Introduction To Catholic

Church in India

The Origin of catholic Church in India traces to St.Thomas the Apostle,who according to tradition,came to India in 52 A.D.The Catholic Hierarchy of India was established through the promulgation of the Bull "Humanae Salutis " by Pope Leo XIII on October 1,1886. As a result of this Papal Decree, six units were created as Archdioceses ( Agra, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Pondicheryand , Verapoly ) 10 units were created as Dioceses (Allahabad, Cochin, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Krishnanagar, Mysore, Pune,Quilon, Tiruchirapally,and Vizakapatanam),and Patna continued to function as a Vicariate. Thus when the Hierarchy was constituted in 1886 there were 17 ecclesiastical units under Propaganda and two units - the Archdiocese of Goa and the diocese of Mylapore- under Padroado.

The very next year , in 1887 , Pope Leo XIII created for the Syro- Malabar faithful the first Vicariates of Kottayam and Trichur , but the Vicars Apostolic appointed for them were of the Latin Rite.It was only in 1896,when the two Vicariates were reorganized into the three Vicariates of Changanachery ,Ernakulam and Trichur, that the Syro-Malbar church received Vicars Apostolic of its own rite. In 1911 the Vicariate of Kottayam was recreated, this time exclusively for the Suddists of the Syro_Malabar' rite, descendants of the colony of emigrants from Edema, Syria, in 345 AD under Tomes of Ana.

On December 21, 1923 Pope Pius XI established the Syro-Malabar Hierarchy in India with Ernakulam as the Metropolitan See and Changanacherry and Trichur as its suffrages; Kottayam was also raised to the status of a diocese. On June 11, 1932 as a result of the reunion Movement inaugurated by Mar Ivanios, the Syro-Malankara Hierarchy was established by Pope Pius XI, comprising the Archdiocese of Trivandum and the suffragandiocese of Tiruvalla. [ Catholic India, published by the CBCI on the occasion of the Indo-German Bishops colloquium, Tiruchirapalli, 1982)