Syro-Malankara Catholic Church Comes to the US

“On Wednesday Pope Benedict XVI has erected an Apostolic Exarchate for the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church in the United States and appointed Father Thomas Naickamparampil as its first bishop. The pope also appointed him Apostolic Visitator for the Syro-Malankara Catholics in Canada and Europe.

The erection of the exarchate and appointments were publicized in Washington, July 14, by Msgr. Jean-François Lantheaume, Chargé d’Affaires, at the apostolic nunciature in the United States.

Father Naickamparampil is a priest of the Major Archiepiscopal Eparchy of Trivandrum, India.

An apostolic exarchate is the Eastern Catholic Church equivalent of an apostolic vicariate. It is not a full-fledged eparchy (diocese), but is established by the Holy See for the pastoral care of Eastern Catholics in an area outside the territory of the Eastern Catholic Church to which they belong. It is headed by a bishop or a priest with the title of Exarch. An apostolic visitator is a papal representative who has been asked to familiarize himself with the situation of a given community and to report on its status to the Holy See.” – “Pope Erects Apostolic Exarchate for Syro-Malankara Catholic Church in US”, Catholic Answers Forum

This post from Catholic Answers Forum was pretty interesting and I thought it was worth sharing. The Syro-Malankara Church is Catholic and is found in India. It has eight different dioceses there called eparchies, and half a million followers. I had no idea that this branch of Catholicism even existed until I read this, and I find it extremely interesting. I didn’t know that there were Catholics in India, but I guess you learn something new every day don’t you. It is good to see that they are branching out and being accepted in the US, where they have a respectable 10,000 followers.