Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], January 10: Pope Francis has confirmed the appointment of Mar Raphael Thattil, Bishop of Shamashabad as the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church. The Pope granted the confirmation, requested in accordance with canon 153 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

Mar Raphael Thattil replaces Cardinal George Alencherry who stepped down in early December 2023. Raphael Thattil Elected as Head of Syro-Malabar Church.

Mar Raphael Thattil was canonically elected Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church in the Synod of Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church, at a meeting held at Mount Saint Thomas, Kakkanad, Kochi.

Having received the confirmation of the Pope, the Major Archbishop-elect made the profession of faith and act of fidelity before the Synod Fathers. Then the election Session of the Synod was concluded and the Synod Fathers proceeded to announcement of the election of the Major Archbishop.

Mar Raphael Thattil, was born to Ouseph and Thresia on April 21 1956 and was baptized on April 30 1956 in Thrissur. After his primary education at St. Thomas College HS, Thrissur, he joined St. Mary's Minor Seminary, Thope on 04 July 1971. He completed his study of Philosophy and Theology in St. Thomas Ap. Seminary Kottayam in 1980. He was ordained December 21 1980. He did his higher studies in Rome and took doctorate in Oriental Canon Law. Pope Francis Confirms New Leader of India's Syro-Malabar Church, Divided for Decades over Liturgy Dispute.

He was ordained as Bishop on April 10 2010 and appointed as Auxiliary bishop of Trichur and Titular Bishop of Bruni. In 2014, he was appointed as Apostolic visitor for the Syro-Malabar faithful residing outside the territorium proprium.

Pope Francis named him the first Bishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy of Shamshabad on 10 October 2017 and he was installed on 7 January 2018.

The installation of the Major Archbishop will be he held at 2.30 pm on Thursday, 11 January 2024, at the Major Archiepiscopal Curia of the Syro-Malabar Church, Mount St. Thomas, Kakkanad.

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