KOCHI: Pope Francis has approved the formation of two more dioceses under the Syro-Malabar Church taking the total number of diocese of Church to 31. Dr Raphael Thattil, at present auxiliary bishop of Thrissur, will be the bishop of the newly-formed Shamshabad diocese in Telangana and Dr Sebastian Pozhalipar-ambil will head the Hosur diocese in Tamil Nadu. The announcement of the formation was made simultaneously at Rome, Kochi and Hyderabad. The Shamshabad diocese will be based in Hyderabad and will have the responsibility to serve the faithful who do not fall under the jurisdiction of any other diocese in India.
It has a population of 1.3 lakh Catholics spread over 100 cities in the country. At present, 85 priests are serving in the mission which has 11 churches. The formation the eparchy of Shamshabad was published at St. Alphonsa Church, Kukatpally, in the presence of the priests, sisters and lay persons gathered in a special meeting. Fr Thomas Karamel, Fr Francis Eluvathingal and Fr Abraham Tharm-assery led the proceedings. Dr Pozhaliparambil was born at Pullur near Irinjalakudda in 1957 and was ordained priest in 1982.
He held various positions of responsibility in the church during the past four decades. The date of ordination of the new bishops will be announced later. Dr Thattil was born at Puthenpally in Thrissur in 1956 and took his B.Th degree and later completed his doctorate from Rome. He had his priestly formation at St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary, Vadavathoor. After his ordination in 1980, he served in several parishes and in the diocese. He was instrumental in developing Mary Matha Major Seminary and was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Trichur and Titular Bishop of Buruni in 2010.