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Malankara Syriac Catholic Church
Total population

St. Thomas the Apostle (A.D. 52)
Archbishop Mar Ivanios (1930)
Current Head:
Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholicos

Regions with significant populations
 India 500,000
 United States 10,000
Template:Country data UAE 5,000
 Canada 2,000
 Australia 2,000
 Germany 5,000
 United Kingdom 2,000
 Saudi Arabia 5,000
 Oman 2,000
Template:Country data Qatar 1,000
 Kuwait 2,000
Template:Country data Republic of Ireland 1,000
Malayalam, Tamil, English
Syriac, Malayalam, Tamil, English, Hindi

The Syro-Malankara Catholic Church (also known as Malankara Syrian Catholic Church, Malankara Syriac Catholic Church) is an Antiochene Rite, Major Archiepiscopal sui iuris Eastern Catholic Church in the Catholic Communion, in union with the Bishop of Rome (The Pope), historically linked to the Syrian Church. It is one of several groups of Saint Thomas Christians tracing their origin to St. Thomas the Apostle who came to India in A.D. 52. In the course of time, due to the latinization policy of the Portuguese, the Church in Kerala was divided in two; the group who rejected the Catholic ecclesiastical authorities eventually became known as the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church.

This latter group became gradually closer to the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, leading to a series of splits concerning the extent to which the Patriarch would be given authority; the faction giving the Patriarch full administrative powers became the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church. Within the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church was an archbishop, Mar Ivanios, who rejected his church's opinion of the Antiochian Patriarch, and argued for autonomy; rather than joining the more autonomous Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, or the independent Malabar Independent Syrian Church, he decided to join in the communion with the Catholic Church, and submit to the authority of the Pope in Rome. Taking only five members of his church with him, Mar Ivanios had founded the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, on 20 September 1930. Today, it has a total membership of around 500,000; Pope John Paul II qualified it as a "fast-growing church".

On February 10, 2005, the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church was elevated by Pope John Paul II to a Major Archiepiscopal Church, elevating the Archbishop to Major Archbishop (called Catholicos by Syro-Malankara Catholics). As a major archiepiscopal church, the Syro-Malankaras are granted the greatest level of autonomy under the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, governed by the Major Archbishop and the general synod of all bishops of the church, subject to papal oversight.

The current Major Archbishop and Catholicos of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church is Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis (Thottunkal), who was elected by the Holy Synod as the successor of the late Moran Mor Cyril Baselious on February 8, 2007, and was confirmed by Pope Benedict XVI on February 10, 2007. He was installed on March 5, 2007.

The liturgy of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church is West Syrian in character. The liturgy today is done in Malayalam, Syriac, English, Tamil, and Hindi. The Bethany order male and female and Daughters of Mary do religious work in the Syro-Malankara Church.

Official name of the church

The official name of the church is the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church. In Malayalam, the church name translates to Syro-Malankara Catholica Sabha or Malankara Suriani Catholica Sabha. Another name that can be associated with the church is Malankara Syrian Catholic Church of India.


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Saint Thomas Christians
Malankara Church
Holy Apostolic Throne of St. Thomas
Ancient Crosses of India
Coonan Cross Oath
Synod of Diamper


St. Thomas the Apostle
Mar Sapor and Prodh
Thomas of Cana
St. Alphonsa
Blessed Kuriakose Chavara
Fr. Varghese Palakkappillil
Blessed Kunjachan
Blessed Euphrasia
Blessed Mariam Thressia
Blessed Mother Teresa
St. Francis Xavier
St. Gonsalo Garcia
Marthoma Metrans
St. Gregorios of Parumala
Antonio Francisco Xavier Alvares


Syro-Malabar Catholic Church
Syro-Malankara Catholic Church
Latin Catholic Church
Indian Orthodox Church
Jacobite Syrian Church
Malabar Independent Church
Mar Thoma Church
St. Thomas Evangelical Church
Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church
Church of North India
Church of South India

Thomas the Apostle is credited by tradition for founding the Indian Church in 52 A.D.[1] This Nasrani faith had many similarities to Judaism, and, owing to the heritage of the Nasrani people, developed contacts with the non-Chalcedonian religious authorities of Edessa, Mesopotamia.

The local church maintained its autonomous character under its local leader. When the Portuguese established themselves in India in the 16th Century, they found the Church in Kerala as an administratively independent community. Following the arrival of Vasco de Gama in 1498, the Portuguese came to South India and established their political power there. They brought missionaries to carry out evangelistic work in order to establish churches in communion with Rome under the Portuguese patronage. These missionaries were eager to bring the Indian Church under the Pope's control. They succeeded in their efforts in 1599 with the `Synod of Diamper'.The representatives of various parishes who attended the assembly were forced by Portuguese authorities to accept the Papal authority.

