Bangalore 18 October 2016: His Holiness Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of His Excellency Most Rev. Joseph Kaithathara (77) from the pastoral care of the Diocese of Gwalior, according to Canon Law 401 § 1. This provision was made public in Rome on Tuesday, 18th October, 2016, at noon local time, corresponding to 15:30 hours, Indian Standard Time.
Bishop Joseph Kaithathara was born on 22 June 1939 to late Mrs. Velama (Philomina) and Mr. John Kaithathara in Gothuruthy, Kottapuram diocese, Kerala. He is the eldest of three sons born to the John couple. He completed his school education from the parish school, St Sebastian’s school, Gothuruthy, in April 1955. In June 1955, he joined St. Joseph’s Seminary, Ernakulam. After two years of studies in Ernakulam, he went to Rome and on 15 October 1957, he started the studies of Philosophy and Theology in Pontifical Urbanian University, Rome. He was ordained priest in Rome on 21 December 1963. Later, he obtained a Doctorate in Canon Law from the same college. He left Rome in September 1972 to work in Weichs, Southern Germany till June 1973.
He came back to Jhansi on 4 July 1973 and Bishop Baptist Mudartha sent him to be on the staff of St. Joseph’s Seminary, Allahabad, as a professor of Canon Law and continued there till May 1987. He was simultaneously appointed, Prefect of students, Dean of Studies and Minister of the House. In July 1987 Bishop Frederick D’Souza called him back to the diocese and entrusted him the pastoral ministry of St. Anthony’s Cathedral, Jhansi. From July 1991 up to May 1996 he was the Rector of St. Joseph Seminary, Allahabad. In September 1996 was appointed Parish Priest of St. John the Baptist Church Lashkar, Gwalior. On 9 Feb. 1999 the Diocese of Gwalior was erected and he was appointed its first Bishop on the same day. He was ordained as Bishop on 1 May 1999.