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Syro-Malabar bishop ordained in Melbourne

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Bishop John Panamthottathil CMI at his ordination as the second shepherd of the Syro-Malabar Eparchy of St Thomas the Apostle in Melbourne. Photo: Syro-Malabar Eparchy Media
Bishop John Panamthottathil CMI at his ordination as the second shepherd of the Syro-Malabar Eparchy of St Thomas the Apostle in Melbourne. Photo: Syro-Malabar Eparchy Media

Hundreds of people gathered on Wednesday evening to celebrate the ordination of Bishop John Panamthottathil CMI as the second shepherd of the Syro-Malabar Eparchy of St Thomas the Apostle in Melbourne.

Bishops from India, Europe and the United States, as well as 20 members of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, were among those who attended the ordination and installation ceremony.

Cardinal George Alencherry, the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church, served as Bishop Panamthottathil’s principal consecrator. Bishop Bosco Puthur, the first Syro-Malabar Bishop in Australia, and Bishop Remigius Inchananiyil of Thamarasserry, India, were the co-consecrators.

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“The Eparchy of Melbourne is getting today a new pastor in the person of Msgr John Panamthottathil,” Cardinal Alencherry said, noting that the new bishop’s May 31 birthday coincided with his “birth as a bishop”.

Cardinal Alencherry said the role of a bishop is “to create unity and peace in the Christian community by preaching the Word of God” and by teaching.

“At the present time of the Church,” he said, a bishop has to function “keeping in mind the principle of synodality for communion, participation and mission.

“May the Lord grant Msgr John Panamthottathil all the graces needed to exercise this important office in the Church.”

Cardinal Alencherry thanked the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference for advocating for the establishment of the Syro-Malabar Eparchy almost a decade ago, and for their ongoing assistance.

Bishop Panamthottathil‘s eparchy covers Australia, NZ and the countries of Oceania.

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