Following the synod, the Indian Church was governed by Portuguese prelates. They were generally unwilling to respect the integrity of the local church. This resulted in disaffection which led to a general revolt in 1653 known as "The Coonan Cross Oath". This demanded administrative autonomy for the local church. Since it had no bishop, it faced serious difficulties.

It appealed to several eastern Christian churches for help. The Antiochene Syrian Patriarch responded and sent metropolitan Mar Gregorios of Jerusalem to India in 1665. He confirmed Marthoma I as the bishop and worked together with him to organize the Church.

Modern times

It was in this contentious context that Patriarch Mar Abdulla came to Malankara, and excommunicated Vattasseril Mar Divannasios in the year 1911. Fr. P.T. Geevarghese (later Archbishop Mar Ivanios) played a vital role in reinstating the position of the excommunicated Metropolitan, and in regaining the self-governance of the Malankara Church. To ward off the undue interference of Patriarch Abdulla in the administration of the temporalities of the Church, Fr. P.T. Geevarghese with the blessing of Vattasseril Mar Divannasios contacted Abded M’siha, the Patriarch of Antioch from whom Mar Abdulla usurped the Patriarchal See of Antioch, and invited him to visit Malankara and to establish a Catholicate here. Accordingly, Abded M’siha came to Malankara in 1912 and established the Malankara Catholicate. This created a split in the church:

  • the faction resisting the Patriarch's administrative interference became the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, an autocephalous Church under its head the Catholicos.
  • the faction supporting the Patriarch's administrative interference became the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church

Baselios Paulos I (1912–1913), the first Catholicos, died after a short period of five months on 13 May 1913. After his demise, the See remained vacant until 1925. That was a period of litigation in the Malankara Church, and also a period of spiritual renewal. The litigation for Vattippanam (a fixed deposit of money in the name of the Church) and its after-effects in the community was at its zenith.

The establishment of Bethany Ashram

Fr. P.T. Geevarghese believed that only a spiritual awakening of the Church would give a lasting solution to the problems of the Church. He himself took to sanyâsa and founded the Order of the Imitation of Christ also called Bethany Ashram in the year 1919. The first Ashram was erected at Mundanmala of Ranni Perunad. In 1925 he founded the community of the Sanyasins, the Sisters of the Imitation of Christ also called Bethany Madhom. From these two religious communities winds of spiritual fervour and renaissance blew across Malankara. By a decision of the Episcopal Synod, on 30 April 1925 Baselios Geevarghese I was installed as Catholicos. On the following day, the Catholicos consecrated Fr. P. T. Geevarghese under the name Geevargese Mar Ivanios as the Bishop of Bethany.

The First Malankara Catholic Ashram at Thirumoolapuram, Kerala

On 1 November 1926, the Episcopal Synod held at Parumala near Tiruvalla, Kerala, decided to open negotiations again with Rome for communion with the Catholic Church in order to establish peace in Malankara. The Synod authorised Mar Ivanios, the then Bishop of Bethany, to make necessary correspondence with Rome regarding communion. He earnestly followed up the mandate of the Synod.

The Second Catholicos expired on 17 December 1928. Baselios Geevarghese I succeeded the late Catholicos. On the day following his installation, he consecrated Mar Theophilos of Bethany and Mar Gregorios of Pampady as Bishops. In the meantime, the civil court’s decision on the litigation for Vattipanam was declared in favour of the Malankara Orthodox Church. This was a civil legal backing up for the Church and the Bishops of the Malankara Orthodox Church stepped out from the endeavours of communion with Rome. But Mar Ivanios stood firmly for the efforts of regaining communion with the Catholic Church.

The Ecclesial communion

After prolonged negotiations, the plenary session of the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Churches, which met on 4 July 1930, took the final decision on the issue of the communion of the Malankara Church. But only Mar Ivanios the Metropolitan of Bethany and his suffragan Mar Theophilos stood by the early decision of the Synod. Mar Ivanios and Jacob Mar Theophilos along with Rev. Fr. John Kuzhinapurath OIC, Deacon Alexander OIC and Mr. Chacko Kilileth made their profession of faith before Bishop Benziger OCD of the Diocese of Quilon and entered into full communion with the Catholic Church on 20 September 1930.

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Relationship of the Nasrani groups

Metropolitan Archbishop Geevarghese Mar Ivanios

As the Reunion Movement gained momentum, Pope Pius XI through the Apostolic Constitution Christo Pastorum Principi of 11 June 1932, established the Syro-Malankara Hierarchy for the reunited community and erected the Archieparchy of Trivandrum with the Eparchy of Tiruvalla as its suffragan. Thus, the Malankara Church re-entered into the hierarchical communion with the Catholic Church. The Metropolitan Eparchy of Trivandrum was inaugurated on 11 May 1933 and His Grace Mar Ivanios was enthroned as its first Metropolitan Archbishop. The Eparchy of Tiruvalla was inaugurated on 6 November 1933 and Jacob Mar Theophilos was enthroned as its first Bishop.

