In UCANews, July 29, 2016
(Note: Geographically the Syro-Malabar Church (SMC) in Kerala is flourishing and prospering. For too long it was confined to India’s tail tip Kerala. They expressed their frustration and expectation when one of its bishops long long ago said in Chennai: “We produce 70% of the clergy in this country but control only about 0.04% of the territory. We are justified in wanting more territory.” This was and is interpreted in two ways: 1. It expresses its colonial, worldly ambition to rule over people in many countries, which is unchristian; 2. It expresses its legitimate frustration at the hands of the Latin Church to which it is forced to play second fiddle, for which the Latin Church has to be blamed for its step motherly or big brother attitude it shows to SMC. Both literally imitate coalition politics in India where we have two main parties (or big brothers) Congress and BJP and all skeleton parties hang around them to survive. Similarly we have the Latin Church (the Big brother) and SMC and Syro-Malankara survive at the mercy of the Latin Church to get more bishops and dioceses. First SMC started its religious colonial expansion – both in the right and wrong sense – when it established the Kalyan Diocese in Bombay, then the Faridabad diocese in Delhi. Conquest of foreign lands started with the establishment of a SMC first in Chicago, then in Australia and now in England, Europe. Other dioceses both in India (Chennai, Bangalore) and in Middle East and Eu countries are in the pipeline. If it is to preach the good news of Jesus and do foot washing ministry to the down trodden and those on the periphery, to use the popular parlance of Francis, it is all very good and commendable. james kottoor, editor)
A Syro-Malabar diocese has been established in Preston, England to serve the thousands of Kerala Catholics who migrated to the area from southern India. The new Diocese will serve thousands of Kerala Catholics who migrated from southern India.
The bishop of the new diocese will be Father Joseph Srampickal of Palai Diocese, said the headquarters of the Syro-Malabar Oriental Church in Kochi, July 28. Pope Francis also appointed Father Stephen Chirappanath from Irinjalakuda Diocese as the Apostolic Visitator with Episcopal character, for the Syro-Malabar people in Europe.
The date of the Episcopal ordination of 49-year-old Father Srampickal will be decided later, said Antony Kollannur, Major Archiepiscopal Chancellor of the church that traces its faith to St. Thomas the Apostle.
Church sources say some 640,000 of its members live outside India in Africa, America, Europe and in Asian nations such as those in the Persian Gulf. The church already established a diocese in Chicago in 2001 for migrants in the United States and another in Melbourne in 2014 for those in Australia.
Some 21,000 migrant Kerala Catholics live in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, a vast majority of them moved there to work as hospital nurses and later settled with families.The new Apostolic Visitator will help extended pastoral care to an estimated 60,000 migrant Kerala Catholics in European nations.