Syro Malabar Church

Until the 1990s, Syro-Malabar clergy hoping to minister outside the territory of Kerala had to transfer to the Roman Rite. This was particularly ironic, as they are the original Christians of India. Today, hundreds of thousands of Syro-Malabars live in other parts of India. While eleven dioceses for the Syro-Malabars outside Kerala have been created since 19 77, these are nonetheless under the direct jurisdiction of Rome rather than the Major Archbishop. Beyond these dioceses, however, large numbers of Syro-Malabars (e.g., 12,000 in the area of Chennai/Mylapore alone) do not have a single parish, even though the Church has a large surplus of vocations who could minister to them. In western countries and the Gulf region, to which Indians flock for employment, the tendency is to presume that the Syro-Malabars will assimilate to the Roman Rite. The only diocese for Syro-Malabars outside of India, the Eparchy of Saint Thomas in Chicago, was finally created in 2001, and a mission was recently established in Italy.

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