Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church

Mar George Cardinal Alencherry
Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church

Official Website:

Contact Address
The Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Curia
Mount St Thomas, P.B. No. 3110,
Kakkanad P.O., Kochi 682 030, India
Tel. 0484-2424768, 2424780, 2425727, 2426235, 2426236, Fax: 0484-2422727.
Major Archbishop’s House
Ernakulam, Kochi - 682 031,
P.B.No. 2580, Kerala, India
Phone: 0091-484-2363664

Former Major Archbishops of the Syro-Malabar Church

  • Mar George Alencherry Major Archbishop (2011- )
  • Mar Varkey Vithayathil Major Archbishop (1999 - 2011)
  • Mar Varkey Vithayathil Apostolic Administrator (1996 – 1999)
  • Mar Antony Padiyara First Major Archbishop (1992 - 1996)

Mar Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil
Apostolic Administrator (1996-1999)
Major Archbishop (1999-2011)

Mar Antony Cardinal Padiyara
Major Archbishop (1992-1996)

Pontifical Delegate

  • Mar Abraham Kattumana Pontifical Delegate (1992-1995)

Mar Abraham Kattumana
Pontifical Delegate (1992-1995)

Major Archbishops and Patriarchs

Major Archbishops, like patriarchs, are the heads of their Eastern-rite Churches. They enjoy patriarchal rights in nearly all respects, but without the patriarchal title. Major Archbishop is a title for an hierarch to whose archiepiscopal see is granted the same jurisdiction in his autonomous (sui juris) particular Church that an Eastern patriarch has in his. The title is used for archbishops of episcopal sees that were founded more recently than the patriarchal sees. There are differences between the two offices. The election of a new Major Archbishop requires confirmation by the Pope, whereas that of a new Patriarch needs only to be notified to the Pope who will then extend ecclesiastical communion to the new Patriarch. Major Archbishops rank immediately after the patriarchs in the order of precedence of the Catholic Church. If made members of the College of Cardinals, major archbishops join the order of Cardinal-Priests, whereas patriarchs of the east join the highest order, Cardinal-Bishops. Like patriarchs, major archbishops are elected by the synod of the sui iuris Church, but their election requires confirmation by the Pope, not mere notification and granting of communion required of patriarchs.

In addition to their role governing their particular Church, under canon law all major archbishops are members of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in the Roman Curia. They are required to attend the annual general body meeting of this congregation, and to attend other sessions if they are visiting Rome or are otherwise able to.

Four Major Archiepiscopal Churches in Catholic Communion

The title was first granted to the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in 1963. The Syro-Malabar Church became major archiepiscopal in 1992, followed by the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church and the Romanian Greek Catholic Church in 2005, resulting in four major archbishops each leading a major archiepiscopal autonomous Church.

The order to be given in the order of their becoming major archiepiscopal

Rite Major Archdiocese YY.MM.DD
Romanian Greek Catholic FĂGĂRAŞ ŞI ALBA IULIA 2005.12.16
Syro-Malabar ERNAKULAM–ANGAMALY 1992.12.16
Syro-Malankara TRIVANDRUM 2005.02.10
Ukrainian Greek Catholic LVIV (first headquarters)
KYIV–HALYČ (present headquarters)

The list of the Oriental Catholic Churches:

Byzantine / Constantinopolitan Tradition
    • Albanian Greek-Catholic Church
    • Bielorussian Greek-Catholic Church
    • Bulgarian Greek-Catholic Church
    • Croatian Greek-Catholic Church (Križevci)
    • Georgian Greek-Catholic Church
    • Greek Byzantine Catholic Church
    • Hungarian Greek-Catholic Church
    • Italo-Graeco-Albanian Byzantine Catholic Church
    • Melkite Greek-Catholic Church - Patriarchate
    • Romanian Greek-Catholic Church – Major Archiepiscopal
    • Russian Greek-Catholic Church
    • Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church - Metropolitan
    • Slovak Greek-Catholic Church - Metropolitan
    • Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church – Major Archiepiscopal
Armenian Tradition
    • Armenian Catholic Church - Patriarchate
Alexandrian Tradition
    • Coptic Catholic Church - Patriarchate
    • Ethiopian (& Eritrean) Catholic Church - Metropolitan
Antiochean Tradition
    • Syriac Catholic Church - Patriarchate
    • Syro-Malankara Catholic Church – Major Archiepiscopal
    • Maronite Catholic Church - Patriarchate
Chaldean/Syro-Oriental Tradition
    • Chaldean Catholic Church - Patriarchate
    • Syro-Malabar Catholic Church – Major Archiepiscopal]

Mar George Cardinal Alencherry
Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church

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