Written by 1:55 pm In the News

Bishop Thattil to head Syro Malabar Church

Bishop Raphael Thattil, currently the Bishop of Shamshabad (India’s Telangana State), has been elected the fourth Major Archbishop of the Syro Malabar Church.

The Synod of the Syro Malabar Church on Wednesday announced that selection of Mar Raphael Thattil will be the new head of the church.

Mar Raphael Thattil (67) will also be the major archbishop of Ernakulam Angamaly archdiocese.

The Syro Malabar Church sought the selection of a new head after Cardinal Mar George Alencherry stepped down on December 7, 2023.

The announcement was made by Kottayam archbishop Mar Mathew Moolakattil after receiving communication from the Vatican.

The installation of the new Major Archbishop will be held at Mount St Thomas, the headquarters of Syro Malabar Church in Kakkanad at 2.30 pm on January 11, 2024.

Fifty three bishops voted in a secret ballot to select the new major Archbishop. The selected name was forwarded to the Vatican for approval from the Pope. The selection was announced simultaneously at the Vatican and Mount St Thomas.

The installation of the Major Archbishop will be he held at 2.30 pm on Thursday, 11 January 2024, at the Major Archiepiscopal Curia of the Syro-Malabar Church, Mount St. Thomas, Kakkanad.

Bishop Thattil was born to Ouseph and Thresia on 21 April 1956 and baptised on 30 April 1956 in Kerala’s Thrissur Dsitrict.

After his primary education at St. Thomas College, Thrissur, he joined St. Mary’s Minor Seminary, Thope on 04 July 1971. He completed his priestly formation at St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary, Vadavathoor in 1980.

He was ordained by Mar Joseph Kundukulam in Thrissur Doloures Basilica on 21 December 1980. He did his higher studies in Rome and took doctorate in Oriental Canon Law. His thesis was on “Clerical Formation in the Syro Malabar Church: A Historico-Juridical Study”.

After his ordination, he served as Asst. Vicar, Aranattukara (1981-82), Fr. Prefect & Asst. Procurator, St Mary’s Minor Seminary (1982-83), Acting Vicar, Koonammoochy (1983), Acting Vicar, Cherumkuzhy (1983). On returning back from Rome, he served in the Archbishop’s house as Vice Chancellor, Chancellor, Adj. Judicial Vicar, Judge and later as Syncellus and Proto-Syncellus. He was the director of DBCLC & Catechism (1992-1995). On 20 January1998, he was appointed as the project officer of the new Marymatha Major Seminary, after a few months appointed as the first Rector of the Marymatha Seminary (1998-2006). He also worked as president and member of many a committees and commissions.

He was ordained as Bishop on 10 April 2010 and appointed as Auxiliary bishop of Trichur and Titular Bishop of Bruni. In 2014, he was appointed as Apostolic visitor for the Syro-Malabar faithful residing outside the territory.

Pope Francis named him the first Bishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy of Shamshabad on 10 October 2017 and he was installed on 7 January 2018.

Bishop Thattil will be expected to solve the impasse in the archdiocese regarding the way the Holy Mass is celebrated and to bring about liturgical uniformity.

(Picture Courtesy: KCBC)

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