Survey Promo
RVA App Promo Image

Syro-Malabar Melbourne diocese gets a new bishop

John Pananthottathil CMI Bishop-elect of St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese of Melbourne with Cardinal George Alencherry (middle) and outgoing Bishop Bosco Puthur (left)

Pope Francis has appointed Father John Panamthottathil of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI) congregation as the new bishop of St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese of Melbourne, Australia.

The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the eparchy of Saint Thomas the Apostle of Melbourne, Australia, presented by Bishop Bosco Puthur, who completed 75 years of age.

The announcement was made by Cardinal George Alencherry at the end of the first session of the 31st Synod of the Syro-Malabar Bishops held at the headquarters of the Syro-Malabar Church in Kochi from January 6-14.  

The news was announced in the Vatican simultaneously.

Major Archbishop Cardinal George Alencherry and the outgoing bishop of Melbourne Bosco Puthur congratulated the bishop-elect.

John Panamthottathil CMI Bishop-elect of St. Thomas Syro-Malabar diocese of Melbourne, Australia

Msgr. John Panamthottathil, C.M.I., was born on 31 May 1966 in Peravoor in the archdiocese of Tellicherry, India, and following his secondary studies he entered the province of Saint Thomas in Kozhikode, Kerala, of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate Syro-Malabar Institute of Pontifical Right, where he gave his solemn profession in 1994. He was ordained a priest on 26 December 1997.

He studied philosophy and theology at the Dharamaram College, and was subsequently awarded a Master of Arts in English literature from the Devagiri College, Kozhikode, and a Master of Education from Saint Joseph’s College, Mannananm.

He served as parish priest at Koodaranji in the eparchy of Thamarassery, teaching at the Morning Star English Medium School in Arulnilayam.

He was elected provincial superior for two terms, and then exercised his ministry in the diocese of Nashville, United States of America, for a brief period. From 2015 to 2020 he provided pastoral service in Australia, first as deputy parish priest of Saint Stephen’s Cathedral in Brisbane and at Saint Bernardine Church, Regents Park, and then as parish priest of Our Lady and Saint Dympna’s Church, Aspley, serving both the Syro-Malabar and Latin communities.

Upon his return to India, he assumed the roles of prior of Saint Elias Ashram and parish priest of Saint Elias Church in Niravilpuzha, in the eparchy of Mananthavady.

He speaks Malayalam, English and Hindi.

On 23 December 2013 Holy Father Francis established The Syro-Malabar Eparchy of St Thomas the Apostle, Melbourne for Australia, the second Eparchy outside the territory after Chicago, USA. Pope Francis appointed Bishop Bosco Puthur, then Curia Bishop of Major Archiepiscopal Curia, Kerala, as the first Bishop/Eparch of the new Eparchy. Bishop Bosco Puthur was installed on 25 March, 2014 in Melbourne.


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.