Kerala: Cardinal George Alencherry resigns as Major Archbishop of Syro-Malabar Church

Kochi: Head of the Syro-Malabar Church, Cardinal George Alencherry, announced his resignation from the post on Thursday.

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His decision came amid an ongoing feud in the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, involving the implementation of a uniform Holy Mass and the church’s land dealings.

Alencherry held the position of Major Archbishop of the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese.

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In a press conference held here, the Cardinal said that he had, back in 2019, tendered his resignation before the Pope, but the same was not accepted as the Church Synod did not agree with his decision.

Subsequently, he again tendered his resignation in November last year and a year later the Pope accepted it and allowed him to relinquish his position as Major Archbishop and head of the Syro-Malabar Church, Alencherry said.

Alencherry, who was born on April 19, 1945, at Thuruthy, Changanacherry in Kottayam district of Kerala, was created and proclaimed as Cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of February 18, 2012, of the Title of San Bernardo alle Terme (St. Bernard at the Baths).

Before that, in May 2011, Pope Benedict XVI had granted him the requested ecclesial communion after his canonical election on May 24, 2011, as Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly for Syro-Malabars by the Syro-Malabar Synod.

When Pope John Paul II established the new Diocese of Thuckalay on November 11, 1996, Alencherry was appointed the first Bishop, and he received episcopal ordination on February 2, 1997.

Alencherry, who holds a BA in Economics from St Berchmans College and an MA from the Pontifical Institute of Theology and Philosophy, was ordained a priest on December 18, 1972, and served as vicar of the filial church at Periyarmugham and then as assistant vicar at the Cathedral Church of Changanacherry.

The various offices held by him include, director of the Archdiocesan Faith Formation Department, secretary of the Commission for Catechism of the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC), secretary of the Synod of Bishops, and as chairman of the Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Commission for Catechism, and of the Commission for the Laity of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI).

Alencherry was also the president of the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church. He was also part of the conclave of March 2013 which elected Pope Francis.

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