Vatican City (Fides Service) - The Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, on 12 March 2005 accepted the renunciation of the pastoral government of the diocese of Punalur (India) presented by Bishop Mathias Kappil in conformity with the Code of Canon Law, can. 401 § 1. The Holy Father also appointed Bishop of Punalur (India) Rev. Mgr. Joseph Kariyil, Vicar General of the diocese of Cochin (India).
Rev. Mgr Joseph Kariyil was born at Arthunkal (Arthiunkal) diocese of Cochin, 11 January 1949. He studied in India and then in Rome at the Alfonsianum College obtaining a degree in Moral Theology. He was ordained a priest on 19 December 1973. He has been: assistant priest, parish priest, director of the Pastoral Orientation Centre, Vice-Secretary of Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council, Professor, Vicar General of Cochin.
The diocese of Punalur, created in 1985, is a suffragan of Trivandrum of the Latins. It is situated in the state of Kerala. It has an area of 5,052 sq km a population of 2,482,100 including 46,708 Catholics gathered in 10 parishes, assisted by 50 priests (38 diocesan and 12 religious), 5 Brothers, 232 Sisters, and there are 17 major seminarians. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 14/3/2005; Righe 14; Parole 176)