18 February 2018

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01/14/2014 INDIA - AUSTRALIA

Card Alencherry: welcoming migrants is the mission of the new Eparchy of Melbourne

Pope Francis announced the first Syro-Malabar diocese in Australia, home to 35,000 members of the Syro-Malabar Church, mostly migrant workers. For the Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly, head of the Syro-Malabar Church (Kerala), the new eparchy is "required" for the development and integration of local communities into the Universal Church.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The new diocese is "required for the development of migrant communities from India and other countries in Australia," said His Beatitude Mar George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly (Kerala), as he spoke to AsiaNews about the establishment of the Eparchy of St Thomas the Apostle in Melbourne, the first diocese in Australia designed to serve Syro-Malabar Catholics.

Pope Francis announced its creation on 11 January, when he appointed Mgr Bosco Puthur as its bishop. The prelate will also be apostolic visitor for Syro-Malabar Catholics who live in New Zealand.

"More than 35,000 Syro-Malabar Catholics live in Australia," Card Alencherry told AsiaNews, "and they are all migrants. They need full integration, respectful of their own tradition. That is why we have created the new diocese."

The Universal Church, the cardinal said, "always takes care of migrants. At this time in history, a culture of coexistence is growing, which offers the Church a new horizon" to work with.

This way, a more stable structure "will be beneficial to the Universal church." In fact, "The Australian community is very understanding towards the problems of migrants and is very welcoming to them as well. Many of our people are already working with the Australian Church [. . .] and there is good cooperation".

The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is an Eastern Rite Syriac Church established on India's Malabar Coast, which corresponds to the present-day Indian State of Kerala.

The See of the Major Archbishop is in Ernakulam-Angamaly and Mar George Alencherry is the present Major Archbishop. The Church has about 3.6 million members around the world community.

The new Australian diocese will be the second Syro-Malabar diocese outside of India. In 2001, the Eparchy of St Thomas the Apostle was created in Chicago.

The cathedral of the Eparchy of Melbourne will be dedicated to 'Holy Mary, Mother of God.'

See also

21/02/2012 INDIA
For Card Alencherry, India's Church unites peoples and cultures
His Beatitude George Alencherry, major archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Syro-Malabar Church (Kerala), is one of the 22 new cardinals created by Benedict XVI. In India, globalisation is widening the gap between rich and poor and the Church, "through its educational and social services, in conjunction with the government and NGOs, can limit its negative effects." He voices his support for missing Chinese bishops.

23/05/2012 INDIA
Kerala Catholic priests build new housing for the poor of Changanassery
The St. Mary Athirampuzha (Syro-Malabar Church) will host three buildings on its land for 21 families. People will use it for 15 years, after paying a nominal rent. The goal is to educate young people to make them self reliant. The project is funded by the parishioners of the archdiocese.

19/02/2008 INDIA
Cardinal Vithayathil elected new president of Indian bishops
The newly-elected president talks to AsiaNews about his priorities: the unity of the Catholic Church, the defence of the downtrodden and the protection of religious freedom. He stresses the need for dialogue and tolerance. He receives Cardinal’s Gracias best wishes.

11/02/2008 INDIA
Kerala: state committee recommends banning religious worship in schools
Kerala’s Education Rules Reforms Committee wants to ban religious worship in schools. Religious minorities are afraid the measure might restrict their freedom of religion.

08/08/2006 INDIA
Need for more children and a better family life, says the Indian Church
In a pastoral letter, Syro-Malabar Cardinal Vithayathil slams couples who decide against having children although they have the means. He suggests they take part in the Eucharist as an effective way to renew their capacity for self-sacrificing love.

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