Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil, C.SS.R., Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly for Syro-Malabars (India), was born on 29 May 1927 in Parur, India. He was ordained for the Redemptorists on 12 June 1954 and holds a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome.
For 25 years he taught canon law at the Redemptorists' major seminary in Bangalore. He also served as Provincial for India and Sri Lanka (1978-84), President of the Conference of Religious, India (1984-85) and Apostolic Administrator of the Asirvanam Benedictine Monastery in Bangalore (1990-96).
On 11 November 1996 he was appointed titular Archbishop of Acrida (since 19 April 1997, ofAntinoe) and Apostolic Administrator of the vacant see of Ernakulam-Angamaly for Syro-Malabars, receiving episcopal ordination from the Holy Father on 6 January 1997.
On 18 December 1999 he was appointed Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly for Syro-Malabars.
He was President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI),February 2008 - February 2010.
He was also President of the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church.
He participated in the conclave of April 2005, which elected Pope Benedict XVI.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by St. John Paul II in the Consistory of 21 February 2001, of the Title of S. Bernardo alle Terme (St. Bernard at the Baths).
Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil, C.SS.R., died on 1 April 2011.