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New Bishops for India, Canada, USA


Several new bishops have been announced for local churches in India, Canada, and the United States.

The Synod of Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Church, meeting at Mount St. Thomas near Kerala, India, with the prior assent of the Holy Father, has canonically elected Fr. George Madathikandathil as bishop of Kothamangalam of the Syro-Malabars (area 1,840, population 787,100, Catholics 230,760, priests 282, religious 2,494), India. The bishop-elect was born in Purapuzha, India in 1956 and ordained to the priesthood in 1980. He taught Canon Law at the St. Thomas Pontifical Seminary of Vadavathor, where he also served as vice-rector and then rector. He is currently pastor of St. Mary's Church in Arakuzha. He succeeds Bishop George Punnakottil, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same eparchy the synod accepted, in accordance with canon 210 para. 1 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

Also on Thursday it was announced that the Holy Father has appointed Fr. Marwan Tabet, M.L., as bishop of the eparchy of Saint-Maron de Montreal of the Maronites (Catholics 85,000, priests 20, religious 15), Canada. The bishop-elect was born in Bhamdoun, Lebanon in 1961, entered the Congregation of the Lebanese Maronite Missionaries in 1980, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1986. He succeeds Bishop Joseph Khoury, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same eparchy the Holy Father accepted in accordance with canon 210 para. 1 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

Finally, Pope Benedict has appointed Bishop Oscar Cantu as bishop of the diocese of Las Cruces (area 115,166, population 532,000, Catholics 140,200, priests 81, permanent deacons 38, religious 82), USA. Bishop Cantu, previously titular of Dardano and auxiliary of San Antonio, was ordained to the priesthood in 1994 and received episcopal ordination in 2008. In the national bishops' conference he currently serves on the committees on Catholic Education, International Justice and Peace, and Protection of Children and Young People, as well as the Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs. He succeeds Bishop Ricardo Ramirez C.S.B., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.