The Nunciature to India and Nepal

A Brief History

The history of the Catholic Church in India is very extensive. It traces its origin in the preaching of the Apostle St. Thomas, who, according to tradition, came to India in 52 A.D., and was martyred in a place called Mylapore near the present town of Chennai (Madras), where his tomb is found.

From various records of travelers we know the existence of isolated Christian communities in India already in the year 345 (Travancore).

In the 9th century the patriarch of the Nestorians in Persia sent bishops toIndia. There is a record of an Indian bishop visiting Rome in the early part of the 12thcentury.

* * *

The Indian Church is a communion of three individual Churches: 

Latin, Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara.

Diocese Summary

SummaryLatinSyro-MalabarSyro-Malankara
Diocese : 145
Archdiocese : 32

Total : 177
Diocese : 112
Archdiocese : 24

Total : 136
Diocese : 26
Archdiocese : 6

Total : 32
Diocese : 7
Archdiocese : 2

Total : 9

Bishops' Summary

SummaryLatinSyro-MalabarSyro-Malankara
Cardinals : 4
Archbishops : 26
Bishops : 134
Aux.Bishop : 16
Co-Adjutors : 0
Curia Bishops : 1
Apostolic Visitator : 0
Apostolic Administrator : 3
Retired : 65
Diocesan Administrator : 3

Total : 252
Cardinals : 2
Archbishops : 21
Bishops : 103
Aux.Bishop : 7
Co-Adjutors : 0
Curia Bishops : 0
Apostolic Visitator : 0
Apostolic Administrator : 3
Retired : 42
Diocesan Administrator : 3

Total : 181
Cardinals : 1
Archbishops : 4
Bishops : 23
Aux.Bishop : 7
Co-Adjutors : 0
Curia Bishops : 0
Apostolic Visitator : 0
Apostolic Administrator : 0
Retired : 18
Diocesan Administrator : 0

Total : 53
Cardinals : 1
Archbishops : 1
Bishops : 8
Aux.Bishop : 2
Co-Adjutors : 0
Curia Bishops : 1
Apostolic Visitator : 0
Apostolic Administrator : 0
Retired : 1
Diocesan Administrator : 0

Total : 14

 

I.THE LATIN CHURCH

II. THE SYRO-MALABAR CHURCH 

III. THE SYRO-MALANKARA CHURCH

  

The Apostolic Delegation to the East Indies was established in 1881, and included Ceylon, and was extended to Malaca in 1889, and then to Burma in 1920, and eventually included Goa in 1923.

On 12 June 1948 this Delegation was raised, by Pope Pius XII, to the rank of an Internunciature, and eventually became a Nunciature on 22 August 1967, during the pontificate of Pope Paul VI.

Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) was detached in 1967, and Burma (now Myanmar) in 1973 (Malaca, as part of modern Malaysia, being detached in 1957).