The Vatican Congregation for the Oriental Churches has appointed an apostolic visitor for the Kerala-based Missionary Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament (MCBS).
An October 13 letter from the Apostolic Nunciature in Delhi to MCBS superior general Father Joseph Maleparampil said Rome has appointed Carmelites of Mary Immaculate Father Paul Achandy as the apostolic visiror to the 87-year-old congregation.
The appointment, done with Pope Francis’ knowledge, is “Ad Nutum Sanctae Sedis,” a Latin term meaning “at the disposition of the Holy See.” It refers to any circumstance involving a conflict of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, where Rome decides to take the matter under its own jurisdiction and reserves to itself the right to make a final judgment on the matter.
Father Achandy is currently the chancellor of the Bengaluru-Based Christ University. He is also the rector of the Dharmaram College, a major seminary managed by his congregation adjacent to the university.
The 57-year-old priest took over as the vice chancellor on September 21.
He is an alumnus of Dharmaram College and former staff of the university when it was a college. The congregation was raised to the pontifical status on December 2, 1989. The congregation has two provinces– Kottayam and Kozhikode – in Kerala and region, Satara in the western Indian State of Maharashtra.
The two places the congregation works outside the Kerala are Shimoga district in Karnataka and Satara and Solapur districts in Maharashtra. It has missions also in Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, a residences in Italy and Germany. Its priests work in Australia, North America and the Philippines.
This is the second time this year that Rome intervenes in the administration of religious congregations in India. On May 16, the Claretian congregation replaced its Bangalore provincial with a Vatican official as the delegate of the superior general.