New Syro Malabar diocese for Delhi soon?

October 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Catholic, Church, India, New Delhi, newsletter-india

New Syro Malabar diocese for Delhi soonDelhi, October 31, 2011: Syro Malabar Major Archbishop George Alencherry has urged his people to do penance and pray for a new Oriental diocese in the Indian capital.

The head of Syro Malabar Church (SMC) made the appeal yesterday at the 12th convention of SMC Catholics in Delhi.

More than 10,000 people attended the convention. The dignitaries included Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, who indicated the possibility of a new SMC diocese in Delhi in near future.

Major Archbishop Alencherry said the new SMC diocese ‘is possible in Delhi but it is up to Rome to decide about the establishment.’

The Syro Malabar Catholics living in Delhi and surrounding areas have for years demanded a separate diocese to help their spiritual growth.

Although SMC is a sui juris (self governing) Church, its jurisdiction is restricted to Kerala state in southern India.

The Latin rite bishops, who are the majority in the country, oppose new Oriental dioceses outside Kerala saying such structures would give counter witness to Christian unity and affect works of evangelization.

The SMC Catholics living outside Kerala come uder Latin rite dioceses. Delhi archdiocese has created 23 personal parishes for SMC Catholics.

The major archishop, who took over the SMC in May, lauded the unity and harmony among the three ritual Churches in India. He urged the gathering to “protect and cherish” their distinct culture and tradition while continuing to “spread love and unity.”

The apostolic nuncio told the gathering that “your dream of a new diocese may realize soon,” and offered to pray for it.

He also asserted that every Catholic has a right “to live his rite wherever he lives” and every bishop is called to be the minister of their community. He said that all Christians are called to evangelize and all should work in peace and harmony.

Auxiliary Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Delhi, who represented the Latin-rite, did not mention anything about the new diocese. He called the faithful to be the “ambassadors of peace, love and unity.”

The convention started with a solemn concelebrated Mass led by Major Archbishop and assisted by Bishops Gratian Mundadan and Mulakkal and some 30 priests.

– Jessy Joseph

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