Malankara Catholic Church Syro-Malankara Catholic Church
This independent Catholic Church of W.-Syr. liturgical tradition came into existence in 1930 when the Syr. Orth. metropolitan Mar Ivanios (P. T. Geevarghese, 1882–1953), along with his suffragan Mar Theophilus and many of their flock, entered into communion with Rome (see Thomas Christians). By a Papal Constitution of 11 June 1932 Trivandrum was made a Metropolitan See sui iuris, with a suffragan eparchy of Tiruvalla; further eparchies have since been created in 1978 (Battery), 1996 (Martandom, in Tamil Nadu), and 2003 (Muvattupuzha). In 2006 Tiruvalla was raised to a Metropolitan See. A year earlier, on 10 Feb. 2005, the status of the Malankara Catholic Church was raised by Pope John Paul II to that of a Major Archiepiscopal Church, with the canonical installation taking place on 14 May 2005; at the same time the title ‘Catholicos’ for its head was officially recognized. Also in 2005 a bp. was ordained, for the first time, for Malankara Catholics in America and Europe; in India, however, they have no pastoral provision of their own outside the state of Kerala, a matter of grievance to both them and the Syro-Malabar Catholics. The total number of Malankara Catholics is between a quarter and a half million.
There are some flourishing monastic orders, notably the Bethany Fathers (Order of the Imitation of Christ, OIC) and Bethany Sisters, and the Daughters of Mary. An important liturgical contribution was made by the late abbot of the Kurisumala Ashram, Fr. Francis Acharya (Mahieu; 1912–2002) in the form of a four-volume adapted translation of the W.-Syr. Weekday and Festal Services throughout the year (Prayer with the Harp of the Spirit, 1982–6).
Although serving all the Indian Churches of Syriac tradition, the St. Ephrem Ecumenical Research Institute (SEERI) in Kottayam, inaugurated on 14 Sept. 1985, comes under the jurisdiction of the Syro-Malankara bp. of Tiruvalla. SEERI is by far the most active promoter of Syriac language and tradition in Kerala, providing, among other things, MA and Doctoral programs; it has also hosted international Syriac conferences every four years, commencing in 1987. Its many publications include the journal The Harp (1987–) and the monograph series Moran Etho (1988–).
- G. Chediath, The Malankara Catholic Church (2003). (incl. further references)
- S. Kanjiramukalil, Ecclesial Identity of the Malankara Catholic Church (2002).
- J. Madey, in KLCO , 486–7.
- C. Malancharuvil, The Syro-Malankara Church (Syrian Churches Series 7; 1974).
How to Cite This Entry
Footnote Style Citation with Date:
Sebastian P. Brock, “Malankara Catholic Church,” in Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition, edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay (Gorgias Press, 2011; online ed. Beth Mardutho, 2018), https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Malankara-Catholic-Church.
Bibliography Entry Citation:
Brock, Sebastian P. “Malankara Catholic Church.” In Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition. Edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay. Digital edition prepared by David Michelson, Ute Possekel, and Daniel L. Schwartz. Gorgias Press, 2011; online ed. Beth Mardutho, 2018. https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Malankara-Catholic-Church.
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