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Archbishop Aleixo de Menezes

Aleixo de Menezes (January 25, 1559 — May 3, 1617) was Archbishop of Goa, Archbishop of Braga, Portugal, and Spanish viceroy of Portugal.


Biographical sketch

Aleixo was born in 1559. It is known that he joined the Augustinians. He was consecrated Archbishop of Goa in 1595.

In 1599 under his leadership, the Synod of Diamper brought about the union of the Saint Thomas Christians with the Roman Catholic Church, severing them from the Assyrian Church of the East. Following the Synod of Diamper Aleixo de Menezes he served as the Principal Consecrator of Francisco Rodrígues, S.J. as Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Angamalé for the Saint Thomas Christians.

In 1612 Aleixo de Menezes was appointed Archbishop of Braga, Portugal. He was Spanish viceroy of Portugal from 1612 to 1615. He died in 1617.


Aleixo de Menezes, under the authority of the Goa Inquisition and the Council of Trent, continued the latinisation of the St. Thomas Christians started by the Portuguese in the early 16th century.

The result of his Synod of Diamper was unfortunate. The Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) says:

The only case in which an ancient Eastern rite has been wilfully romanized is that of the Uniat Malabar Christians, where it was not Roman authority but the misguided zeal of Alexius de Menezes, Archbishop of Goa, and his Portuguese advisers at the Synod of Diamper (1599) which spoiled the old Malabar Rite.

The validity of the Synod of Diamper has been questioned in history by many scholars, including Catholic. In addition, the theological necessity of the changes made there is not clear.[1]

The Syrian Christians of Eastern churches, independent of Rome, view Menezes as the harbinger of the darkest era in their history.[citation needed] Indeed Menezes and Vasco da Gama are still seen as foreign villains who imposed Roman authority on a church with apostolic foundations and in ecclesiastical communion with Middle Eastern Christianity.[citation needed] The Synod of Diamper is viewed as the death knell of Nasrani independence.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ [1]


External links



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