Kochi, Dec 7 (IANS): Supreme head of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church Cardinal George Alencherry on Thursday announced his resignation from the post.
Cardinal Alencherry, 78, had expressed his desire to step down to the Pope. In a letter dated November 29, applauding the services rendered by Alencherry since May 2011, the Pope accepted his resignation.
Cardinal Alencherry had completed 50 years as a priest and 25 years as a Bishop.
Incidentally the Syro-Malabar Church of late has been going through tough times with a section of the laity and priest strongly attacking Alencherry, over a land deal and the conduct of the Holy Mass.
In reply to a question on controversies surrounding his tenure, he said even in the past he had expressed his desire to step down, but was not allowed to do that then. “But my request has been accepted now,” he said. “Only time will tell what will happen in the future,” replied the Cardinal.
He added that he would move out from the house he is staying, but will still do his duties as a Cardinal.
Soon after he announced his resignation, those opposed to him was seen expressing their happiness.
A priest said, “Hope this stepping down will bring back the Church to its good old ways.”
The successor to Alencherry will now be decided at the Church Synod meeting likely to be held in January.