New Delhi, March 7, 2012: Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has established a new Syro-Malabar Eparchy in the region of Delhi and appointed Msgr. Kuriakose Bharanikulangara its first bishop. This announcement was simultaneously made at Mount St. Thomas, Kakkanad, Kochi as well as in the Vatican. The new Eparchy will be known as the Eparchy of Faridabad of the Syro-Malabarians.
“It fulfills a long felt need of the Church in this part of the country. The CRI welcomes the announcement and hope for a new dynamism for the Christian communities in the area” said Bro. Mani Mekkunnel, the National Secretary of CRI.
He said in the name of the Religious of India “We welcome Msgr. Kurakose and look forward to his leadership during the coming years.”
In an announcement George Cardinal Alencherry, Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church said:
“I am happy to announce to you that Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has established a new Syro-Malabar Eparchy in the region of Delhi and appointed Msgr. Kuriakose Bharanikulangara its first bishop. This announcement is simultaneously made here as well as in the Vatican. The new Eparchy will be known as the Eparchy of Faridabad of the Syro-Malabarians. The See of the new Eparchy is Faridabad in the State of Haryana. The church of Christ the King in Faridabad will become the Eparchial Cathedral and the new Bishop will reside in the same city. Msgr Bharanikulanagara will have the title of Archbishop ad personam.
The proper territory of the Syro-Malabar church comprises the eparchies in Kerala and some areas of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Outside the proper territory, the Syro-Malabar Church has 10 eparchies in India. Of these, it is only the Eparchy of Kalyan that functions with multiple jurisdictions in the territory of the Latin dioceses of that region. Faridabad also will be an Eparchy of the same nature. The new Eparchy of Faridabad comprises the National Capital Territory of Delhi, the States of Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu-Kashmir as well as the Districts of Gautambuddhanagar and Ghaziabad that belong to the State of Uttar Pradesh. The new diocese has 9.50 lakh square kilometers of area. The new bishop is taking charge of the pastoral care of about One Lakh of Syro-Malabar Catholics in this area. Over 44 priests and 200 religious women are already working in different personal parishes there. Priests and religious from the Archeparchy of Ernakulam-Angamaly and other Eparchies and religious congregations are doing dedicated service in the parishes as well as in other ministries of education and other apostolates.
Msgr Kuriakose Bharanikulangara is from the parish of Karippassery in the archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly. His services were mainly in the Vatican diplomatic representations in various countries. After 18 years of commendable work in these Vatican nuntiatures he was currently serving in the nutiature in Berlin, Germany. The vast experience he has gained through these services will surely be of much help to him in the present assignment to the new Eparchy.
With gratitude I acknowledge and congratulate them, especially Rev. Fr. Sebastian Vadakkumpadan who pioneered the mission for about 12 years and Rev. Fr. Jose Edassery, the present coordinator of the Mission from 2005 onwards, for having nurtured and brought up the Delhi Mission to a stage of being erected into an Eparchy. I thank the CBCI, especially its President Oswald Cardinal Gracias, Telesphore Cardinal Toppo, President CCBI and Archbishop Vincent Concessao of Delhi for the services rendered in helping to establish the new Eparchy.
I wish and pray God’s blessings to the new born Eparchy and its new Bishop.”