By Robin Gomes
The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches grants a patriarchal Eastern Catholic Church the highest level of self-government. One area of autonomy is the appointment of its own bishops by the synod, the apex body of the Eastern rite Catholic Church, to which the Pope gives his approval.
On the other hand, the Western Latin Church is guided by the Code of Canon Law, by which the Pope directly makes the appointment of bishops.
What is called a diocese or an archdiocese in the Latin Church, is eparchy or archieparchy in the Eastern Catholic Churches.
Pope Francis has given his approval to the appointment in the following eparchies of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church:
Eparchy of Bijnor
The Holy Father has given his assent to the election by the Synod of Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church of the Reverend Vincent Nellaiparambil as bishop of the Eparchy of Bijnor.
His Excellency Msgr. Vincent Nellaiparambil was born on 30 May 1971 in Arippalam, and grew up in Thottippal, Mulangue, Trichur. He belongs to Saint John’s Forane Church, Parappukkara, Trichur Districtt., Eparchy of Irinjalakuda. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation on 25 April 1987 and entered the Eparchy of Bijnor as a minor seminarian, attending Saint Joseph’s Minor Seminary in Kotdwar until 1990. He attended the course in philosophy at Saint Joseph’s Regional Seminary, Allahabad (1990-1993). He obtained a degree in art from the University of Allahabad in 1994. He studied theology at the Saint Joseph Regional Seminary where he was awarded a bachelor’s degree in theology in 1999.
He was ordained a priest on 8 April 1999, and after holding various pastoral offices, obtained a Master of Arts from the H.N. Bahuguna University, Srinagar-Garhwal, Uttarakhand in 2005 and a licentiate in systematic theology from the Dharmaram Vidyakshetram, Bangalore, in 2008. He was head priest in two mission stations for six years. From 2008 to 2012 he was rector of the diocesan minor seminary, coordinator of formation of the Eparchy of Bijnor and non-resident member of staff of Saint Joseph’s Regional Seminary in Allahabad since 2008, and resident member from 2012 to 2017.
He is currently head priest of the Mary Matha Mission Station in Chiniyalisaur, Uttarkashi District, Uttarakhand. Aside from Malayalam, he speaks Hindi, English and German.
Eparchy of Mandya
The Synod of Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church has elected as bishop of Mandya of the Syro-Malabars His Excellency Bishop Sebastian Adayanthrath, currently auxiliary of the Archieparchy of Ernakulam-Angamaly.
Bishop Sebastian Adayanthrath was born in Vaikom, Ernakulam, on 5 April 1957. After attending the minor seminary of Ernakulam, he carried out his philosophical and theological studies in the Pontifical Seminary of Poona (1976-1983), concluding with a Master of Theology.
He was ordained a priest for the Archieparchy of Ernakulam on 18 December 1983.
Since his ordination he has held the following offices: parish priest, secretary to the archbishop, and representative of the Save a Family Plan in Kerala and subsequently as director of the same trust in London, Ontario, Canada.
On 4 February 2002, the Holy Father appointed him as auxiliary bishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Syro-Malabars, assigning him the titular see of Macriana major. He received episcopal consecration on 20 April 2002.
Archieparchy of Ernakulam-Angamaly
The Synod of Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church has elected as vicar of the major archbishop of the Archieparchy of Ernakulam-Angamaly His Excellency Bishop Antony Kariyil, C.M.I., transferring him from the see of Mandya of the Syro-Malabars. The Holy Father conferred to him the title of archbishop “ad personam”, and assigned to him the titular see of Macriana Major, at the same elevating it pro hac vice to an archiepiscopal see.
Bishop Antony Kariyil, C.M.I., was born on 26 March 1950 in Cherthala, in the Archieparchy of Ernakulam-Angamaly. He gave his first vows on 16 May 1967.
He carried out his philosophical studies in Poona, received a Masters in theology (M.Th.) from the Dharmaram College, Bangalore, and after ordination completed a doctorate in social sciences at the University of Poona. He knows Malayalam, English and Hindi.
Since priestly ordination he has held the following offices: member of staff of Christ College, Bangalore, of which he later became head for several years; chaplain of the Syro-Malabar community at Resurrection Church, Bangalore; head of the College of Social Sciences, Rajagiri, Kalamassery; collaborator with the provincial council of the Rajagiri Sacred Heart Province; prior general of the Congregation of the Carmelites of the Blessed Virgin Mary Immaculate, C.M.I. (for six years) and national president of the C.R.I. (Conference of Religious of India), of the Section for Priests. He was director of the Rajagiri School of Engineering and Technology, Cochin, Kerala.
On 26 August the Synod of the Archiepiscopal Major Syro-Malabar Church, having received prior Pontifical assent, canonically elected him as bishop of the Eparchy of Mandya of the Syro-Malabars, India. He received episcopal consecration on 18 October 2015.
Eparchy of Faridabad
The Synod of Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church has elected as auxiliary bishop of the Eparchy of Faridabad of the Syro-Malabars His Excellency Bishop Jose Puthenveettil, currently auxiliary of the Archieparchy of Ernakulam-Angamaly.
Bishop Jose Puthenveettil was born on 4 April 1961 in Edappally. After formation in the seminary of Mangalore, he was ordained a priest on 26 December 1987. He continued his studies at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, obtaining a master’s degree and a doctorate in theology. He has served as deputy priest in various parishes, and secretary to the Syro-Malabar major archbishop, as well as assistant to the director and then dean of studies in Nivedhitha.
On 23 August 2013, the Synod of the Major Archiepiscopal Church of the Syro-Malabars elected him to the office of auxiliary bishop of the Archieparchy of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Syro-Malabars.
The Holy Father assigned him the titular see of Rusubbicari, and he received episcopal consecration on 21 September 2013.