Sunday, July 22, 2007

From Sthreesamajam to Podhuyogam

After the Qurbana today, I was pleasantly surprised to hear Bava thiumeni's Kalpana(decree) allowing (if I understand it correctly) women to attend the Podhuyogam (administrative general body meeting of a local church), albeit without voting rights. Its a small step, but definitely one in the right direction. Well, actually, its a big step considering how difficult it is to introduce this sort of reform in a traditionalist community such as ours. For far too long, people have misquoted St.Paul and the Bible and Tradition to keep half the church from having any say in administrative matters. And the church has been deprived of the services of many capable individuals, just because they happened to be women.

My guess is that the churches in the diaspora that will be the first to welcome this move. I doubt if it really means much to the churches back home in Kerala. But the message is loud and clear. We, as Orthodox Christians, cannot condone discrimination. Eventually, I hope to see a day when women have full voting rights and actively participate in the management of churches and church institutions.

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