Chennai — The Church of South India (CSI) has proposed sweeping changes in its constitution and by-laws, paving way for increasing the retirement age of Bishops from 65 to 67 and giving more powers to the Synod.
The move has evoked protest from the members of the church. Former General Secretary of the CSI M.M. Philip has written an open letter to Moderator G. Dyvasirvadam, who is due for retirement in March 2016.
Some members of the Vellore Diocese have come together to form ‘People’s Synod’ and launched a signature campaign against the changes.
The Synod includes a Moderator, a Deputy Moderator, a General Secretary and a Treasurer, reported The Hindu.
The Moderator and Deputy Moderator are elected from among the 22 Diocesan Bishops of the Church.
Violation of rights
“It seems many of the proposals are intended to give more powers to the Moderator in the Synod and Bishops in the Dioceses, curtailing the rights and privileges of the presbyters and lay people. This is a violation of the basis of union and the governing principles of the church,” Philip said in his letter. He said extension of retirement age of Bishops and clergy was a challenge to younger pastors and aspirants waiting to be ordained in different dioceses.