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Antony Kariyil named head of Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese

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Press Trust of India Kochi
In a bid to resolve the crisis in the Syro-Malabar church following revolt by a section of priests against its head, Cardinal Mar George Alencherry, its Synod on Friday decided to appoint Bishop Antony Kariyil as Vicar Archbishop of the Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese.
The decision to appoint Kariyil, Bishop of Mandya diocese, as the Vicar Archbishop of the archdiocese, was taken at the meeting of the synod here.
The decision was approved by the Vatican, a church official said.
Though the Cardinal will continue as the major archbishop of the Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese, the Vicar Archbishop will have full power in the face of its administration, finance and pastoral ministry, he said.
The move came amid growing demand from the rival section, demanding that Cardinal Alenchery step down from the post of its Major Archbishop and appointment of an administrative archbishop to manage affairs of the archdiocese.
The Church officials said in a press conference here that since the Cardinal has to take care of pastoral affairs of the Syro-Malabar Church and it was not easy for him to concentrate on the ministry of Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese, the Synod formally decided to establish the office of Vicar Archbishop after which the decision was sent to Vatican for its approval.
The Synod also decided to revoke suspension of two auxilary bishops of Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese, Sebastian Adayanthrath and Jose Puthenveettil,who led the revolt against the Cardinal, but transferred them to two separate dioceses.
While Adayanthrath was appointed as Bishop of Mandya diocese, Puthenveettil was named as the auxilary bishop of the Faridabad diocese.
The Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church assembled here from August 19 against the backdrop of protests by a section of priests in Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese against reinstatement of George Alencherry as major archbishop.
The meeting was held against the backdrop of rift among priests in the Syro-Malabar Church over certain issues like reinstatement of Cardinal Alencherry as major archbishop of the Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese on June 27.
The Cardinal was reinstated as major archbishop a year after his removal as head of the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese following an alleged land deal involving him.
Reinstating him, the Vatican had given him back all administrative powers of the key archdiocese of the Syro-Malabar Church.
Thousands of believers from the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese had joined a prayer and protest rally in front of the St Thomas Mount headquarters of the Church last Sunday, demanding that Alencherry step down.

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First Published: Aug 30 2019 | 6:45 PM IST

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