Vatican creates Diocese of Sultanpet in India
Pope Francis has erected the Diocese of Sultanpet with territory taken from the Dioceses of Coimbatore and Calicut, making it a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Verapoly. The Pope has appointed Rev. Fr. Peter Abir Antonysamy of the Archdiocese of Pondicherry-Cuddalore as the first bishop of the new diocese. The new diocese will be the 31st Roman Catholic diocese in Kerala and it will be the 167th diocese in India.
Sulthanpet Diocese - Bishop Peter Abir Antonysamy
The ecclesiastical provision from Pope Francis announcing the formation of the Sulthanpet diocese was formally read out by Chancellor of Calicut Diocese Fr. A.D. Mathew in the presence of Bishop Varghese Chakkalakkal at a ceremony here on Saturday. Fr. Vincent Pulickal, procurator of the diocese, introduced the new bishop Peter Abir Antonysamy to the gathering.
Bishop Varghese Chakkalakkal
Bishop Chakkalakkal said the new bishopric would have 21 parishes and 30, 975 families, 21 educational institutions and 12 charity institutions will come under the patronage of the new diocese. The formation of the new diocese, a major portion of Palakkad district, comprising Shoranur, Ottappalam, Mannarkkad and Attappady, will be separated from the Calicut diocese. The new diocese will follow the Kerala hierarchy of the church and will directly come under the Verapoly Archdiocese. “The new diocese will offer spiritual services in three languages — Malayalam, Tamil, and English,” he said.
Bishop Peter Abir Antonysamy
Peter Abir Antonysamy who was born on April 07, 1952, at Sathipattu in Tamil Nadu, was ordained priest on May 01, 1979. The Bishop-designate has taught in several institutes and seminaries in the country and abroad. He has authored 31 books and several articles in Tamil and English on biblical themes.
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