The Eparchy which is a jurisdiction similar to a Diocese will be governed by an Eparch. The Pope has appointed Fr. Joseph Srampickal, a priest of the Eparchy of Palai, at present Vice-Rector of Propaganda Fide College as the first Eparch.
The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is one of the 22 Eastern (Oriental) Catholic Churches in full communion with Rome. It is the second largest Eastern Catholic Church after the Ukrainian Church and the largest of the St Thomas Christian (Nazrani) denominations with 4.6 million believers.
There are currently five Syro-Malabar chaplains in Scotland serving communities in the dioceses of: St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dunkeld, Glasgow and Motherwell.
Commenting on the announcement, the President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia said;
“The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland welcomes the establishment by Pope Francis of an Eparchy for the Syro-Malabar Catholic communities of Great Britain including those in Scotland. We congratulate Fr. Joseph Srampickal, on his nomination as the first Eparch (Bishop) of this new ecclesiastical jurisdiction.”
Archbishop Tartaglia added;
“The Catholic Church in Scotland shares the joy of our Syro-Malabar communities which are notable for their religious devotion and for the seriousness with which they regard Catholic family life and the transmission of the faith to their young people and children.”