About the SyroMalabar Catholic Church
From the Code of Canon (Church) Law of the Eastern Churches:
“A rite is the liturgical, theological, spiritual and disciplinary patrimony, culture and circumstances of history of a distinct people, by which its own manner of living the faith is manifested in each self-governing Church”
One of the twenty-two Eastern Catholic Churches in communion with the Bishop of Rome (His Holiness Pope Mar Francis), the SyroMalabar Church is the second largest Eastern Catholic Church in the world, with 4.2 million faithful – majority of whom are in India, the Persian Gulf, Europe, the Oceania and North America. SyroMalabar Catholics are members of the Universal Catholic Church led by Bishop of the Rome, the Pope. While in full and total accordance with all Catholic teaching, the SyroMalabar Church holds her own unique history and particular expression of the Catholic faith. Popularly described as: “Catholic by faith, Indian by culture and Eastern by liturgy;” the SyroMalabar Church finds her roots in the legacy of the St. Thomas the Apostle when he visited the Malabar Coast of India back in 52 A.D. The source and summit of the SyroMalabar Catholic faith is the Holy Qurbana: our divine liturgy.
From the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Eastern Churches, Orientalium Ecclesiarum:
“The Holy Catholic Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ, is made up of the faithful who are organically united in the Holy Spirit by the same faith, the same sacraments and the same government and who, combining together into various groups which are held together by a hierarchy, form separate Churches or Rites. Between these there exists an admirable bond of union, such that the variety within the Church in no way harms its unity; rather it manifests it, for it is the mind of the Catholic Church that each individual Church or Rite should retain its traditions whole and entire and likewise that it should adapt its way of life to the different needs of time and place.
These individual Churches, whether of the East or the West, although they differ somewhat among themselves in practice, that is, in liturgy, ecclesiastical discipline, and spiritual heritage, are, nevertheless, each as much as the others, entrusted to the pastoral government of the Roman Pontiff, the divinely appointed successor of St. Peter in primacy over the universal Church. They are consequently of equal dignity, so that none of them is superior to the others as regards rite and they enjoy the same rights and are under the same obligations, also in respect of preaching the Gospel to the whole world (cf. Mark 16, 15) under the guidance of the Roman Pontiff.”