Diocese of Amritsar and Rome

I have just received some information from Dr William Tighe to answer a question I asked back in 2012 about the Anglican Diocese of Amritsar in India.

“The Diocese of Amritsar is curiously mentioned by Cardinal Levada in his announcement of 20th October 2009: “Sometimes there have been groups of Anglicans who have entered while preserving some “corporate” structure. Examples of this include, the Anglican diocese of Amritsar in India, and some individual parishes in the United States”. This being said, there is no knowledge of an Anglican diocese of that Indian city being received corporately into communion with the Catholic Church. I don’t know what to make of the Cardinal’s words. However, the churches of this diocese are the original buildings of the Anglican Communion of before the formation of the Church of South India.

The Diocese of Chotanagpur has seven parishes and eight priests. The Archdiocese of Lucknow, headed by Archbishop Prakash has six churches and eight priests. I have no information about the numbers of faithful. The Diocese of Nandiyal has 41 congregations “with 2672 communities”. The Diocese of Travancore & Cochin has eight priests, a seminary, an orphanage, a house for elderly people and a nursery school. Two new churches have been built.”

I quote Dr Tighe’s message:

* * *

Your question about the Diocese of Amritsar and Rome posed here in 2012: https://sarumuse.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/the-anglican-church-of-india/

seems to be answered in the course of Bishop Lopes’ lecture, here:


“Third, one of the things that became clear from that internal examination of the CDF files on the various attempts at corporate reunion is that the CDF has always exercised particular care for the liturgical life of those Anglican communities seeking full communion with the Catholic Church. Your own colleague here at the University of Vienna, Daniel Seper, has done some important research on the petition of the Anglican Diocese of Amritsar, India, to enter into full communion in 1977-1982. In that case, the very same decree of the Congregation which authorized full communion for this group of Anglicans also articulated a rather robust liturgical provision for them, identifying which rites could be pulled from the Book of Common Prayer and which sacraments had to be celebrated from exclusively Roman sources. Sadly, this is one of the cases which really did not work, as the implementation of this decision was left to the local Conference of Bishops in India and someone at that local level decided that this liturgical provision was not necessary and so it was never implemented. Perhaps consequently, the clergy and faithful of that Anglican diocese of Amritsar faded away and only two priests and maybe 200 lay faithful were reconciled.”

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3 Responses to Diocese of Amritsar and Rome

  1. Franciscus Duarenus Minor says:

    I think they are in communion with the Eparchy of Brigadoon, to which no true Scotsman would submit.

  2. Fr. David Marriott SSC says:

    Dear Father,

    I was advised some years ago to beware the pitfalls which encroach the way to understand Anglicans in India when I was asked by a Punjabi neighbour here in BC for assistance fro a Christian acquaintance in Amritsar.

    As I was a TAC priest at that time, I wrote to Archbishop Prakash who suggested that I contact the Bishop of Amritsar. I sent an e-mail, but do not recall any reply, so I gave my neighbour the contact information for the Rt. Revd Rockes Sandhu, 921 Block B Ranjit Avenue, Amritsar: some weeks later, my neighbour told me that their acquaintance had called to say that there was no such address!

    At one point in time, the same bishop was named as being both a TAC Bishop as well as an ACC-2nd Province bishop at the same time! (Of course, it is possible that there were two bishops who coincidentally had the same first and last names)…

  3. ed pacht says:

    Unfortunately the situation among Christians in general in India has been very confusing and wildly fissiparous, and not merely among Anglicans. I don’t think anyone has been able to sort out the situation there. There’s constant litigation among the various bodies, and frequent movement of laity, clergy and whole parishes from one to another, to the extent that it is difficult to determine with certainty to which body a specific church is attached. This is certainly so with TAC and ACC, both of whom claim to be THE legitimate Anglican church and both of whom hesitate to admit that the other exists. The same confusion is endemic among the ancient community of Thomas Christians now divided among two Eastern and one Western rites in the Roman Church, at least one group allied with the Assyrian Church of the East, at least two aligned with the Syrian Jacobites, and at least one Protestantized Eastern rite church, to say nothing of the many who have joined various Protestant missions. It’s even more confusing than the American situation, and that’s saying a lot.

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