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History of the Syro - Malankara Catholic Church in Italy

The history of the Syro - Malankara Catholic Church is closely linked with Italy. The epoch-making reunion of Archbishop Mar Ivanios on September 20, 1930, marked not only the inception of an individual Church, but the healing of the broken communion between Rome and the Malankara Church. It should be emphasized strongly that the Successors of St. Peter remained ever open and welcoming to the faithful of the Malankara Church. 

All through the years, the Malankara presence in Italy was basically academic. In the course of time, numerous Clerics and Religious received intellectual training and formation from the various Universities in Rome. Reasonably, the co-ordination of the community was thus realized by means of internal arrangements. The annual liturgical celebration and the commemoration of feast days consolidated the emerging sense of community. 

To mark the conclusion of the celebrations of the Great Jubilee year a grand celebration was held at Santa Maria Basilica in Trastevere on November 21, 2000. All the Bishops from the Syro - Malankara Catholic Church together with the community celebrated Holy Qurbono. 

It is with the dawn of this century that the Religious Congregations of the Syro - Malankara Catholic Church inaugurated various houses in different parts of Italy. Moreover, from the onset there was also a significant number of migrant Malankara families. The attempts to assist them pastorally in Italy took a decisive step, with the nomination of His Grace Isaac Mar Cleemis as the Apostolic Visitator for North America and Europe. His successor, His Excellency Joseph Mar Thomas furthered this pioneering mission. The directives of the circular Prot. N. CPL 3/2008 of June 12, 2008, from His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholicos, regarding the pastoral care of the Malankarites outside the territorium proprium, provided a solid platform for future development. Thereby, Msgr. Johnson Kaimalayil was entrusted with the pastoral co-ordination of the Malankara Catholic Church in Italy.

On July 14, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI appointed His Excellency Thomas Mar Eusebius as the first Exarch of North America and as the new Apostolic Visitator of the Malankara Syrian Catholics in Europe and Canada.

It was a great joy for the community in Italy when His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholicos was created a Cardinal in the Consistory held on 24 November 2012, officiated by the Supreme Pontiff Pope Benedict XVI at St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome. The following day the entire Delegation and the Syro - Malankara Catholic community and its friends gathered at Sts. John and Paul Basilica (the Passionist Generalate, Rome) to celebrate the event. Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI addressed the Malankara Catholic Community on 26 October at Paul VI Audience Hall, the Vatican. 

On 5 August 2017, Pope Francis appointed Rt. Rev. Msgr. Dr. John Kochuthundil as the new Apostolic Visitator to Europe and Oceania, as the then Apostolic Visitator is transferred to the new Eparchy of Parassala. 

Rt. Rev. Msgr. Dr. John Kochuthundil was ordained a bishop with the name Yoohanon Mar Theodosius by His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos on 21 September 2017.