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Other Pontifical Acts, 28.07.2016

The Holy Father:

- erected the eparchy of Great Britain of the Syro-Malabars with its see in Preston.

- appointed Fr. Joseph (Benny Matthew) Srampickal as the first bishop of the new eparchy. The bishop-elect was born in Poovarany, India in 1967 and was ordained a priest in 2000. He holds a licentiate in biblical theology from the Pontifical Urbanian University in Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles including professor at the minor seminary an at the Mar Ephrem Formation Centre of Palai; director of the Mar Sleeva Nursing College, Cherpumkal; director of the evangelisation programme, secretary to the bishop, and parish priest. He is currently vice-rector of the Pontifical Urban College “De Propaganda Fide”, Rome.

- appointed Msgr. Stephen Chirappanath as apostolic visitor for Syro-Malabar faithful resident in Europe, at the same time raising him to the dignity of bishop. The bishop-elect was born in Puthenchira, India in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1987. He holds a doctorate in moral theology from the Alphonsianum Academy in Rome, and has served in a number of offices including parish priest, judge at the tribunal, director of centres for drug rehabilitation, rector of St. Paul’s Minor Seminary, Irinjalakuda, and professor and subsequently vice-rector of the St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary in Vadavathoor. He is currently procurator to the major archbishop in Rome and coordinator for Syro-Malabar faithful in Italy.