Syro-Malankara Catholic Church

The Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, also known as the Malankara Syrian Catholic Church, is an Eastern Catholic, autonomous (in Latin, sui iuris), particular church, in full communion with the Holy See and the worldwide Catholic Church, with self-governance under the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. It is one of the major archiepiscopal Churches of the Catholic Church that are not distinguished with a patriarchal title. It is headed by Major Archbishop Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos of the Major Archdiocese of Trivandrum based in Kerala, India.

Syro-Malankara Catholic Church
TypeParticular church (sui iuris)
ClassificationEastern Catholic
OrientationEastern Christianity
ScripturePeshitta[1]
TheologyCatholic theology
PolityEpiscopal polity
PopeFrancis
Major Archbishop
-Catholicos
Baselios Cleemis
Parishes1096[citation needed]
LiturgyWest Syriac Rite
(Malankara Rite)
HeadquartersCathedral of Saint Mary, Pattom, Kerala, India
Foundera. Jesus according to Catholic sacred tradition
b. Apostle Thomas through apostolic succession, by tradition.
c. Geevarghese Ivanios (1930)
Origin1930, with tradition tracing its origin to the 1st century.
Branched fromSaint Thomas Christians
Members458,015[2]
MinistersBishops:25[3]
Priests: 1007[citation needed]
Nuns: 2500[citation needed]
Other name(s)Malankara Syrian Catholic Church, Syro-Malankara Rite Catholic Church
Official websiteOfficial site

The Malankara Syrian Catholic Church traces its origins to the missions of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century.[4][5][6][7] The Church employs the West Syriac Rite Divine Liturgy of Saint James. It is one of the two Eastern Catholic churches in India, the other being the Syro-Malabar Church which employs the East Syriac Rite liturgy.

The Malankara Syrian Catholic Church was formed on 20 September 1930 as a result of the reunion movement under the leadership of Archbishop Geevarghese Ivanios, when it split from the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and entered into communion with the Catholic Church. The Malankara Church itself had emerged from the split within the Saint Thomas Christian community of the 17th century; after the Coonan Cross Oath in 1653, the Malankara Church emerged as the faction that stood with Archdeacon Thoma I in swearing to resist the authority of the Latin Catholic Portuguese Padroado. This faction entered into a relationship with the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch and adopted the West Syriac Rite (the Saint Thomas Christians of India had until this point used the East Syriac Rite inherited from the historic Church of the East).[8][9] The Syro-Malankara Catholic Church represents the group from this Malankara faction that reunited with Rome in the 20th century (1930).

Mar Ivanios started to have negotiations with the Holy See of Rome in 1926 to enter into a new communion. The two bishops including Ivanios, a priest, a deacon and a layman were received into the Catholic Church together on 1930. This resulted in a significant movement of the faithful into the Malankara Catholic Church. Hindus, especially from Nair community,[10] also joined the Malankara Catholic Church.[11] By 1950 there were some 65,588 faithful, in 1960 112,478, and in 1970 183,490. There are now over 400,000 faithful in over 12 dioceses in India and across the world.[12]