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The Five Pillars of 1930 Reunion Event: Metropolitan Archbishop Mar Ivanios, Bishop Jacob Mar Theophilos, Fr. John Kuzhinapurath OIC, Dn. Alexander OIC, Mr. Chacko Kilileth

The reunion of Archbishop Mar Ivanios with the Catholic Church was a historical event in the whole Church, which inspired many of the Malankarites including the Bishops of the Orthodox Church. On 29 November 1937, Joseph Mar Severios of the Orthodox Church reunited with the Catholic Church. Later, Thomas Mar Dioscoros, the Metropolitan of the Knanaya Jacobite Church, reunited with the Catholic Church on 12 November 1939. The Syro-Malankara Catholic Church engaged in her double mission of communion of the Malankara Orthodox Church and evangelisation. The Church began to increase in number. With the blessing of Archbishop Mar Ivanios, Joseph Kuzhinjalil founded the missionary congregation of the Daughters of Mary in 1938 at Marthandom in Kanyakumari District. Thus the mission of the Malankara Catholic Church spread to the southern regions of Kerala and Tamil Nadu also.

On 21 February 1943 Bishop Mar Dioscoros died. Mar Ivanios worked relentlessly for the building up of the Malankara Catholic Church. Through his travels abroad to Rome, other European countries, America and Australia, he spread the message of ecclesial communion and the awareness of the mission of the Malankara Catholic Church in the Universal Church. After a period of 22 years of the strenuous hectic task of organizing and administering the Malankara Catholic Church he fell ill for more than a year. Nevertheless, he consecrated Benedict Mar Gregorios as his Auxiliary on 29 January 1953. Archbishop Mar Ivanios died on 15 July 1953. The Eparchy of Tiruvalla was also making strides in its growth and development under the leadership of Jacob Mar Theophilos and Joseph Mar Severios. Mar Severios was the Administrator of the Eparchy until 1950 due to the ill health of Mar Theophilos. In 1950 he was appointed as the Bishop of Tiruvalla. He was also invested with the title ‘Archbishop’. He died on 18 January 1955.

Metropolitan Archbishop Benedict Mar Gregorios

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On 27 January 1955 Metropolitan Archbishop Benedict Mar Gregorios was enthroned as the Metropolitan-Archbishop of Trivandrum and the Head of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church. Under his able pastoral guidance and social commitment, the Church began to flourish in its multidimensional growth and development.

The Holy See appointed Zacharias Mar Athanasios as successor of Mar Severios, whose consecration took place on 22 April 1954. Jacob Mar Theophilos died on 27 June 1956.

Attracted by the Liturgy of the Malankara Church, Fr. Francis Acharya, a Cistercian Monk came to the Eparchy of Tiruvalla. In the year 1957 he founded in the Malankara Catholic Church, the Kristiya Sanyasa Samaj, Kurisumala Ashram in the high ranges of Vagamon.

The Malankara Catholic Church has been steadily growing and spreading throughout all the States in South India. On 14 February 1958 the territorial boundaries of the Eparchy of Tiruvalla was extended to the north including the Malabar region of Kerala, the civil districts of Coimbatore and Nilgiris and Karoor Taluk in Tiruchirappally District of Tamil Nadu and districts of Mysore, Mandya, Coorg, Hasan, Chickamangalore, Shimoga and South Kanara of Karnataka State. On 28 September 1977 March Athanasios died.

Paulos Mar Philoxenos, the Metropolitan of the Malabar Independent Syrian Church, was received into the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church on 28 August 1977.

The appointment of Isaac Mar Yoohanon as Bishop of Tiruvalla and erection of the Eparchy of Bathery with the appointment of Cyril Mar Baselios as its first Bishop through the decree of the Holy See took place on 28 October 1978. Both the prelates were consecrated on 28 December 1978. The Eparchy of Bathery was officially inaugurated on 2 February 1978. On 15 May 1979 the Eparchial contemplative monastery, Dhyana Ashram, was founded in the Eparchy of Bathery by Fr. Silvester Kozhimannil. The Golden Jubilee of the Reunion Movement of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church was celebrated in Kottayam on 26, 27 & 28 December 1980. Lawrence Mar Ephrem was consecrated Bishop on 27 December 1980. Wladyslaw Cardinal Rubin, the then Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches was the Papal Delegate for the Jubilee. Other eminent participants included Maximos V, the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East of Alexandria and Jerusalem, Luciano Storero, the then Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to India and Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

A significant development of this period is the organisation of the Malankara Catholic faithful in India, outside the canonical territorial boundaries of the Church. From being organized as Malankara Catholic Associations, the communities of our faithful living in the Metropolitan cities of India came to be erected as personal parish communities. With the appointment of Dr. John Berchmans OIC as the Coordinator of the Malankara Catholic Communities in the Extraterritorial regions in India by the Council of Hierarchs of the Malankara Catholic Church, the ecclesial life of these parish communities was coordinated.

