KOCHI: The synod of the Syro-Malabar Church has introduced the title of archiepiscopal vicar for the administration of the controversy-ridden Ernakulam-Anga-maly archdiocese and elected Antony Kariyil, bishop of Mandya, to the post.
Cardinal George Ale-ncherry, major archbishop, will now focus more on the functioning of Syro Malabar Church which he heads.
The decisions were taken at the 11-day synod of the Church that concluded at St Thomas Mount, Kakk-anad, here on Friday. The Vatican has approved the new arrangements.
A release of the Church said Alencherry will continue to be the archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese and will be consulted on major decisions.
However, a letter by Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the congregation of oriental churches, to Alencherry said bishop Kariyil, who has been elevated as archbishop, will have full powers in administration, finances and pastoral ministry, including appointments and transfers of priests. He will have to make the obligatory consultation with various Church bodies before taking decisions and will represent the archdiocese for all the legal effects and purposes.
In future, the synod can decide whether the ecclesial arrangement has to be made permanent.
Bishop Kariyil hailing from Cherthala was ordained priest in 1997. A post- graduate in philosophy with doctorate in sociology, he served as principal of Christ College, Bangalore, and has held several other positions. He was appointed as the second bishop of Mandya in 2015.
Former auxiliary bishop of the Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese, Bishop Sebastian Adayanthrath, will be the new bishop of Mandya diocese while bishop Jose Puthenveettil has been appointed as auxiliary bishop of Faridabad. Fr Vincent Nellayiparambil is the new bishop of Bijnor.
The synod approved the guidelines regarding the responsibilities and rights of the archiepiscopal vicar.
“The sad events related to the governance of Ernakulam - Angamaly archdiocese and the attitude of some priests and laity have provoked and continue to cause a lot of suffering and concern. Harsh disputes and division at various levels were spread through the media disregarding due respect towards the Church.
The cardinal has discussed the matter with Vatican and urged measures to reorganise the governance. The matter has been discussed and approved by the synod,” said Cardinal Sandri in his letter.