Constitution of Diaspora Knanaya Catholic Congress (DKCC)
Knanaya Catholic Congress (KCC) is the canonically established Catholic lay organisation in the Archeparchy of Kottayam. Although the personal jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Kottayam is limited to the proper territory of the Syro- Malabar Church, the Knanaya Catholics all over the world want to keep strong ties of communion with the Archeparchy of Kottayam and the global Knanaya Community. They want to use the membership in the KCC as an important tool for nurturing the solidarity of the community throughout the world. Based on the continuing membership of the Knanaya Catholics in KCC, and approving their great desire to stay united through KCC, we have decided to form a coordinating council to unite Knanaya Catholics throughout the world. That is how by a constitution approved by the Archbishop of Kottayam, Diaspora Knanaya Catholic Congress (DKCC) was established on August 24th, 2011.
By realizing the present scenario of increasing migration among Knanaya Catholic Community throughout the world, in a letter dated November 15, 2017 the Oriental Congregation suggested to have a point of unity for the Knanaya Catholic community in the figure of Archbishop of Kottayam and the Congregation proposed that “means must be sought to help the Knanaya persons living far from home to retain, where possible, their cultural ties.” This direction of the Congregation gives more relevance to the functioning of DKCC, a uniting principle for Knanaya Catholics all over the world.
From experiences derived from the functioning of DKCC since 2011, alterations and modifications in the Constitution were suggested by the association in various parts of the world. Therefore it was deemed fit to revise and renew the Constitution of DKCC, and hence the present Constitution.
Article: 1 Name
- The name of the Council is: Diaspora Knanaya Catholic Congress (herein after referred as DKCC).
- DKCC is the coordinating council of Knanaya Catholic regional federations who share the common heritage and traditions of the Knanaya Catholic community and are functioning outside the proper territory of the Archeparchy of Kottayam.
- DKCC is the Diaspora wing of the Knanaya Catholic Congress.
- The Knanaya Catholic priest in charge of the Diaspora, appointed by the Archbishop of Kottayam, will be the Chaplain of DKCC.
Article 2: Objectives
- To work with the ecclesiastical authorities to extend the jurisdiction of the Archeparchy of Kottayam all over the world.
- To coordinate the spiritual, cultural and social activities among the Knanaya Catholics around the world.
- To ensure and promote Knanaya unity and ethnicity among the Knanaya Children and develop interaction amongst Knanaites around the world.
- To establish a database, with advanced technology and facilities, for Knanaya Catholic Youth from age 15-years till their marriage with periodic updating.
- To identify talented and deserving Knanaya Catholic Students and support them to pursue their higher studies for achieving highest levels in their Educational, Spiritual, Cultural and Social life.
- To co-ordinate charity activities when appropriate, for the benefit of the Knanaya community and to ensure that it reaches the actual beneficiaries.
- To foster co-operation among Knanaites all over the world and share resources.
Article 3: Membership
Membership is granted only to regional Knanaya Catholic federations functioning as per CCEO 573-583. The membership in the Knanaya Catholic associations should necessarily be limited to Knanaya Catholic who is born of both Knanaya Parents, and if married, whose spouse is born of both Knanaya Parents. To be a member of the Knanaya Catholic Association the person should accept and live the Catholic faith respecting the authority of the proper ecclesiastical hierarchs established by the Holy See.
Article 4: Duties of Member Regions
Shall support the objectives of DKCC, as outlined in Article 2
- Shall comply with the membership criteria set in Article.
- Shall send delegates to the General Council.
- Shall inform DKCC of any events or developments in their respective region which may have relevance to global Knanaites.
Article 5: Rights of Member Region
Participate in the affairs of DKCC through their delegates in accordance with the constitution
- Participate in policy development through their delegates by making suggestions to the General Council.
- Vote on all matters raised at the GC meeting of DKCC through their delegates, including the election.
Article 6: Regions and Regional Delegates
- a) The following are the Regions who are the members of the DKCC:
- American Region (USA, Canada, South Americans countries).
- Europe Region (All European Countries).
- Middle East Region (All Middle Eastern countries and Africa).
- Oceania Region (Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Far East etc).
- b) Region wise Membership for DKCC General Council
All the four Regions can send nine representatives each as regional delegates to DKCC. If a Regional Federation fails or violates the criteria of the Catholic Association, (CCEO 573-583) that Regional Federation shall not be eligible to send delegates to DKCC. In such a situation the Knanaya Catholic Priest in charge of the Knanaya Catholics in that region can propose the specific number of delegates determined for that region. If the region has no Knanaya Catholic priest in charge there, the director of Diaspora can propose the required number of delegates from that region. Any dispute in this regard shall be referred to the Archbishop, and the decision of the Archbishop shall be final.
Article 7: General Council and Executive Committee
7.1 Governing body:
- The governing body of the DKCC shall be the General Council (GC) and its members shall be Knanaya Catholics over the age of 18 years representing Regional Organizations.
- DKCC General Council will be the decision-making body on all matters related to the DKCC subject to the approval of Patron.
7.2 General Council:
- Following persons are the members in the General Council
- Nine members from American Region.
- Nine members from Europe Region.
- Nine members from Middle East Region.
- Nine members from Oceana Region.
- The immediate past Chairman and Secretary shall be ex-officio members.
- Chaplain of DKCC is an ex-officio member without any voting right.
- The term for the General Council shall be 2 years starting from August 1st of each term.