It was the long cherished dream of the Malankara Catholic Church to have a Major Seminary of its own for the formation of its clergy. St. Mary’s Malankara Major Seminary was inaugurated at Pattom on 29 June 1983 and the new building at Nalanchira, Trivandrum was blessed on 25 May 1989.

The Malankara Catholic Church welcomed Pope John Paul II on 8 February 1986 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Pattom, Trivandrum. The Pope, in his speech at Shankhumukam, praised the founder of the Reunion Movement and expressed his high appreciation of the work and witness of the Syro-Malankara Church. On 28 April 1987, Mar Yoohanon, the Bishop of Tiruvalla died. Following the visit Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Lourdusamy, the then Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, visited the Malankara Catholic Church on 18 and 19 August 1987.

Geevarghese Mar Timotheos succeeded Mar Yoohanon as the Bishop of Tiruvalla. He was consecrated Bishop on 6 August 1988. Metropolitan-Archbishop Mar Gregorios died on 10 October 1994 after an eventful service of 41 years.

Major Archbishop Cyril Baselios

Cyril Mar Baselios, the Bishop of Bathery having been appointed by Pope John Paul II, was enthroned as Metropolitan-Archbishop of Trivandrum and as the head of the Malankara Church on 14 December 1995. Geevarghese Mar Divannasios was consecrated Bishop of Bathery in the place of Cyril Mar Baselios on 5 February 1996. Achille Cardinal Silvestrini, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, visited the Malankara Catholic Church on 11, 12, 13 February 1996. On the request of Cyril Mar Baselios, by an Apostolic Bull dated 16 December 1996, Pope John Paul II erected the Eparchy of Marthandom bifurcating the Metropolitan Eparchy of Trivandrum. Lawrence Mar Ephrem was appointed as its first Bishop. He died after a few months of his enthronement as Bishop of Marthandom, on 8 April 1997.

In the meantime the Eparchy of Tiruvalla was blessed with an Auxiliary Bishop in the person of Thomas Mar Koorilos who was consecrated Bishop on 17 July 1997. On 29 June 1998 Yoohanon Mar Chrysostom was consecrated as the Bishop of Marthandom and Joshua Mar Ignathios as the Auxiliary Bishop for the Metropolitan Eparchy of Trivandrum. Paulos Mar Philoxenos passed away on 3 November 1998.

Christu Jayanthi Maha Jubilee and the Sapthathy of the Re-union Movement of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church were celebrated jointly at Tiruvalla on 26, 27, 28 December 2000. The Patriarch-Emeritus of Syrian Catholic Church, Cardinal Ignace Moussa (Daoud), the Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches was the Papal Delegate for the Celebration.

A significant development in this period has been the establishment of parishes for the faithful of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church in the United States of America. Pope John Paul II nominated the Proto-Syncellus of Bathery Isaac Thottunkal, as Apostolic Visitor and the Auxiliary Bishop of Trivandrum on 18 June 2001 for the Syro-Malankarites residing in North America and Europe. He was consecrated on 15 August 2001 at Tirumoolapuram, (Tiruvalla) and he assumed the name Isaac Mar Cleemis.

Bifurcating the Eparchy of Tiruvalla, the Eparchy of Muvattupuzha was erected on 15 January 2003 and Thomas Mar Koorilos was appointed as its first Bishop.

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Mar Baselios College of Engineering and Malankara Seminary as seen from Mar Ivanios Tower

On 29 March 2003 Bishop Mar Timotheos gave resignation to the Holy See due to super-annuation and the Holy See appointed Isaac Mar Cleemis, the Apostolic Visitor to Europe and America, as the Bishop of Tiruvalla. Mar Cleemis took charge of the Diocese on 2 October 2003. On January 5, 2005 Joseph Mar Thomas was appointed as the Auxiliary Bishop of Trivandrum and Apostolic Visitor to North America and Europe.

On February 10, 2005, the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church was raised to the status of a Major Archiepiscopal Church on that day by the papal document Ab ipso Sancto Thoma. Pedro Lopez Quintana, the Apostolic Nuncio in India read the official declaration at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Pattom, Trivandrum. The Hierarchical Head of the Church was elevated as Major Archbishop who exercises patriarchal powers and governs the Church assisted by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Church. The Major Archbishop also assumed the title “Catholicos” according to the Antiochene-Malankara tradition, which is not in agreement with the Catholic hierarchy in Rome.

On 19 February 2005, Joseph Mar Thomas was consecrated as the Auxiliary Bishop of Trivandrum and the Apostolic Visitor to North America and Europe. On 11 April 2005 the Faculty of Theology of St. Mary’s Malankara Major Seminary got affiliated to the Pontifical Urbaniana University, Rome.

