Archbishop Andrews Thazhath is the new president of Indian bishops
by Nirmala Carvalho

Elected by the assembly of the Bishops’ Conference (CBCI) currently underway in Bengaluru, Syro-Malabar Archbishop of Thrissur replaces Card Oswald Gracias in alternation among different rites. Card Alencherry had announced that he was not available for reasons of age.

Bengaluru (AsiaNews) – The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), the ecclesial body that unites the dioceses of all three rites present in India, elected its new president today in Bengaluru.

The choice fell on Archbishop Andrews Thazhath, who has led the Syro-Malabar Church in Thrissur since 2007 and was recently appointed by Pope Francis as apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly, scene of a heated dispute over the "unified" liturgy.

Thazhath, 71, is an expert in the Oriental Code of Canon law. Already a CBCI vice president, he replaces Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, who was elected for the second time in 2018 after a first term between 2010 and 2014.

It is customary that the different rites present in Indian Catholicism alternate in leading the Bishops’ Conference.

Before the election, the major archbishop of the Syro-Malabars, Card George Alencherry, had announced that he was not available for the post for reasons of age.

The assembly currently underway in Bengaluru also elected the other members of the main CBCI offices.

Archbishop George Antonysamy of Madras-Mylapore becomes the first vice president. Mar Joseph Thomas, bishop of the Eparchy of Batheri, will be the other vice president for the next four years. Bishop Felix Machado of Vasai will hold again the position of secretary.