Roman Catholic Diocese of Cochin
|Diocese of Cochin
|Area||235 km2 (91 sq mi)|
|(as of 2006)
|Established||4 February 1558|
|Cathedral||Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica in Fort Cochin|
|Metropolitan Archbishop||Francis Kallarakal|
|Emeritus Bishops||John Thattumkal Bishop Emeritus (2000-2009)|
|Website of the Diocese|
The territory of the diocese of Cochin covers 235 square kilometers in the state of Kerala. It is situated between the Arabian Sea in the west, the Archdiocese of Verapoly in the north and in the east, and the Diocese of Alleppey in the south.
The Diocese of Cochin, now diminutive in size due to successive bifurcations in the course of time, once used to be the Mother Diocese of many a bishopric in the Sub-continent. The erstwhile Mother Diocese extended in the west coast from Malabar, down south to Cape Comorin (the present Kanya Kumari and still further down, Ceylon ( now, Sri Lanka ) and stretched along the east coast all the way up, encompassing Nepal, Bangladesh and beyond Burma ( now, Myanmar ) and still further east to Hong Kong, Malacca and Macau.
|4 February 1557||Erected||Archdiocese of Goa||Diocese of Cochin was erected as a suffragan diocese (other being Diocese of Malacca) to the Archdiocese of Goa|
|1599||Territory Lost||Diocese of Cochin||Archdiocese of Angamalé (erected)(Later name changed to|
|9 January 1606||Territory Lost||Diocese of Cochin||Dioceses of Saint Thomas of Mylapore (Tamil Nadu)|
|1606||Territory Lost||Diocese of Cochin||as Mission “sui iuris” of Madura (Tamil Nadu)|
|1659||Territory Lost||Diocese of Cochin||Vicariate Apostolic of Malabar (erected) (Later name
changed to Vicariate Apostolic of Verapoly)
|03 Dec 1834||Territory Lost||Diocese of Cochin||Vicariate Apostolic of Ceylon (Sri Lanka)|
|19 June 1952||Territory Lost||Diocese of Cochin||Diocese of Alleppey (erected)|
A second expedition under Captain Alvarez Cabral, comprising 13 ships and 18 priests, anchored at Cochin on Nov. 26, 1500. Cabral soon won the goodwill of the Raja of Cochin. He allowed four priests to do apostolic work among the early Christian communities, St.Thomas Christians scattered in and around Cochin. Thus Portuguese missionaries established Portuguese Mission in 1500.
During the reign of Catholic emperor of Portugal John III, more Franciscan friars and priests reached Goa. Along with them a highly trained team of Jesuit missionaries led by Father Francis Xavier reached Cochin. Later, he requested the help of Jesuit General St. Ignatius and the emperor for more missionaries from Portugal. Francis Xavier visited Cochin several times and stayed more than 120 days. He used to offer mass at St. Antony's Church. This church is still at Cochin, known as Lenthapally (Dutch church). At present this church is under the department of the Archaeological Survey of India as an historical monument.
Jesuits, Dominicans, Augustinians and Carmelites followed them. At the arrival of the Portuguese, local converts in Cochin area joined the Roman Latin rite thus the Latin Community was formed.
A monastery of the Franciscans "Santo Antonino" was established in Cochin in 1518 and two others of the Jesuits in 1550 and 1561. In 1553 the Dominicans founded their college and monastery in Cochin.
The whole of the east was under the jurisdiction of the diocese of Lisbon. On June 12, 1514, Cochin and Goa became two prominent mission stations under the newly created Funchal diocese in Madeira. Pope Paul III by the Bull Quequem Reputamus raised Funchal as an archdiocese and Goa as its suffragon, deputing the whole of India under the diocese of Goa.
When the diocese of Goa was established in 1534, Cochin became part of the new diocese.
The diocese of Cochin was erected on Febr. 4, 1557 by Pope Paul IV in his Decree Pro Excellenti Praeeminentia. The Pope also declared the magnificent Portuguese Church of Santa Cruz as the Cathedral of the new diocese. At that time, Cochin was the second diocese in India and had the jurisdiction over the whole of South, East India, Burma and Ceylon.
The first bishop of Cochin was a Dominican priest Dom George Temudo (1557-1567).
In 1663 the Dutch conquered Cochin and destroyed all the catholic churches and institutions except the Cathedral and the church of St. Francis Assisi. During the British conquest of Cochin, the cathedral was destroyed.
The diocese of Cochin stood witness to many important historical events including the Synod of Diamper which was held on June 10 1599, conducted by the Archbishop, Alexis De Menezes of Goa.
Since 1646, the administration of the diocese was difficult. It was often affected by the conquests of Cochin by the Dutch. Bishops who were consecrated as the bishops of the diocese could not reach here. As a result fractions, rebellions and schisms erupted in the diocese. In order to bring the dissidents back to the mother church, Holy See sent Carmelite Missionaries. Thus was established the Vicariate of Malabar in 1657. In 1709 it was changed into the Vicariate of Verapoly. In 1838 the diocese of Cochin was annexed to the Vicariate of Verapoly. From 1838 and 1886, the diocese of Cochin was governed by the Vicar Apostolic of Verapoly.
