Syro-Malankara Church elects two coadjutor bishops in India
The Synod of Bishops of the eastern-rite Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, headquartered in India, has elected two coadjutor bishops. Auxiliary Bishop Samuel Mar Irenios (Kattukallil) of Trivandrum has been elected Coadjutor Bishop of Pathanamthitta, while Bishop Yoohanon Mar Theodosius (Kochuthundil), the Curial Bishop of the Major Archdiocese of Trivandrum has been elected the Coadjutor of the Diocese of Muvattupuzha, both in the southern state of Kerala.
Unlike in the Latin rite Church, where the Pope directly appoints and transfers bishops, the Code of Canons of Oriental Churches grants the synod of eastern churches the power to elect their own bishops and church heads, which the Pope later approves.
Bishop Samuel Mar Irenios (Kattukallil) was born on 13 May 1952 in Kadammanitta, Kerala. He was ordained a priest on December 22, 1978 and served as parish priest in various parishes.
He was editor-in-chief of Christhava Kahalam, official newspaper of the Syro-Malankara Archdiocese of Trivandrum, and has taught at various academic institutions in Kerala. From 2007 to 2010, he was Syncellus (Episcopal Vicar) of the Syro-Malankara Archdiocese of Trivandrum.
On 25 January 2010 he was elected Auxiliary Bishop of Trivandrum and on 13 March of the same year he was consecrated bishop.
Bishop Yoohanon Mar Theodosius (Kochuthundil) was born on April 8, 1959 at Puthussery Bhagon, Kerala. After going through the Minor Seminary of Trivandrum, he completed his ecclesiastical studies at St Joseph's Pontifical Seminary (Aluva) and was ordained a priest on December 22, 1985. He has a doctorate in canon law from Rome’s Pontifical Oriental Institute.
He has held the following positions: parish priest, Secretary of the Archbishop of Trivandrum, Rector of the Minor Seminary, President of the Tribunal, Official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), Protosyncellus (Vicar General) of Gurgaon Diocese and, currently, of Trivandrum Archdiocese.
On 5 August 2017 he was elected Bishop of the Curia of the Major Archdiocese of the Syro-Malankara Church and on September 21 of the same year he was consecrated bishop. He is the Apostolic Visitor for the Syrian-Malankara faithful residing in Europe and Oceania.
The Catholic Church in India
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) is the apex body of the Catholic Church in India, that comprises the Latin and two eastern rites – the Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara Churches that claim their origin from St. Thomas the Apostle.
Of the country’s 180 dioceses, 132 belong to the Latin rite. Syro-Malabar Church has 34 dioceses, while the Syro-Malankara has 14.