His Holiness Pope Francis, We, the Knanaya Catholic Congress of North America (KCCNA) and all Knanaya Catholic faithful all around the world, respectfully and humbly submit this petition, earnestly requesting Your Holiness to extend the Jurisdiction of the Archeparchy of Kottayam which is currently limited to the canonical territory of Syro-Malabar Rite; to all twelve Syro-Malabar Rite Eparchies established Outside the Canonical Territory under Holy See, and all Syro-Malankara Rite Eparchies; due to various reasons including our unique and distinct ethnicity and religious practices of more than seventeen (17) centuries. We are an ethnic Jewish-Christian community currently comprised of nearly 300,000 devotees migrated from Southern Mesopotamia and settled in southern state of Kerala, India in the year AD 345 to spread the teachings of Jesus. Since AD 1911, we are under the Archeparchy of Kottayam which is limited to the canonical territory of Syro-Malabar Rites that includes the state of Kerala and some districts of the neighboring states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in India. Due to various reasons, lot of our faithful recently had to migrate and settle in other parts of the world including North America, Europe, Middle East, and Australia that are under the Jurisdiction of twelve SyroMalabar Rite Eparchies established Outside the Canonical Territory under Holy See; and all SyroMalankara Rite Eparchies. To fulfill our cultural and religious needs and unique ethnicity of more than seventeen (17) centuries, we humbly request to extend the Jurisdiction of Archeparchy of Kottayam to the following twelve Eparchies: Chicago St. Thomas Diocese, Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle of Melbourne, Aliabad, Bijnor, Chanda, Faridabad, Gorakhpur, Jagdalpur, Kalyan, Rajkot, Sagar, Satna, Ujjain; and all Syro-Malankara Rite Eparchies: “Exarchate of the United States, New York” and “Apostolic Visitor to North India, New Delhi” to fulfill our religious needs that we deserve. Also we humbly request to do the same extension for any new one going to be added to Syro-Malabar Rite and Syro-Malankara Rite Eparchies in the future. Following are the special circumstances that force us for such a request to extend our Archeparchy of Kottayam: 1. We are an ethnic community comprised of 2 distinct rites: Syro-Malabar and SyroMalankara, the only dual rite dioceses under the Holy See with same ethnic identity of more than seventeen (17) centuries. To protect and preserve it, we request to extent our jurisdiction. 2. If this request is denied, it would contradict the spirit of second Vatican council. 3. The Archeparchy of Kottayam was approved and nurtured by 2 saints and one servant of God to protect our ethnicity and strong Catholic belief.
4. While the other Christian denominations of Knanaya community, who got separated from us, enjoy all benefits of their own separate Knanaya Eparchy and Bishops in all major continents including North America and Europe, under Patriarch of Antioch; we afraid it upset and frustrate our younger generation. Without it, our ability to continue practice our unique and age old customs and traditions while staying true to the Catholic faith is getting hindered. It started affecting our younger generationâ€™s faith in the Catholic Church and have started to seek out other Christian denominations, which is very disturbing to the Knanaya Catholic faithful. (We have over 6000 Knanaya Catholic families spread over North America itself.) Extending the Jurisdiction of Archeparchy of Kottayam not only will allow for smoother administration of our individual Knanaya parishes by bringing peace and harmony to our community in North America and all over the world but also will foster the spiritual growth and needs of our ever growing young generation. We have helped to establish 11 Knanaya Catholic parishes and 9 missions in North America. It is also vital to note that prior to the establishment of St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Eparchy in North America, Catholic Bishops in the United States have allowed missions exclusively for Knanaya Catholic people that were true to our identity and we are enclosing examples of such approvals. Regrettably, if corrective actions are not taken, the Knanaya way of life is destined to end needlessly and without nobility that contradict the spirit of second Vatican council. We appreciate your careful reflection on this most vital issue that is paramount to the core beliefs and practices of our people, missions and parishes. With utmost respect, love and prayers, we humbly request Your Holiness to grand permission to practice our faith, customs and traditions all over the world without any difference than that in the Archeparchy of Kottayam by extending it. Your faithful in Christ, For KCCNA Executive Committee Tomy Myalkkarappuram, President, KCCNA