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Pope encourages bishops of Syro-Malankar Catholic Church

March 25, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI met on March 25 with the bishops of India's Syro-Malankar Catholic Church, who were making their ad limina visits to Rome.

The Holy Father encouraged the Indian prelates to pursue their apostolic mission, "lived in union with the Church universal." He recognized the challenges that the Syro-Malankar Church faces, and particularly the difficulty of maintaining an effective Christian presence in a predominantly Hindu society. But he reminded the visiting bishops that "small Christian communities have often, as you know, given outstanding witness."

The Syro-Malankar Catholic Church, which traces its roots to the evangelical mission of St. Thomas the Apostle to India, broke with the Syrian Orthodox Malankara Church in the 20th century to restore full communion with the Holy See. The Syro-Malankar Church, with over 500,000 faithful, is headed by Major Archbishop Baselios Thottunkal of Trivandrum.


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