The enthronement of the Major Archbishop Catholicos as the Father and Head of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church on 14 May 2005 was officiated by the Patriarch-Emeritus of the Syrian Catholics Cardinal Ignace Moussa (Daoud), the Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. Pedro Lopez Quintana, the Apostolic Nuncio of the Pope in India, was present at the enthronement ceremony. The Malankara Major Archiepiscopal Curia (Catholicate Centre) started functioning at the St. Mary’s Campus, Pattom, Trivandrum. On 20 May 2005, the Catholicos Cyril Baselios blessed the Curia building. The Catholicos soon constituted the Holy Episcopal Synod. The first Synod of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church was convened from 16 to 18 August 2005 at the Major Archiepiscopal Curia, Trivandrum.

The first Holy Episcopal Synod constituted the Permanent Synod and the various Synodal Commissions headed by Bishops to take care of various Apostolates of the Church. The official bulletin, MALANKARA, is published from the Major Archiepiscopal Curia, to communicate the Synodal acts and voice of the Syro-Malankara Major Archiepiscopal Church. The Platinum Jubilee of the Reunion Movement and the Year of the Eucharist were celebrated jointly at Mar Ivanios Nagar, Punnamoodu, Mavelikara on 19, 20, 21 September 2005. Pedro Lopez Quintana, the Apostolic Nuncio of the Pope in India, Shri Bhaironsingh Shekhawat, the Vice-President of India, and Sri Oommen Chandy, the Chief Minister of Kerala, participated in the celebrations.

By the decrees of the Major Archbishop Catholicos the Metropolitan Province of Tiruvalla with the Eparchies of Bathery and Muvattupuzha as suffragans, was established on 15 May 2006 and Isaac Mar Cleemis was appointed as the Metropolitan-Archbishop of Tiruvalla. On 10 June 2006 Isaac Mar Cleemis was enthroned as the first Metropolitan-Archbishop of Tiruvalla. By the decree of the Major Archbishop, on 1 January 2007, the new Eparchy of Mavelikara was erected and Joshua Mar Ignathios, The Auxiliary Bishop and protosyncellus of the Major Archdiocese of Trivandrum, was appointed as its first Bishop.

The Second Ordinary Holy Episcopal Synod was convoked on 6–7 December 2006 and it was decided to revive the ministerial titles of Ramban and Corepiscopo which were in vogue in the Church and to honour a few priests for their meritorious service in the Church. Isaac Mar Cleemis, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Tiruvalla, conferred the consecrations on Saturday, 13 January 2007 on three priests at St. John’s Cathedral, Tiruvalla and Cyril Baselios Catholicos conferred these consecrations on priests on 17 Wednesday, 2007 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Pattom, Trivandrum.

On Thursday, 18 January 2007 Cyril Baselios, the first Major Archbishop-Catholicos of the Syro- Malankara Catholic Church died. The Catholicos was entombed by the side of his great predecessors at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Pattom, Trivandrum on 20 January 2007.

Major Archbishop Baselios Cleemis

Isaac Mar Cleemis was elected the Second Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church through the first Episcopal Synod of election of the Syro Malankara Catholic Church convoked on 7–10 February 2007 at Catholicate Centre, Pattom, Trivandrum. Pope Benedict XVI confirmed the election on 9 February and it was announced on 10 February at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Pattom, Trivandrum.

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Holy Qurbono in Syro-Malankara Rite

The installation of Aboon Mor Joshua Ignathios was held on 16 February 2007 at Mavelikara and Aboon Geevarghese Mar Divannasios, the Administrator of The Malankara Catholic Major Archiepiscopal Church presided over the installation ceremony. The new eparchy has a 30,825 Syro-Malankara Catholic faithful of a total population of 2,998,325 inhabitants. Of this 269,849 are Malankara non-Catholics and 598,824 Christians of other denominations.

On Wednesday, 7 February 2007 a long-cherished dream of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church was realized. Pope Benedict XVI appointed Dr. Chacko Aerath OIC as the Apostolic Visitor with Episcopal status for the Malankara Catholic faithful residing in the Extraterritorial Regions of the Church within India.

Baselios Cleemis was enthroned the Second Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church on 5 March 2007 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Pattom, Trivandrum. His installation service was officiated by Geevarghese Mar Divannasios, the Synodal Administrator of the Church. A large number of ecclesiastical and political dignitaries including Mar Varkey [Cardinal] Vithayathil (Major Archbishop of Syro-Malabar Church), Cardinal Telesphore Toppo (the President of the CBCI), and Sri. V. S. Achuthanandan (the Chief Minister of Kerala) participated in the installation ceremony.

On Saturday, 10 March 2007 Dr. Chacko Aerath OIC was consecrated Bishop by Baselios Cleemis Catholicos and he received the name Jacob Mar Barnabas.

