Kochi, Sept 7, 2019: Archbishop Antony Kariyil has assumed charge as administrative archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly with a solemn Mass at St. Mary’s Basilica on September 7.
Cardinal George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church, was the main celebrant at the concelebrated Mass in which nuns, priests and members of the laity participated.
The stewardship of the new archbishop is the culmination of a longstanding demand from large numbers of the laity and a group of priests in the archdiocese that an administrative archbishop should be appointed in place of Cardinal Alencherry.
The demand to replace the Cardinal as the administrative head of the archdiocese came after a series of land sales between 2016 and 2017 resulted in substantial financial losses to the archdiocese. There was a demand that the Cardinal, as head of the archdiocese, should be made accountable for these deals and that he should step aside to pave the way for an administrator. There was also a demand that the financial losses be made good.
A slew of committees were appointed to probe the land deals, the report of which has been sent to the Vatican. The decision to appoint a new administrative head was taken at the Synod of Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church at the end of August. The synod also appointed auxiliaries Sebastian Adyanthrath and Jose Puthenveetil as Bishops of Mandya and Delhi respectively.
The Cardinal, speaking during the concelebrated Mass, said the Vatican had appointed the most apt person to head the day-to-day affairs of the archdiocese. The new archbishop replaces Bishop Jacob Manathodath.
(source: The Hindu)