The C.B.C.I. General Body Meeting held in February-March, 1994 upgraded the Doctrinal
Committee so far functioning under the auspices of the Commission for Clergy and
Religious into A full-fledged Commission called Doctrinal Commission with Most Rev.
Gali Bali, Bishop of Guntur as Chairman, Most Rev. Cyril Mar Baselios OIC, then
Bishop of Sultan Bathery and Most Rev.Thomas Dabre, then Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay
as members of the Commission.
The Office for Doctrine functions as an agent and instrument in the fulfillment
of the mission of the Church in the concrete context of the ecclesial life and the
realities and experiences of the country. More specially, it will contribute to
the evangelizing mission of the Church by setting forth in ever greater clarity
the message of the Gospel and promoting relevant and contextual reflection on Christian
faith in fidelity to the teachings of the Church and its living tradition. As the
Church in India is faced with growing challenges which it shares with the nation,
such as pluralism, fundamentalism, casteism, globalization, growing poverty and
injustice, there is the urgent need for developing an Indian theology that will
seek to respond to these challenges of the context in the light of a mature faith
and in dialogue with the religious and cultural traditions of the country. The Office
for Doctrine wants to encourage and promote fresh, culturally-rooted and pastorally
relevant theological reflections. It will also endeavours to create such structures
and means as to serve the realization of this goal.
Moreover, availing itself of the rich theological reflections taking place in the
country at various levels, the Office will endeavours to serve the C.B.C.I. and
its Offices by helping to constantly renew their theological vision, which is indispensable
today to arrive at enlightened decisions and to act in a pastorally meaningful way.
As an organ of the C.B.C.I. , the Office for Doctrine understands its task as one
of mediation as well. It will seek to do a work of mediation at various levels-
between the C.B.C.I. and the theological work that is being done at various levels
in the Church (Church communities, institutes of theological education, etc) and
between thee C.B.C.I. and Rome , especially the Congregation for Doctrine of Faith.
In the light of the above reflections, the Office will have the following objectives
- To be theological resource body for the CBCI, Standing Committee, CBCI Offices and
- To facilitate the process of developing theology in the Indian context, suited to
the pastoral needs of the Church. To foster an ecclesiology of communion among the
three individual Catholic Churches and the Churches outside the Catholic Communion.
- To foster relationship with and between theological faculties, institutes and departments
of Christianity in the country.
- To offer theological clarifications, look after the soundness of doctrine and render
service of mediation in doctrinal conflicts and controversies.
- To maintain liaison with the Doctrinal Commissions of the Episcopal Conferences
of the FABC.
- To establish an organic collaboration with congregation of the Doctrine of Faith
( CFD )
Area of Inspiration and Dialogue
Area of Formation
Promotion of higher theological studies in India for seminary professors
- Promotion of reflection on emerging challenges in Church and society.
- Collaboration and joint programmes with other Commissions.
- Preparation of documents on issues of national importance.
- Commission also prepares documents of theological nature at the request of the Standing
Committee or the Conference.
- Involvement of Bishops in theological reflection on various issues affecting Church
- Area of Theological Clarifications
- Clarification of theological issues affecting the pastoral life of the Church (e.g.
the challenge of neo-Pentecostalism sects, etc).
- Promotion of theological understanding of the Latin and Oriental traditions in the
Area of Mediation
Offer studied theological response to Vatican documents in the Indian context.
Mediation in situations of theological conflicts.
Liaison with various theological associations and bodies both in India and outside.
Be at the service of the Conference and thereby serve the Church in India.