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H.B. Cardinal George Alencherry, Major Archbishop emeritus of Ernakulam-Angamalhy for Syro-Malabars, was born on 19 April 1945 at Thuruthy, Changancherry, India.

He holds a BA in economics from St Berchman’s College and a MA from the Pontifical Institute of Theology and Philosophy.

He was ordained a priest on 18 December 1972. He served as vicar of the filial church at Periyarmugham and then as assistant vicar at the Cathedral Church of Changanacherry. He was also director of the Archdiocesan Faith Formation Department.

He served for three years as secretary of the Commission for Catechism of the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC). He was then sent to Paris and earned a doctorate in biblical theology from the Sorbonne University and specialized in catechetics at the Catholic Institute.

On his return to India he was appointed director of the inter-ritual Oriental Pastoral Centre, and deputy secretary of the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Conference (KCBC). He was also a professor at St Thomas Apostolic Seminary, Vadavathoor, where he continued to teach until 1997. From 1994 to 1996 he was protosyncellus of the Metropolitan of Changanacherry.

When Pope John Paul II established the new Diocese of Thuckalay on 11 November 1996, he was appointed the first Bishop. He received episcopal ordination on 2 February 1997.

Bishop George Alencherry served the Syro-Malabar Church as secretary of the Synod of Bishops, and as chairman of the Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Commission for Catechism, and of the Commission for the Laity of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI).

On 26 May 2011 Pope Benedict XVI granted him the requested ecclesial communionafter his canonical election on 24 May 2011 as Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamalhy for Syro-Malabars by the Syro-Malabar Synod.

President of the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church.

He participated in the III Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (October 2014) on The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization and in the XIV Ordinary General Assembly on The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World (October 2015).

He participated in the conclave of March 2013, which elected Pope Francis.

On 7 December 2023 the Holy Father Francis has accepted the resignation from the office of Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamalhy for Syro-Malabars presented by H.B. Cardinal George Alencherry.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of 18 February 2012, of the Title of San Bernardo alle Terme (St. Bernard at the Baths).

Member of:

  • Dicastery for the Oriental Churches.