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Metropolitan Archbishop Thomas Mar Koorilos releases the Directory of Malankara Catholics in Oman

On Monday, 26 March 2007 the Aboon Thomas Mar Koorilos was appointed the Second Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archieparchy of Tiruvalla. His installation Ceremony was held on Wednesday, 2 May 2007 at St.John’s Cathedral, Tiruvalla. Catholicos Cleemis was the main celebrant.

Baselios Cleemis Catholicos visited Pope Benedict XVI on 28 May 2007 at Vatican and received ecclesiastical Communion. The Congregation for the Oriental Churches in Rome gave him a warm reception on his first visit to the Holy See.

On Saturday, 14 July 2007 Baselios Cleemis, Major Archbishop declared Archbishop Mar Ivanios as Servant of God on the basis of the petition submitted by Rev. Fr. Antony Valiyavilayil, the postulator for the cause of canonization of Archbishop Mar Ivanios the Prophet of Reunion Movement. The 77th Reunion celebrations, the Platinum Jubilee of the Constitution of the Hierarchy of the Malankara Church in Catholic Communion and the Golden Jubilee of the Immigration of the Malankarites to Malabar were celebrated at Kodencherry in the Eparchy of Bathery from 19-21 September 2007.

On Sunday, 23 September 2007 the 125th birth anniversary of Servant of God Archbishop Mar Ivanios was celebrated at Puthiyakavu, the birthplace of the Servant of God in the Eparchy of Mavelikara.

The Silver Jubilee of the Malankara Major Seminary that commenced on Thursday, 29 June 2007 was officially inaugurated on Tuesday, 2 October 2007 by Catholicos Cleemis and its concluding celebrations were held from 5–8 November 2007.

As per the provisions of CCEO can. 1063 the Ordinary Tribunal of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church was constituted on November 15, 2007.

Aboon Dr. Abraham Mar Julios was consecrated bishop of the eparchy of Moovattupuzha by Baselios Cleemis, Catholicos, and all the eight bishops of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church on 9 February 2008 at Moovattupuzha.

Baselios Cleemis blessed the newly built Tomb Chapel of Servant of God Mar Ivanios in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Pattom, Trivandrum on 1 July 2008.

The Holy Episcopal Synod of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church decided to confer following dignities to the lay Christian faithful: Malankara Sabha Ratnam (the Gem of the Malankara Church), Bar Itho Briro (the Prominent Son of the Church), Bars Itho Britho (the Prominent Daughter of the Church), Bar Itho Shariro (the Good Son of the Church), Bars Itho Sharirtho ( the Good Daughter of the Church), Bar Itho Kashiro ( the Earnest Son of the Church) Bars Itho Kashirtho ( the Earnest Daughter of the Church).[2]


Leonardo Cardinal Sandri at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Pattom, Trivandrum

Leonardo Cardinal Sandri, the Prefect of Congregation for the Oriental Churches visited Syro-Malankara Catholic Church on November 10, 2008. Official reception was given to Cardinal Sandri at 9 am. Concelebrated Holy Mass in the Malankara Rite was followed. Major Archbishop Baselios Cleemis was the maincelebrant. In the following meeting Cardinal Sandri declared the Queen of Peace Pro-Cathedral at Palayam, Trivandrum as Basilica. Major Archbishop Baselios Cleemis dedicated St. Mary, Queen of Peace Basilica on December 7, 2008. Kerala Minister M. Vijaya Kumar presided over the following meeting.

In the course of the growth and development of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, besides the canonical institutions, various associations such as the Malankara Catholic Youth Movement (MCYM), the Malankara Catholic Association (MCA), the Legion of Mary, Matruvedi, Pithruvedi, and other pious associations have become the backbone of the life of the Church.

The Syro-Malnkara Catholic Church engages itself in humanitarian activities. One example of such services is Thapovanam, Shelter of Hope, Sulthan Bathery, a centre for the rehabilitation of the mentally ill persons.

Monastic and other religious communities that are founded in the Malankara Catholic Church contribute towards the spiritual enrichment of the Church. Similarly, other Religious Congregations of both men and women founded in other sui iuris Churches are rendering their service in fulfilling the mission of the Malankara Church. The cause of Canonisation of Mar Ivanios, the pioneer of the Reunion Movement is in progress.



According to “Annuario Pontificio”- The Pontifical year Book for 2008, there are about 413,513 members in Syro Malankara Church. The number of parishes in Syro Malankara Church are 497. There are 616 Religious and Secular priests in Syro Malankara Church. The number of Male Religious is 240 and female religious is 1660.[3]

  • Archeparchy of Trivandrum has 250,477 members with 104 parishes, 254 religious/secular priests, 142 male religious and 721 female religious.
  • Archeparchy of Tiruvalla has 37,486 members with 133 parishes, 131 religious/secular priests, 54 male religious and 267 female religious.
  • The eparchy of Marthandom has 63,750 members with 79 parishes, 34 religious/secular priests, 3 male religious and 172 female religious.
  • The eparchy of Mavelikara has 24,523 members with 94 parishes, 54 religious/secular priests, 9 male religious and 143 female religious.
  • The eparchy of Battery has 25,600 members with 21 parishes, 101 religious/secular priests, 12 male religious and 262 female religious.
  • The eparchy of Muvattupuzha has 11,677 members with 66 parishes, 42 religious/secular priests, 20 male religious and 95 female religious.[3]


