New Delhi, 26 March 2015: Pope Francis has erected a new Diocese in Gurgaon, Delhi and an Exarchate in Kirkee-Pune for the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church in India. Most Rev. Jacob Mar Bamabas is appointed the first Bishop of the Gurgaon Diocese and Most Rev. Thomas Mar Anthonios is appointed the first Bishop of the new Diocese of Kirkee-Pune. This announcement was made public at 4: 30 PM (lST) and the Decree was also read in the same time at and St. Mary’s Pro- Cathedral Church at Neb Sarai). Moran Mor Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos made the announcement at St. Mary’s Cathedral Church.
Bishop Jacob Mar Barnabas is the present Apostolic Visitor to the faithful who live outside of the territorial jurisdiction of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church. Bishop Thomas Mar Anthonios is the present Curia Bishop who coordinates the works of the central administrative centre (the Catholicate Center) of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church. With the establishment of the new Diocese and Exarchate, Pope Francis has granted the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, ecclesiastical authority lor the whole territory in lndia.
The new Gurgaon Diocese is spread over 22 States in the North-East region of India. The Kirkee-Pune Diocese is spread over six States except Kerala in the South. Now, the S1’ro-Malankara Catholic Church has two Exarchates, seven Dioceses, one Archdiocese, besides the Major Archdiocese of Trivandrum. There are sixteen institutions in the new Diocese-Gurgaon including two colleges, three higher secondary schools and two high schools.
After the 1930 reunion, under the leadership of Servant of God Mar Ivanios, the Church witnessed a great historical moment when St. John Paul II raised her to a Major Archiepiscopal Church. Pope Benedict XVI elevated Major Archbishop Baselios Cleemis Catholicos to a Cardinal of the Catholic Church in 2012.