Bangalore 31 October 2016: His Holiness Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of His Grace Most Rev. Francis Kallarakal (75) from the pastoral care of the Archdiocese of Verapoly, Kerala, India, according to Canon Law 401 § 1. This provision was made public in Rome on Monday, 31 October, 2016, at noon local time, corresponding to 16:30 hours, Indian Standard Time.
Archbishop Francis Kallarakal was born on 10 October 1941. He joined the St. Joseph’s Minor Seminary, Ernakulam in 1956. After completing pre-degree course from St. Albert’s College, he joined St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Carmelgiri, Aluva, for pursuing studies in Philosophy. He completed his Masters in Theology from Propaganda College, Rome and was ordained as priest on 29 June 1968. He holds a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Pontifical Urbaniana University, Rome and Post Graduation from Fairfiled University, USA. When he returned from abroad in 1970, he was appointed secretary to the then Archbishop Joseph Kelanthara of Verapoly.
From 1978 to 1986 he served as the Director of the Social Service Department of the Archdiocese. He was then appointed the administrator of St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore. In 1987, as the Diocese of Kottapuram was created through the bifurcation of the Archdiocese of Verapoly, he became the first bishop of Kottapuram by the Apostolic Letter “Romani et Pontificis” dated 3 July 1987.
Pope Benedict XVI appointed him the Archbishop of Verapoly on 20 February 2010. He called an Archdiocesan Synod in Verapoly and the Synod proposed major reforms in the Archdiocese giving the laity more participation in the Church. He is a priest for 48 years and a bishop for 29 years.