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Consensus Man.

India, June 12 -- A consensus man, an ordinary among Ordinaries, a down-to-earth

person concerned with the yearnings and aspirations of the common man,

especially the last, the least and the lost! Those were the comforting thoughts the

first sight of Bishop George Alanchery trigered to flood my mind. You see what

you expect and eagerly look forward to see. So I need not be proved correct as the

expectations of many in this election were proved wrong. Only time will tell whether

the Syro-Malabar Synod succeeded to make the right choice at its first attempt. That

I leave to the inscrutable workings of divine desings to decide. But the fact was that

there was a great sigh of relief from all sections of the Syro Malabar Church and even

from all secular quarters as the media brought out his compelling credentials for the

post.

It is worth taking a look at Bishop Alanchery's credentials. According to

reports, he visited every one of the 8000 families with 30,000 faithful of his newly

established mission diocese of Thuckalay, a God-forsaken cluster of underdeveloped

villages in Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu. It was started as a Syro-Malabar

mission in 1961 which became a diocese in 1996. On hearing that, some asked:

Where will you find a bishop who is eager to walk into your home uninvited as a

matter of duty of a sheperd going after every one of his flock? Isn't it rare to find

even Parish Priests who deem it as one of their prime duties to visit every family

in the parish? To make those visits homely and productive, Bishop George not only

picked up but excelled himself in Tamil to feel one with a new cultural community

into which he was inserting himself following the incarnational principle of his

master Jesus.

Of course besides Tamil he is also proficient in Malayalam, being from

Changanaserry, in English and also in French, having studied in Surbone university,

Paris for five years to take a doctorate in Biblical Theology in 1986. Before that he

had graduated in economics from the Kerala University with second rank in l965 and

acquied Masters in Theology with first rank from the Pontifical Theological Institute,

Alwaye. It was after all these he was consecrated by Archbishop Powathil as the first

bishop of Thuckalay on February 2, 1997. Now in God's own time he is raised as the

Major Archbishop of Ernakulam and Ankamaly to sheperd a flock of 4 million Syro-

Malabar Christians spread all over the world. Isn't it proof enough that he is a man

of letters (he had also found time to write a book: Morality Today and Tomorrow),

wisdom, spiritual insight, practical know-how and universal outlook to promote unity

in diversity?

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Publication:Indian Currents
Date:Jun 12, 2011
Words:491
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