Varkey Vithayathil

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
His Eminence

Mar Varkey Vithayathil, C.Ss.R.
Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Cardinal-Priest of S. Bernardo alle Terme
Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil.jpg
Diocese Ernakulam-Angamaly
See Ernakulam-Angamaly
Predecessor Mar Antony Padiyara
Successor George Alencherry
Other posts Apostolic Administrator of the Benedictine Monastery in Bangalore (1990–1996)
Orders
Ordination 12 June 1954
Consecration 17 January 1997
Created Cardinal 21 January 2001
by Pope John Paul II
Rank Cardinal-Priest of S. Bernardo alle Terme
Personal details
Born (1927-05-29)29 May 1927
North Parur, Travancore
Died 1 April 2011(2011-04-01) (aged 83)
Ernakulam, Kerala, India
Nationality India
Denomination Syro-Malabar Catholic Church
Parents Justice Mr. Joseph Vithayathil
Mrs. Thresiamma Manadan

Mar Varkey Vithayathil, C.Ss.R.[1] (29 May 1927 – 1 April 2011) was an Indian cardinal, serving as Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly and head of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church. He was also a religious priest of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.

Early life and ordination[edit]

Born to Justice Joseph Vithayathil (a member of the Travancore Legislative Assembly, a Judge of the High Court of Travancore-Cochin, a Chevalier,[2] and a President of the All Kerala Catholic Congress) and Thresiamma Manadan in North Parur, Travancore, he became a member of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists), a religious order founded by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri in 1732. He was ordained as a priest on 12 June 1954. He wrote for a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome on The Origin and Progress of the Syro-Malabar Hierarchy. He taught for 25 years at the Redemptorist seminary in Bangalore. In 1972 he took his Master's Degree in Philosophy from Karnataka University. He also taught different subjects in several other seminaries in Bangalore.

Provincial Superior[edit]

From 1978 to 1984 he was the Provincial Superior of the Redemptorist Provinces of India and Sri Lanka.[3] Then, from 1984 to 1985 he was President of the India Conference of Religious. In 1990, he was appointed as the Apostolic Administrator of the Asirvanam Benedictine Monastery in Bangalore by Pope John Paul II.

Major Archbishop and head of the Syro Malabar Church[edit]

He was appointed Apostolic Administrator of Ernakulam-Angamaly on 18 December 1996 and was consecrated Bishop on 6 January 1997. Pope John Paul II appointed him as the Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly and Head of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, on 23 December 1999. In February 2008 he was elected President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India[4] and held the presidency from 19 February 2008 to 3 March 2010.

Cardinal[edit]

Pope John Paul II nominated Mar Varkey Vithayathil a member of the Sacred College of Cardinals on 21 January 2001, and raised him to that dignity at the Consistory of 21 February 2001 becoming Cardinal-Priest of S. Bernardo alle Terme. He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI.

Sacerdotal golden jubilee[edit]

The sacerdotal golden jubilee of the Mar Varkey Vithayathil was celebrated under the auspices of the Syro-Malabar church on 8 November 2003. The jubilee was inaugurated on 12 June 2003 and was concluded on 12 June 2004.

Arms of Cardinal Vithayathil
Mar Varkey Vithayathil former Major Arch Bishop.

Opinions[edit]

Fifth Marian dogma[edit]

Mar Varkey Vithayathil supported proposals to solemnly proclaim a fifth Marian dogma on the co-redemption and mediation of graces, saying it would be beneficial to the Church and that it would have positive ecumenical effects.[5]

Death[edit]

On 1 April 2011, Mar Varkey Vithayathil died suddenly from a massive heart attack. He had suffered from prolonged heart problems for some time and died about 2:00 pm of sudden and irreversible cardiac arrest from the heart attack at Lisie Hospital in Ernakulam, where he had been hurriedly taken after fainting while celebrating Mass at noon at his chapel in the Major Archbishop's house, in Ernakulam.[6] The funeral was held on 10 April 2011 at St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica, Ernakulam.[7][8]

Works[edit]

  • The Origin and Progress of the Syro-Malabar Hierarchy, Thesis, Angelicum, 1959. Published: Oriental Institute of Religious Studies, India, 1980.
  • Straight From the Heart, autobiography and opinions in the form of an extended interview.

Further reading[edit]

Notes[edit]


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Antony Padiyara
Major Archbishop of Ernakulam
1996–2011
Succeeded by
George Alencherry