1. Strictly ban black money and cash dealings in church matters: Many dioceses still indulge black money dealings, especially to get permission for licences from government authorities and keep politicians on their side. This must stop. Black money is shelled out even for permission to build churches and acquire land. Do we need it?
2. Stop taking donations and cash for admissions and appointments in church institutions: The evil idea of taking money for admission and appointment in church institutions was rampant earlier. Though it has come down of late, this menace still continues in some places. Wealthy persons who can shell out money gain in the process, leaving poor in the lurch. The Synod forgot about this.
3. Ban construction of palatial and expensive church buildings. There should be a limit on the cost of construction: Construction of costly churches and institutions has become a big issue. Parishes across India are demolishing and reconstructing multi-crore, palatial churches. They collect money from poor people to build magnificent buildings. For whom? This money could be used for other productive purposes like building home for weaker sections or supporting the poor financially, but Synod doesn’t care about it.
4. Dioceses should publish the accounts every year: Each paise should be accounted for and taxes should be paid. However, there’s a lingering doubt whether dioceses are showing the full income and expenditure in their account books and tax returns. No tax is paid on cash transactions. It’s tantamount to robbing the government. Dioceses should publish their audited balance sheet without fail every year. If a plot is being sold, pay the proper tax and make the full disclosure.
5. Curia of each diocese should consult laity/ pastoral councils before taking major administrative and financial decisions: Church curia takes decisions – mostly foolish – without applying their mind. All decisions are taken secretively without informing the laity. Curia should consult experts and take permission from laity bodies or pastoral councils before executing major decisions.
6. Church should stop the practice of wealth accumulation and use its resources to help financially weaker sections: The main problem of the church – be it Catholic or Orthodox or Jacobite – is that the power of mammon has taken control of the church. There’s a huge tendency to accumulate wealth and build institutions. In the process, the mark of Christ, incarnate, crucified and risen, is not present. Synod should bring in an evangelical fervour instead of the empty pleasure of complacency and self-indulgence in our parishes.