New Delhi (Fides Service) – Catholics of Oriental Rite in the Latin-rite archdiocese of Delhi will now have their own parish communities. Archbishop Vincent Michael Concessao issued a Decree of Creation of Personal parishes for the Orientals on May 14, that set apart six personal parishes for Syro-Malabar Catholics and three for Syro-Malankara Catholics, in keeping with the Latin Code of Canon Law, which provides for personal parishes with membership based on language, nationality or rite, while a regular parish embraces all Catholics in its territory.
The Catholic Church in India has faithful who follow three Rites: Latin, Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara. The Latins use the Roman Rite introduced by missionaries in the 15th century; the members of the other traditions, living mainly in the southern state of Kerala, follow Syrian tradition which descends from the preaching of Saint Thomas the Apostle in the first century.
Delhi archdiocese, created in 1959, has 47 parishes and about 100,000 Catholics in all. The setting apart of personal parishes for Oriental Catholics would appear to be a fruit of the recent ad limina visits to Rome made by various groups of Indian Bishops of all three Rites. PA (Fides Service 9/6/2003 EM lines 16 Words: 211)