[NBCLC, Bangalore, July 5–6, 2018]


I. Introduction:
The XX Colloquium of the Bishops and Theologians in India held at the NBCLC, Bangalore, from July 5-6, 2018, focused on the theme: "Placuit Deo & Role of Youth in the Ministry of the Church". This overarching theme—embracing two subthemes—was chosen to discuss on the document ‘Placuit Deo’ published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF), Rome, in February this year, and to prepare for the forthcoming Synod of Youth scheduled to be held in Rome in October 2018, respectively. Apart from seeking to evoke discussions in these two domains, there were also sincere attempts to determine what can be done by way of response—not only in the realm of studying and contextualizing PD for diverse regions in India, but also for understanding the mindset and issues involving our youth, so as to ameliorate their situation and foster their involvement in the mission of the Church.

II. The Inaugural Session:
The colloquium was conducted in an atmosphere of prayer, openness and fraternal sharing. At the Inaugural Session, after the prayer and lighting of the lamp, Fr. Thomas Vadakkel, Secretary, CBCI Office for Doctrine, welcomed the participants. In his Inaugural Address, His Beatitude, Mar George Cardinal Alencherry felicitated the newly appointed members of the CBCI Commission for Doctrine. Echoing his episcopal motto "At the Service of Dialogue in Love and Truth" Cardinal Alencherry stressed the need for the Church to respond to fast-changing contexts. This, he said, should be done in a spirit of free, frank and fraternal dialogue at various levels: ecclesial, ecumenical, interfaith and cosmic. Moreover, he pointed out that the very title of the document PD, meaning, "It pleased God" ought to remind us that the whole created world, with Christ at the centre, is pleasing to God. This calls and challenges us to collaborate with Christ in a global mission to carry this cosmos to its final fulfillment. The cardinal also opined that PD seems to be a pastoral presentation of Dominus Iesus and concluded that it is providential that the colloquium also discusses the situation of youth, since youth are to be evangelizers and missionaries in the Church.

In his Presidential Address-cum-Orientation Talk, His Grace Archbishop Thomas Mar Koorilos, Chairman, CBCI Commission for Theology and Doctrine, explained the aims and objectives, as well as the working of the doctrinal commission. Pointing out that India today is plagued by innumerable problems like communalism, fundamentalism, exploitation of the weaker sections of society, violence, stifling of democratic dissent, criminalization of politics, poverty, hunger, unemployment, etc., Archbishop Koorilos said that PD must be interpreted in contextual, pastoral and missiological terms in consonance with the thrust that Pope Francis is giving to the church and society, at large. At the conclusion of the Inaugural Session, His Excellency Mar Joseph Kallarangatt, former Chairman, CBCI Commission for Doctrine (currently Chairman, Syro Malabar Commission for Doctrine) and His Excellency Mar Joseph Pamplany, former Secretary, and currently member, Commission for Doctrine, also provided pertinent perspectives on PD and expressed a hope that both these issues discussed by Indian bishops and theologians would animate the Indian Church, guided by God’s Spirit.

III. Presentation of Papers on Various Themes and From Diverse Perspectives
Since the Colloquium was conducted over two days, the number of papers for each of the two topics was almost equally divided, with each topic allotted one day. Thus, there were five papers on PD and four papers on the topic of Youth and Mission in India.

III a. The Papers and the Presenters on PD were as follows:
1. "The Meaning of Christian Salvation in the Context of Neo- Pelagianism and Neo-Gnosticism" by Most Rev. Dr Thomas Dabre (Bishop of Pune)

2. "Present Your Bodies as a Living Sacrifice: Reading Placuit Deo from the Indian Context" by Dr Francis Gonsalves, SJ (Dean of Theology, Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune)

3. "The Understanding of Placuit Deo in the Asian Context," by Dr Alangaram Arockiam, SJ (Superior, Berchmans Illam, Loyola College, Chennai)

4. "Beware of Wolves in Sheeps’ Clothing on the Way to Salvation," by Dr Bilju Vazhappilly (Professor, Marymatha Major Seminary, Trichur)

5. "Church as the Sacramental Milieu of Salvation: A Study Based on Placuit Deo," by Dr Pauly Maniyattu (Professor, Paurastya Vidhyapitham, Vadavathoor)

III b. Papers & Presenters on Role of Youth in the Ministry of the Church were:
1. "Participation of Youth in the life of the Ecclesial Community: Challenges and Possibilities," by Most Rev. Dr Lawrence Pius (Bishop of Dharmapuri)

2. "Faith: A New GEN Reading," by Dr Kurian Kachappilly, CMI (President, Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, Bangalore)

3. "Cultural Challenges Affecting the Faith Life of Today’s Youth," by Dr Joseph Kaduppil (Professor, Paurastya Vidhyapitham, Vadavathoor)

4. "Youth Turning away from Church and Faith: A Trend on the Increase," by Dr Toby Joseph, SJ (Director, Atmamitra, Kalady)

The Colloquium concluded with a Panel Discussion involving all those who presented papers, during which clarifications were sought and complementary viewpoints were expressed.

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