The Malankara Syrian Catholic Church has 10 Hierarchs:

Hierarchs Diocese Cathedral / Location
Pope Benedict XVI
Bishop of Rome & Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church
St. John Lateran Basilica /
Vatican City, Rome, Italy
Moran Mar Baselios Cleemis
Major Archbishop-Catholicos of the Syro-Malankara Church
St. Mary's Syro Malankara Catholic Basilica /
Pattom, Trivandrum, Kerala, India
Aboon Thomas Mar Koorilos
Metropolitan Archbishop of Tiruvalla
St. John's Syro Malankara Catholic Cathedral /
Tiruvalla, Kerala, India
Geevarghese Mar Divannasios
Metropolitan of Bathery
St. Thomas Syro Malankara Catholic Cathedral /
Sulthan Bathery, Kerala, India
Yoohanon Mar Chrysostom
Metropolitan of Marthandom
Christu Raja Syro Malankara Catholic Cathedral /
Marthandom, Tamil Nadu, India
Joshua Mar Ignathios
Metropolitan of Mavelikkara
St.Mary's Syro Malankara Catholic Cathedral /
Punnamoodu, Mavelikkara, Kerala, India
Abraham Mar Julios
Metropolitan of Muvattupuzha
St. Mary's Syro Malankara Catholic Cathedral /
Vazhappilly, Mudavoor, Muvattupuzha, Kerala, India
Geevarghese Mar Timotheos
Metropolitan Emeritus of Tiruvalla
Emeritus of St. John's Syro Malankara Catholic Cathedral /
Tiruvalla, Kerala, India
Joseph Mar Thomas
Auxiliary Bishop of Trivandrum and Apostolic Visitor to North America
Mar Ivanios Syro Malankara Catholic Center /
New Hyde Park, New York, USA
Jacob Mar Barnabas
Apostolic Visitor to North India and Delhi
Mar Ivanios Bhavan Syro Malankara Catholic Center /
New Delhi, India

The Syro-Malankara Catholic Church in the Extra Territorial Regions in India

Metropolitan: Aboon Mar Jacob Barnabas Episcopa

  • Warje Malwadi, Pune
  • Kirkee, Pune
  • Kalewadi, Pune
  • Chinchwad, Pune
  • Dehu Road, Pune
  • Pune Central, Pune
  • Vadagaonsheri, Pune
  • Baroda, Gujarat
  • Ahmedabad
  • Aurangabad (M.S)
  • Matikere, Banglore
  • Lingarajapuram, Banglore
  • Singa Sandra, Banglore
  • Bhopal
  • Calcutta
  • Padi, Chennai
  • Thiruvattiyoor, Chennai
  • Perambur, Chennai
  • Vasant Kunj, Delhi
  • Gaziabad, Delhi
  • Uttam Nagar, Delhi
  • Faridabad, Delhi
  • Mayurvihar, Delhi
  • Dilshad Garden, Delhi
  • Hyderabad
  • Jaipur
  • Ludhiayana
  • Sakinaka, Mumbai
  • Anusakthinagar, Mumbai
  • Ulhas Nagar, Mumbai
  • New Bombay, Mumbai
  • Thane, Mumbai
  • Vikroli, Mumbai
  • Borivili, Mumbai
  • Malad, Mumbai
  • Nasik
  • Surat
  • Vasi Road
  • Boisur

Syro Malankara Catholic Church in North America

Metropolitan Bishop: Aboon Mor Joseph Thomas

Church Location Bishop or Vicar
Mar Ivanios Syro Malankara Catholic Center
New Hyde Park, NY, USA
Aboon Joseph Mar Thomas
St. Mary's Syro Malankara Catholic Church
Chicago, IL, USA
Rev. Fr. Saji George
St. Mary's Syro Malankara Catholic Church
Dallas, TX, USA
Rt. Rev. Geevarghese Mannikkarott Corepiscopo
St. Joseph's Syro Malankara Catholic Church
Detroit, MI, USA
Rev. Fr. Rev. Fr. Koshy Chirakkarottu
St. Peter's Syro Malankara Catholic Church
Houston, TX, USA
Rev. Fr. Job Kalluvilayil
St.Mary's Syro Malankara Catholic Church
Miami, FL, USA
Rev. Fr. Joel Mathew OIC
St. John Chrysostom Syro Malankara Catholic Church
Long Island, NY, USA
Rev. Fr. Joseph Nedumankuzhiyil
St. Mary's Syro Malankara Catholic Church
New Rochelle, NY, USA
Rev. Fr. Augustine Mangalath
St. Thomas Syro Malankara Catholic Church
Linden, NJ, USA
Rev. Fr. John Karavila
St. Jude's Syro Malankara Catholic Church
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Rev. Fr. Joseph Sundaram
St. Basil's Syro Malankara Catholic Church
Queens, NY, USA
Rev.Fr. Antony Padipurackal OIC
St. Peter's Syro Malankara Catholic Church
Rockland, NY, USA
Rev. Fr. Joy Mankulam
St. Mary's Syro Malankara Catholic Church
Toronto, ON, Canada
Rev. Fr. John Kuriakose
St. Mary's Syro Malankara Catholic Church
Washington, DC, USA
Rev. Fr. Jacob George Chirayath

