India’s Syro-Malabar Church names three new bishops

With the appointments of the new bishops, the number of retired prelates and those in ministry in the Syro-Malabar Church rose to 65

The Eastern rite Syro-Malabar Church in India announced the appointment of three new auxiliary bishops on Thursday, August 25.

Named bishops are Father Alex Tharamangalam, 64, from the Archieparchy of Tellicherry, as auxiliary bishop of the Eparchy of Mananthavady; Father Joseph Kollamparambil, 67, of the Palai Eparchy, and Father Thomas Padiyath, 53, of the Archieparchy of Changanacherry, as auxiliary bishops of the Shamshabad Eparchy.

The announcement was made at the conclusion of the Church synod at Mount St. Thomas in Kochi in the southern state of Kerala.

Bishops-designate Kollamparambil and Padiyath, who attended the synod, received their insignia from Major Archbishop Cardinal George Alencherry and Bishop Raphael Thattil of Shamshabad.

Bishop-designate Tharamangalam was out of the country, said Father Antony Vadakkekara, secretary of the Syro Malabar Media Commission, and Father Stephen Alathara, deputy secretary general of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India.

The date of the episcopal ordination of the bishops will be announced later, according to the press statement.

With the appointments of the new bishops, the number of retired prelates and those in ministry in the Syro-Malabar Church rose to 65, said Father Vadakkekara.

Bishop-designate Tharamangalam, who has a doctorate in Philosophy from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, was born on April 20, 1958, in Moozhoor, Kerala.

He joined the St. Joseph Minor Seminary in Tellicherry in 1973 and was ordained priest on January 1,1983. He has written philosophical books and articles and is fluent in Italian and German.

Bishop-designate Kollamparambil was born on September 22, 1955. He joined the Good Shepherd Minor Seminary in Palai and completed his priestly formation at St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary in Vadavathoor. He was ordained on December 18, 1981.

Born in January 14, 1969, Bishop-designate Padiyath entered the minor seminary in 1984 and was ordained priest on December 29, 1994. He holds a doctorate in philosophy and a Master’s Degree in theology from the University of Leuven, Belgium, and is fluent in German.

Meanwhile, Father Vadakkekara, Major Archbishop Cardinal George Alencherry has accepted the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Jacob Muricken of Palai Eparchy.

On August 16, 2022, Bishop Jacob Muricken submitted his resignation and the Major Archbishop accepted it with the consent of the Permanent Synod.

Earlier, Bishop Muricken had expressed his desire to pursue monastic life since 2017, but was asked to continue his episcopal ministry.

The bishop reiterated his request to be relieved from the Office of the Auxiliary Bishop of Palai to embrace monastic life and submitted his resignation to the Major Archbishop.

The Major Archbishop’s decision to accept Bishop Muricken’s resignation was forwarded to the Apostolic See. The Dicastery for the Eastern Churches communicated that the resignation would come into effect on August 25, 2022.

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