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led by Fr Joseph Kariattil to Rome to petition personally for the appointment of an Indian bishop for their church, though in Rome this delegation was apparently not taken seriously. There was, however, a dramatic change in their fortunes when the delegates arrived in Lisbon to begin their journey home. Under the powers of the Padroado, the Queen of Portugal appointed Fr Kariattil as Archbishop of Cranganore. When he landed at Goa, the excitement of the Thomas Christians was at fever pitch but then, to their despair, he fell ill and died in 1783 before leaving Goa. Some have speculated that had he lived, the two communities of Thomas Christians, those in communion with the Syrian Church and those in communion with the Roman Church, might have come together again.

At this critical juncture, the Archbishop ofGoa made Kariattil's companion, Fr Thomas Parreamakal, administrator of the vicariate apostolic, but this did not satisfy the people, who widely believed that Kariattil had been poisoned. There was widespread agitation and at a meeting in 1787 at Ankamali the Thomas Christian leaders in communion with Rome vowed to recognize Parreamakal as theirbishop and no other. The archdiocesan authorities refused to accept this, and after some time the agitation did subside. The result was that the Thomas Christians had to wait until 1887 to have bishops from their own communities.

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