal views on inter-religious marriage & family’ and Swami Bandhu Ishanand the ‘Spirituality for the Couples in Marriage’. The paper on ‘Inter-caste marriage & honour killing and theological response’ by Dr. Maria Arul Raja exposed the specific challenges to Indian Christian theology and communities.Dr. Subhash Anand presented his theological insights on the problems of pastoral care of marriage and family in today’s situation.

The next two days were spent on the theologizing process in smaller group discussions as well as in plenary sessions, the result of which has given birth to the Statement of ITA on the ‘Indian Theological Search on Marriage and Family’. After an intensive and extensive discussion the general body has requested the Draft Committee and the Executive Committee to finalize and publish the statement as early as possible. Apilgrimage to the tomb of St. Kuriakose Chavara and ‘Snehavani, the Dialogue Centre of Fr. James Gurudass was part of the programme. The successful execution of the entire program in a very friendly manner by the local organisers, Vincent Kundukulam and James Anaparambil was appreciated by one and all.

Proposed dates for ITA 2016 Annual Meet and Conference: 27-30th April 2016.

Venue: Bengaluru.
Tentative Theme:Toward a Theology of Minorities in Indian Scenario Today.
Newly elected EC members: Jacob Parapally, Kochurani Abraham, Sebastian Kuthukallunkal andDavis Varayilan.

Thank you
Roy Lazar A.
Secretary



 

 
                 
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