Rev. Dr. Joseph Kariyil, the Bishop of Cochin, Retired

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Rev. Dr. Joseph Kariyil (75) from the pastoral care of the Diocese of Cochin on March 2, 2024. He was the Bishop of Punalur from 2005 to 2011 before assuming the mantle of leadership as the Bishop of Cochin from 2011 until his retirement in 2024.

Born on 11 January 1949 in the serene village of Arthunkal, near Alleppey, Bishop Joseph Kariyil embarked on his sacred journey in service to the Catholic Church upon his ordination to the priesthood on 19 December 1973. Throughout his illustrious career, he selflessly served in various capacities, including as assistant Parish Priest at Mundamveli and Santa Cruz Basilica in Fort Cochin. He pursued higher studies in Rome, earning a doctorate in moral theology from the esteemed Alphonsian Academy in 1987.

From 1992 to 2000, he served as the Director of the Pastoral Orientation Centre (POC) and as the Deputy Secretary-General of the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC). He was appointed Vicar General of the Diocese of Cochin from 2000 to 2005, where he provided invaluable guidance and support to the local clergy and faithful.

He was appointed as the Bishop of Punalur on 12 March 2005 and was ordained on 3 May 2005. He was appointed Bishop of Cochin on 8 May 2009. He was installed in as the Bishop of Cochin on 5 July 2009. He was the President of the Kerala Regional Latin Catholic Bishops’ Council.