Syro-Malankara Catholic Communities in Europe

Metropolitan: Aboon Mor Joseph Thomas Episcopa, Co-ordinator and Chaplain(Germany) : Fr.Santhosh Thomas Koickal

  • Bonn/Köln, Germany
  • Krefeld, Germany
  • Herne/Dortmund, Germany
  • Heidelberg/ Stuttgart, Germany
  • Frankfurt, Germany
  • Rome, Italy
  • Reggio Emilia, Italy
  • Milan, Italy
  • Zurich, Switzerland
  • Bern, Switzerland
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Syro-Malankara Catholic Communities in Middle East

Metropolitan: Aboon Mor Joseph Thomas Episcopa

  • Abbassia, Kuwait
  • Doha, Qatar
  • Manama, Baharain
  • Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • Dubai, UAE
  • Sharja, UAE
  • Al Ain, UAE
  • Fujairah, UAE
  • Ruwi, Oman
  • Ghala, Oman
  • Salalah, Oman

Religious orders

  • Order of the Imitation of Christ, Bethany Ashram
  • Order of the Friars Minor Capuchin
  • Kristiya Sanyasa Samaj, Kurisumala Ashram
  • Franciscan Missionary Brothers
  • Malabar Missionary Brothers
  • Disciples of Divine Saviour
  • Dhyana Ashram
  • Chyalpadi Ashram
  • Santhi Ashram
  • Sisters of the Imitation of Christ, Bethany Madhom
  • Daughters of Mary
  • Holy Spirit Sisters
  • Congregation of the Sacred Heart
  • Dina Sevana Sabha
  • Sisters of the Charity of St. Vincent de Paul
  • Snehagiri Missionary Sisters
  • Little Sisters of Jesus
  • Sisters of John the Baptist
  • Salesian Sisters
  • Baselian sisters
  • Franciscan Missionaries of Mary
  • Adoration monastery of Mount Thabor
  • Gathsemene Samarpitha Satsangham
  • Little Servants of Divine Providence
  • Sisters of Charity
  • Fervent Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus


  • St. Mary’s Malankara Major Seminary, Trivandrum
  • Bethany Vedavijnana Peetham, Pune
  • St. Aloysius Seminary, Trivandrum
  • Infant Mary's Minor Seminary, Thiruvalla
  • St. Thomas Minor Seminary, Gurukulam, Bathery
  • St. Ephraem's Minor Seminary, Marthandom
  • Gurusannidhi Minor Seminary, Muvattupuzha
  • Mar Ivanios Minor Seminary, Mavelikkara
  • Mar Gregorios Malankara Syrian Catholic Seminary, New York


Malankara Catholic Youth Movement

Malankara Catholic Youth Movement (MCYM) is the official organization for the youth in Syro-Malankara Catholic Church. The Catholic Youth Movement of Kerala dates back to the second half of the 1960s. Although there were some youth organisations in the parish level at different parts of Kerala, the spread of the organization of the youth movements in the diocese took place rather late. Two reasons seems to be of prime importance for the foundation of the youth organizations in the late 1960s. Current President of M.C.Y.M is Mr. Aji Daniel.

MCYM Branches

Kerala MCYM

1) Major Archieparchy of Trivandrum
2) Archieparchy of Thiruvilla
3) Eparchy of Bathery
4) Eparchy of Marthandom
5) Eparchy of Muvattupuzha
6) Eparchy of Mavelikkara

MCYM ETR in India

1) Apostolic Visitation of North India Malankara Syrian Catholic Churches (MCCETR)

MCYM North America

1) Apostolic Visitation of North America Malankara Syrian Catholic Churches (New York)

Malankara Catholic Association

Founded in 1989, the Malankara Catholic Association (MCA) is the association of lay faithful of the Church. Baselios Cleemis, Catholicos, is the patron; there are now diocesan sections in the Thiruvananthapuram, Thiruvalla, Bathery, Moovattupuzha and Marthandom Dioceses and in North America.

See also


  1. History of Christianity. Vol.1. By Kenneth Scott Latourette, page 80
  2. Malankara, 3/2 (2008)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Population Statistics , Syro Malankara Church. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "statistics" defined multiple times with different content




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