The Synod of the Major Archiepiscopal Syro-Malabar Church, with the assent of the Holy Father Francis, has elected:
- Rev. Fr. Tony Neelankavil as auxiliary bishop of the archieparchy of Trichur, India, assigning him the titular see of Masuccaba;
- Rev. Fr. Joseph Pamplany as auxiliary bishop of the archieparchy of Tellicherry, India, assigning him the titular see of Numluli;
- Rev. Fr. Sebastian Vaniyapurackal as bishop of the Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Curia, assigning him the titular see of Troina.
H.E. Msgr. Tony Neelankavil, auxiliary bishop of the archieparchy of Trichur, India
Born in Valappad on 23 July 1967, he entered the major seminary of Trichur and completed his institutional studies at the St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary, Vadavathoor. He was ordained a priest on 27 December 1993.
After pastoral experience in two parishes as assistant vicar, he transferred to Belgium where he obtained a licentiate and doctorate in dogmatic theology from the Catholic University of Leuven. He knows Malayalam, English and German.
Since returning to India, he has held various roles in the Marymatha Major Seminary: professor for fourteen years, dean of studies, spiritual director, director of publications and currently rector. In addition, he has served as a member of theological commission and the presbyteral council of the archieparchy.
H.E. Msgr. Joseph Pamplany, auxiliary bishop of the archieparchy of Tellicherry, India
Born in Charal, Kerala, on 11 December 1969, he entered the minor seminary of Tellicherry and then completed his institutional studies at the St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Alwaye. After priestly ordination on 30 December 1997 he served in two different parishes. From 2001 to 2006 he studied at the Catholic University of Leuven, where he obtained a doctorate in biblical theology.
After returning to India he was appointed as director of the Apostolate of the Bible, taught in various seminaries and founded the Alpha Institute of Theology. He has also held the following offices: member of the council of consulters, secretary of the Doctrinal Commission of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India and of the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council, and member of the Doctrinal Commission of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences. Aside from Malayalam and English, he knows French and German.
H.E. Msgr. Sebastian Vaniyapurackal, bishop of the Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Curia
Born in Mulamkunnu on 29 March 1967, he studied in the minor seminary and subsequently the St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary, Vadavathoor, for the institutional course. He was ordained a priest on 30 December 1992, and has held various pastoral roles including parish priest in two parishes and director of the youth diocesan movement “Yuvadeepti”, before being sent to Rome for his higher studies. He obtained a doctorate in oriental canon law from the University of the Holy Cross, and has served first as judge of the Tribunal, and then as judicial vicar. Since 2014 he has held the role of vice-chancellor at the Major Archiepiscopal Curia. Aside from Malayalam and English, he also knows Italian.