Cardinal Alencherry honours leading Syriac scholars

By: Matters India Reporter

Birmingham Dec 7, 2018: Cardinal George Alencherry, head of the Syro-Malabar Church, honored two British Syriac scholars at a conference in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

David G.K. Taylor, Associate Professor of Aramaic and Syriac and Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford University. and Dr.Sebastian Brocke, Emeritus Professor in Oxford University and leading Syriac scholar received the honor on December 7.

The Syro-Malabar Church organized the conference at the Bethel Convention Center, Birmingham, as part of the conclusion of the ‘Year of Children’.

Speaking at the conference Taylor stated that those who deny the tradition of Saint Thomas the Apostle deny apostolic tradition.

Brocke termed as narrow and unscholarly the perception among many people that Christianity is based only on Greek and Latin heritages. Syriac was one of the three important basic traditions of Christian Church with equal status as Greek and Latin, the emeritus professor asserted. He called on the Syro Malabar Church to take pride and explore more seriously into its heritage.

Bishop Joseph Srampickal of Syro-Malabar Eparchy of Great Britain, vicar generals Fathers sajimon Malayil and Mathew Choorapoikayil were among those present on the occasion.

St. Thomas Christians from Kerala who trace their origins to the apostolic ministry of Saint Thomas the Apostle. Presently they are divided among Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Catholic, Assyrian, Anglican, and Protestant Churches.

A large number of ancient texts and literature contains details on the apostolic journey of the apostle and his ministry in India. Researchers of Oxford and many other leading universities have published their research findings on the history of the Apostolic ministry of St. Thomas in India.

Syro-Malabar Eparchy of Great Britain, with its headquarters in Preston at St Alphonsa Cathedral, was erected by Pope Francis in July 28, 2016, to serve the pastoral needs of the Syro Malabar Catholics in England, Scotland and Wales.

The Syro-Malabar Church has 32 eparchies. The Great Britain eparchy is the third outside India. It has 173 Mass centers to serve nearly 38,000 Syro-Malabar Catholics in Great Britain. Currently, 54 priests work for the community in England, Wales and Scotland.

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