Cardinal Mar George Alencherry steps down as Major Archbishop; Mar Andrews Thazhath steps down as Apostolic Administrator

Cardinal Mar George Alencherry steps down as Major Archbishop; Mar Andrews Thazhath steps down as Apostolic Administrator

Kakkanad – Cardinal Mar George Alencherry announced his relinquishment of his position as the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Church. Mar Sebastian Vaniyapurackal, Curial Bishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly will assume the position of the Major Archbishop till the time an election is conducted for the position by the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church. Such an election will be conducted by the Synod of Bishops as mandated and in accordance with the Canon Law of Oriental Churches

Mar Andrews Thazhath the current administrator of Ernakulam-Angamaly archeparchy stepped down from his position. Mar Bosco Puthur, Bishop Emeritus of the Eparchy of Melbourne assumes the position of the Apostolic administrator of Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese. Mar Andrews Thazhath will continue to serve as the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Trichur.

The announcements were made at a Press Meet held at the Syro-Malabar Major Archbishop's Curia in Mount St. Thomas, Kakkanad.

Mar George Alencherry informed that he had submitted his resignation to Pope Francis citing health reasons. The resignation was accepted by the Holy Father. The official confirmation vide a circular from the Holy See was also read at the Press Meet by Mar Sebastian Vaniyapurackal.

Mar George Alencherry also informed that he had taken the decision to relinquish his position as Major Archbishop in 2019, however the resignation was not accepted at the time by the Vatican. He has been leading the Syro-Malabar Church since Mar, 2011.

Fr. Antony Vadakkekara VC, PRO of the Syro-Malabar Church confirmed that the decision was not part of any disciplinary action as propagated by some sources in the Media.

Bishop Bosco Puthur Apostolic Administrator of Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese

The Holy Father Pope Francis appointed Mar Bosco Puthur, former Bishop of Melbourne Diocese, as the new Apostolic Administrator of Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese. The announcement in this regard took place on Thursday, December 7, 2023 at 12 noon Italian time at the Vatican and at 4.30 pm at the Church office of Mount St. Thomas and at the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly.

Bishop Bosco Puttur, appointed as the new Apostolic Administrator of Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese, is the first Curia Bishop of the Syro-Malabar Church and the first Bishop of the Diocese of Melbourne, Australia. He retired from the administration of the Diocese of Melbourne on 31 May 2023. Father Abhiwandya Bosco was recently appointed by the Syro-Malabar Synod of Bishops as the convener of the Dialogue Committee to help resolve the issues in the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly. Born in 1946, he was ordained in Rome in 1971. He served as Rector of Thrissur Minor Seminary, Major Seminary Teacher, Rector of Mangalapuzha Major Seminary, Cathedral Vicar, Vicar General and Executive Director of Liturgical Research Center of Syro-Malabar Church and in 2010 he was ordained as first Curia Bishop of Syro-Malabar Church. Bishop Bosco Puttur, who was the secretary of the Syro-Malabar Bishops' Synod, also worked as the administrator of the church until Cardinal Mar George Alencheri was appointed as Major Archbishop after his father passed away.

On July 30, 2022, Archbishop Mar Andrews Thazhath, who was appointed as the Apostolic Administrator of Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese, was given the additional charge of Apostolic Administrator in addition to his responsibility as Metropolitan Archbishop of Thrissur Archdiocese. In the month of November 2022, the Archbishop was elected to the position of President of the CBCI. Archbishop Andrews had submitted a petition to Pope Francis, requesting that he be removed from the post of administrator of the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly, where it would be practically difficult to carry out three important duties. Considering this, the Pope has appointed a new Apostolic Administrator.

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