George Alencherry is the Major Archbishop (Head) of the Syro-Malabar Church and is also a cardinal of the Catholic Church. The title of Major Archbishop is essentially equivalent to that of a patriarch. He was elected by the Holy Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church in 2011 to succeed Varkey Vithayathil (1999 - 2011). He was created a cardinal on 18 February 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI. He was the first bishop of Thuckalay from 1997 to 2011 before his enthronement as the Major Archbishop. He is also the current president of Kerala Catholic Bishops' Council (KCBC), which is the general conference for the bishops of the Latin, Malankara Catholic and Syro-Malabar Catholic hierarchies of Kerala, and the Chairman of the Inter-church Council of Kerala.
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