On June 23, 1886, Pope Leo XIII promulgated the famous Concordat called Humane Salutis Auctor by which the Diocese of Cochin was restored to its original condition and placed again as a suffragan under the Diocese of Goa. Simultaneously, the Vicariate of Verapoly was raised to archdiocese and the Diocese of Quilon was erected as its suffragan.
After the reorganization in 1886, five Portuguese bishops ruled the diocese. In 1950 the diocese was handed over to the native clergy. Dr. Alexander Edezhath (1951-1975) was the first Indian bishop. He was succeeded by Bishop Joseph Kureethara (1975-1999). After his demise, in 2000 Bishop John Thattumkal was appointed as the bishop of the diocese and he was suspended from his responsibilities over a scandal. Bishop Joseph Kariyil was appointed as the new bishop of Cochin on May 8, 2009 and was installed as the bishop of Cochin on July 5, 2009
- Bishops of Cochin (Latin Rite)
- Bishop Joseph Kariyil (May 8, 2009 – present)
- Bishop John Thattumkal, S.S.C. (May 10, 2000 – May 8, 2009)
- Bishop Joseph Kureethara (August 29, 1975 – January 6, 1999)
- Bishop Alexander Edezath (June 19, 1952 – August 29, 1975)
- Bishop José Vieira Alvernaz (later Patriarch) (August 13, 1941 – December 23, 1950)
- Bishop Abílio Augusto Vaz das Neves (December 4, 1933 – December 8, 1938)
- Bishop José Bento Martins Ribeiro (February 28, 1909 – May 21, 1931)
- Bishop Matheus de Oliveira Xavier (later Patriarch) (October 11, 1897 – February 20, 1909)
- Bishop João Gomes Ferreira (1887 – May 4, 1897)
- Bishop Tomas Manoel de Noronha e Brito, O.P. (December 17, 1819 – June 23, 1828)
Of the thirty onechurches, five district churches namely, Santa Cruz Basilica, St. Joseph's Kumbalam, St. Antony's Kannamaly, Santa Cruz Perumbadappu, St. Mary' Thankey serve as Forane Churches.
- 1st District
- Santa Cruz Basilica, (Estd.1505) - Santa Cruz Cathedral, I 317, Cochin, 682001
- Church of Our Lady of Hope, (Estd. 1605)
- Our Lady of Life Church, (Estd. ------)
- St. Peter & Paul, (Estd. 1857)
- Holy Family Church, (Estd. 1901)
- St. Joseph's Bethlehem Church, (Estd. 1974)
- Stella Maris Church, (Estd. 1955)
- 2nd District
- St. Antony's Church, ( Estd. 1873)
- St. Thomas The Apostle Church, ( Estd. 1990)
- St. Louis Church, (Estd.-------)
- St. Francis Assisi Church, ( Estd. 1980)
- St. Joseph'S Church, ( Estd. 1968)
- St. Sebastian'S Church, ( Estd. 1832)
- 3rd District
- St. Lawrence Church, (Estd.-------)
- St. Sebastian's Church, (Estd. 1833)
- St. Joseph's Church, ( Estd. 1965)
- St. Lawrence Church, (Estd. 1986)
- St. Thomas More Church, ( Estd. 1991)
- Santa Cruz Church, ( Estd. 1965)
- St. Mary's Church, (Estd. 1978)
- 4th District
- Sacred Heart Church, (Estd. 1994)
- St. Joseph's Church, ( Estd. 1967)
- St. George's Church, (Estd. 1869)
- St. Peter's Church, (Estd. 1875)
- Martin D' Pores Church, (Estd. 1996)
- Immaculate Conception Church, (Estd. 1977)
- St. Sebastian's Church, (Estd. 1977)
- 5th District
- St. Augustine's Church, (Estd. 1901)
- St. Joseph's Church, (Estd. 1977)
- St. Antony's Church, (estd. 1978)
- St. Francis Xavier's Church, (Estd. 1843)
- St. Joseph's Church, ( Estd. 1986)
- Our Lady of Fatima Church,
- Our Lady of Ransom Church, (Estd. 2004)
- 6th District
- Our Lady of Purification Church, (Estd. 1583)
- St. George's Church, (Estd. 1866)
- St. Francis Xavier's Church, ( Estd. 1936)
- Our Lady of Assumption Church, (Estd. 1860)
- Christianity in India
- Roman Catholicism in India
- List of Roman Catholic dioceses in India
- List of Roman Catholic dioceses (structured_view)-Episcopal Conference of India
- www.catholic-hierarchy.org | Statistics - Diocese of Cochin
- Archdiocese of Goa - suffragan sees of Cochin and Malacca
- www.gcatholic.org | Diocese of Cochin
- www.catholic-hierarchy.org | Diocese of Cochin
- Official Diocese of Cochin website
- Diocesan directory | www.ucanews.com
- www.dioceseofcochin.org | List of Parishes - 1st District
- www.dioceseofcochin.org | List of Parishes - 2nd District
- www.dioceseofcochin.org | List of Parishes - 3rd District
- www.dioceseofcochin.org | List of Parishes - 4th District
- www.dioceseofcochin.org | List of Parishes - 5th District
- www.dioceseofcochin.org | List of Parishes - 6th District