By Matters India Reporter
New Delhi: The Syro-Malankara Church, the youngest among 23 Catholic rites in the world, on August 5 erected a new diocese and appointed four bishops.
This was announced by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, based on information received from the Apostolic Nunciature.
The new eparchy (diocese) is Parassala with Thomas Mar Eusebios Naickamparambil as its first bishop.
The Church, which has self-governing powers, has also appointed Philipose Mar Stephanos Thottathil as the bishop of Saint Mary Queen of Peace eparchy that is spread over the United States and Canada.
On the same day, Father George Kalayil was elected as the bishop of Puthur epachy and Father John Kochuthundil as the Curia bishop and Apostolic Visitator to Europe and Oceania.
The new diocese is based at Parassala, the southernmost town of Kerala in the Thiruvananthapuram district. It borders on Tamil Nadu.
Bishop-elect Naickamparampil is currently serving Syro-Malankara Catholics in the U.S. and Canada.
He heads the St. Mary Queen of Peace of the U.S. and Canada eparchy with base at Elmont, New York.
Auxiliary Bishop Philipose Stephanos Thattahil of Tiruvalla succeeds Bishop-elect Naickamparampil.
In July 2010, Pope Benedict XVI established the Elmont-based eparchy as an exarchate for the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church in the United States. In December 2015, Pope Francis elevated the exarchate to the status of an eparchy and extended its territory to include Canada.