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The General Secretary of the Bible Society of India, the Rev. Dr. M. Mani Chacko August 22, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Church of South India.
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A 2009 photo of Dr. M. Mani Chacko, the new general secretary of the Bible Society of India

The Bible Society of India released a statement on July 27, 2011 announcing the appointment of the Rev. Dr. M Mani Chacko as its general secretary following the retirement of Dr. BK Pramanik.

Dr. Chacko is the director of the Ecumenical Christian Centre Whitefield, Bangalore. He is an ordained minister of the Church of South India and has served congregations in Kolkata and Chennai and earned a PhD from King’s College, University of London.

Prior to his assuming the Directorship of the ECC in 2006, he was Principal of the Gurukul Lutheran Theological College, Chennai, serving as Professor and Head of the Department of Old Testament Studies from 1990-2006.  He also taught at the University of Serampore and has been a visiting professor at the South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies in Bangalore and the Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo, Norway.

A linguist, Dr. Chacko is well-versed in German, Greek, Hebrew apart from English and a clutch of Indian languages, the press release stated.

Here is a news article from India announcing the appointment that has some comments from Dr. Chacko.

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The Bishop in South Kerala, the Rt. Rev. A. Dharmaraj Rasalam August 17, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Church of South India.
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The Rt. Rev. A. Dharmaraj Rasalam, Bishop in South Kerala

On July 23, 2011 the Church of South India consecrated the Rt. Rev. A. Dharmaraj Rasalam as sixth Bishop in South Kerala.

(A note on Anglican nomenclature.  Bishops in the Church of South India are known as the bishop in XXX, not as the bishop of XXX.  This comes from the church’s heritage as a united church combining a number of Protestant traditions.  The CSI’s chief bishop is not an archbishop but a moderator.  The moderator is the chairman of the synod and senior bishop but is not a metropolitan archbishop.)

The election and consecration of Bishop Rasalam had some unusual twists and turns.  In December, Bishop J.W. Gladstone retired as Bishop in South Kerala and Moderator of the CSI.  The principal of the Kerala United Seminary, the Rev. Dr. G. Sobhanam was subsequently elected by the diocesan synod and confirmed by the CSI’s general synod as the new bishop.  However, Bishop-elect Sobhanam died on March 26, 2011.

The runner up in the election was the Rev. Dharmaraj Rasalam.  He was appointed bishop of the diocese in May by the synod in place of Dr. Sobhanam.

Here is a link to a Kerala newspaper article reporting on the consecration.  And a link to a story I wrote for the Church of England Newspaper on his election and a controversy over the diocesan medical school.

The Diocese of South Kerala was formed in 1947 with the formation of the Church of South India and was first known as the Diocese of South Travancore.  A London Missionary Society missionary, the Rev. A.H. Legg was consecrated on 13 Oct 1947 as the first bishop of the diocese.  In 1959 the diocese was divided into the South Kerala and Kanyakumari dioceses, with Bishop Legg continuing as Bishop in South Kerala until 1966.

His successors were:

The Rt. Rev. William Paul Vachalan (1966-1972)
The Rt. Rev. I. Jesudasan (5 Aug 1973-1990)
The Rt. Rev. Samuel Amirtham (20 May 1990-1997)
The Rt. Rev.  J. W. Gladstone (16 Sept 1997-2010)

As of year’s end 2010 the diocese has 352 ordained pastors, 49 retired pastors and more than 200 church workers. There are 60 districts and 623 churches in this diocese.