- Nominations of delegates to the General Council from each region as per article 6 are to be decided by the respective region, and to be forwarded to the Secretary of DKCC, within one month of their nomination.
- The General Council should meet at least once in a year in their respective terms with 30 days notice.
- The Quorum of the GC shall be 30%, with representation from a minimum of three regions.
- GeneralCouncil meetings may be conducted Face to face, through video conferencing, or through tele-conferencing.
- Emergency General Council meetings may be called within7 days’ notice.
- Minutesof the General Council meetings shall be taken and distributed by the General Secretary to the members of the GC within 15 days of the meeting.
7.3 Executive Committee:
- The Executive Committee (EC) shall consist of the Chairman, Executive Vice Chairman, General Secretary, Joint Secretary, Treasurer, one Vice chairman from each region and the DKCC chaplain. Chaplain has no voting right.
- Election to Chairman, Executive Vice Chairman, General Secretary, Joint Secretary and Treasurer is conducted as per procedures provided in Article 14 of this Constitution.
- The election to the Executive Committee and election process has to be conducted under the supervision of the Chaplain.
- The term of office for elected members of the executive committee will be a two-year period from Aug 1st of the calendar year from they are elected. Each region shall notify the Executive Committee, of any change (due to election, resignation or removal) within 15 days of such change through their regional Vice Chairman.
- An elected member of the Executive Committee shall continue through the term of the current General Council in his/her regional representation.
- In the event of death, resignation, removal or change of a regional vice chairman or Executive Committee member or General Council member, the respective region can elect/select/nominate a suitable member for the same position.
Article 8: Rights and Duties of the Executive Committee (EC)
- The Executive Committee shall administer the finances and business of DKCC.
- The Executive Committee shall assess applications and recommend membership.
- The Executive Committee shall carry out the decisions of the General Council of DKCC.
- The Executive Committee shall appoint committees, sub-committees and working committees as necessary.
- The Executive Committee shall organize activities to meet the objectives of DKCC in consultation and agreement with General Council members.
Article 9: Executive Committee Meetings
- Executivecommittee meetings shall be held at least once every four months in person or through audio / video conferencing. The place, date and time shall be decided by the executive committee through its official electronic communication group and all members are to be notified 15 Days in advance.
- In case of an emergency, the Executive Committee can call an emergency EC meeting via electronic media with a 3 days’ notice and with 60% attendance.
- Where possible, the executive committee meeting will be held in conjunction witha national and or regional conference.
- Additional executive committee meetings may be called by the Chairman at the request of one third of the executive committee.
- To transact business at an executive committee meeting, the quorum shall be at least a majority of the executive committee.
- The agenda should be circulated 7 days prior to the executive committee meeting by the General Secretary, if not an emergency meeting.
- The meeting shall be chaired by the Chairman who shall regulate the proceedings and procedure including adjournment of business. In the absence of the Chairman, the Executive Vice-Chairman shall chair the meeting.
- Any guest invited or wishing to attend the meeting should have the approval of the Executive Committee.
- Minutesof the meeting shall be taken and distributed by the General Secretary to the members of the Executive Committee within 15 days of the meeting date.
- Each Executive Committee Member shall have one vote except Chaplain.
- An Executive Member needs to be present at an executive meeting to cast a vote on any motion.
- Motions will be passed by a simple majority.
Article 10: Finance
- Funds for conducting the affairs of the DKCC may be supported by member associations.
- A financial report will be distributed by the treasurer annually to the member Organizations.
- The audited financial report, together with copies of accounts and reports and such other information shall be submitted to all member Regions.
- The General Council will decide the budget for the next / following financial years.
Article 11: Official Language
The official language of the DKCC will be English. All documentation required shall be submitted in the official language.
Article 12: Official Address
The official address of DKCC will be the address of the Chairman.
Article 13: Amendments
- Proposals for amendments shall be communicated in writing to the Executive Committee at least 60 days in advancethrough the Regional Presidents.
- The Constitution of the DKCC may be amended at a General Council meeting with a majority from the members having participation of at least 60% of the total strength of General Council, provided the members have been notified 30 days in advance.
- If the necessary quorum does not exist in a meeting called for discussing the amendments to the bylaw, another meeting shall be called within 30 days and in that meeting any changes to the bylaw may be adopted by ¾th majority of the members attending as long as at least 51% of the General Council are present.
- Amendments may be considered once during the term of the General Council.
- Once the amendments are passed, a final copy of the proposed amendments duly signed by the DKCC Chairman and General Secretary should be sent to the Archbishop of Kottayam for his review and approval.
- Any amendment will be valid only with the approval of the Archbishop of Kottayam.
- The renewed statutes approved by the Archbishop of Kottayam shall be sent to Regional Federation Presidents/Chairmen for appropriate distribution at their end.
Article 14 Selection Procedures
Positions to the Executive Committee will be rotated on Region wise. The positions of Chairman, Executive Vice Chairman, General Secretary, Joint Secretary and Treasurer should be rotated on a Regional basis by mutual and unanimous agreement in the General Council. Each region will choose their candidate according to the position allocated for them by the General Council.
Article 15 Conflict Resolution
In the event of a conflict or dispute in matters within the DKCC, the Archbishop of Kottayam will be the final authority to take appropriate decisions.
Dated this the 14th day of August 2021
Mar Mathew Moolakkatt Fr John Chennakuzhy
Metropolitan Archbishop of Kottayam Chancellor