The Patriarch of the East Indies in the Catholic hierarchy is the title of the Archbishop of Goa and Damão in India; another title of his is that of the Primate of the East. Unlike the patriarchs of the Eastern Catholic Churches sui juris, the Patriarch of the East Indies enjoys a purely honorary title and is fully subject to the pope. He has a place within the Latin Rite similar to the Patriarchs of Venice and Lisbon. The Patriarch of the East Indies is the diocesan ordinary of the Archdiocese of Goa e Damão and the metropolitan archbishop of the Province of Goa e Damão.
This title of Patriarch of the East Indies was conferred upon the Archbishop of Goa as part of a settlement between the Holy See and the Portuguese government concerning the link between religious and political aspects of Portuguese colonial expansion. Later, with Portugal's decline as a colonial power, a difficult period resulted that was resolved by a further agreement by which Portugal renounced its rights of patronage (Padroado). In this way the episcopal appointments in actual or former Portuguese colonial territory reverted to the common provisions of ecclesiastical law, and hence to the unhampered decisions of the Holy See. As regards India, this meant that the Holy See was free to make appointments to the episcopate there that took account of the growth of British expansion.
The later isolation of the territory of Goa as a Portuguese colonial enclave in India prior to the invasion of Indian forces in 1961 accounts for the fact that the Archbishop of Goa for a number of decades was immediately subject to the Holy See and had no suffragan dioceses. In the more distant past the archbishop did have a true metropolitan jurisdiction, with suffragan dioceses. These, however, were progressively stripped away or suppressed, the final suffragen diocese in India was the Diocese of Damão, which was merged with the Archdiocese of Goa on May 1, 1928 to form the present archdiocese. The archdiocese formally lost its status as a metropolitan see on January 1, 1975, when the Dioceses of Macau and Dili were transferred from the province of Goa. On 25 November 2006 Pope Benedict XVI elevated it again to a metropolitan archdiocese, with the Diocese of Sindhudurg as its suffragan.
Ordinaries of the Diocese of Goa
Bishops of Goa
- Francisco de Melo (1533)
- João Afonso de Albuquerque (1538-1553)
- vacant (1553-1560)
Archbishops of Goa
- Gaspar de Leão Pereira (1560-1567)
- Jorge Temudo, OP (1568-1571)
- Gaspar de Leão Pereira (1574-1576), restored
- Henrique de Távora e Brito, OP (1578-1581)
- João Vicente da Fonseca, OP (1582-1587)
- Mateus de Medina, OC (1588-1592)
- Aleixo de Menezes, OSA (1595-1609)
- Cristóvão de Sá e Lisboa (1613-1622)
- Sebastião de S. Pedro, OSA (1625-1629)
- Manuel Teles de Brito, OP (1633)
- Francisco dos Mártires, OFM (1636-1652)
- vacant (1652-1672)
- Cristóvão da Silveira, OSA (1671-1673)
- António Brandão, OC (1675-1678)
- Manuel de Sousa e Menezes (1681-1684)
- Alberto da Silva, OSA (1685-1688)
- Agostinho da Anunciação, OC (1691-1713)
- Sebastião de Andrade Pessanha (1716-1720)
- Inácio de Santa Teresa, OSA (1721-1740)
- Eugénio de Trigueiros, OSA (1740-1741)
- Lourenço de Santa Maria e Melo, OFM (1741-1750)
- António Taveira da Neiva Brum e Silveira, OSJ (1750-1773)
- Francisco da Assunção e Brito, OSA (1774-1783)
- Manuel de Santa Catarina, OCD (1784-1812)
- Manuel de S. Galdino, OFM Rif. (1812-1831)
- José Maria da Silva Torres (1844-1849)
- João Crisóstomo de Amorim Pessoa (1862-1874)
- Aires de Ornelas e Vasconcelos (1875-1879)
- António Sebastião Valente (1882-1886)
Patriarchs of the East Indies
- António Sebastião Valente (1886-1908)
- Mateus de Oliveira Xavier (1909-1929)
- Teotónio Emanuel Ribeiro Vieira de Castro (1929-1940)
- José da Costa Nunes (1940-1953)
- José Vieira Alvernaz (1953-1975)
- Raul Nicolau Gonçalves (1978-2004)
- Filipe Neri Ferrão (2004-Present)
- Benigni, U. (1886). "Patriarchate of the East Indies". Catholic Encyclopedia. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07758a.htm. Retrieved 2006-03-13.
- "Archdiocese of Goa and Daman and Patriarchs of the East Indies". Giga-Catholic Information. 2006. http://www.gcatholic.com/dioceses/diocese/goaa0.htm. Retrieved 2006-06-25.
- "About the Archdiocese". Archdiocese of Goa and Daman. 2004. http://www.archgoadaman.org/Dioceses/index.htm. Retrieved 2006-03-13.
- "Former Bishops and Archbishops". Archdiocese of Goa and Daman. 2004. http://www.archgoadaman.org/Dioceses/former_bish_archbish.htm. Retrieved 2006-03-13.