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Tradition of Confession in Churches (Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in Kerala)

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Tradition of Confession in Churches (Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in Kerala)

  • Recently the National Commission for Women (NCW) recommended that the tradition of ‘confession’ in the church should be abolished. After this, a dispute started on this issue.
  • It is to be known that the tradition of confessing mistakes before the clergy in churches is called ‘Confession’.

Background: 

Four priests of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in Kerala are accused of sexually assaulting a married woman in their church.

Five women have filed a petition in the Supreme Court in Kerala. The petitioners say that this practice violates the fundamental right to freedom of religion under Article 25 of the Constitution.

Church member petitioners have alleged that this practice is causing many problems, including sexual exploitation of women and blackmailing of male and female followers.

Prevalent practice:

According to this religious practice, a member of the church has to undergo a ‘Sacramental Confession’ before the priest. This practice, it is said, is necessary for liberation from sin and is a condition of fulfilling the worldly and spiritual need of being a Christian. If a person does not go through this process, the services of the church will be denied. If a person has not confessed, that person’s name will be removed from the light register and is barred from all church activities.

If the person concerned wants to get married, he must first perform a mandatory confession, failing to do so he is not recognized as a member of the Church in Kerala.

Supreme Court verdict:

The validity of the 1934 Constitution of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church was upheld by the Supreme Court. It laid down rules regarding the control of the areas under the Church.

Source – The Hindu

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