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The Syro-Malabar Uniate Catholic Church is the oldest of the Uniate churches in India. It is one of the 25 Uniate churches in the Roman Catholic Church which accepts the Pope of Rome as their Primate.
Uniate churches are those churches that got split from Eastern churches and joined the Catholic fold by accepting the Pope of Rome as their head. As per the canon of the Roman church, all the uniate churches can keep their old liturgical traditions even after joining the Catholic fold.
The Syro- Malabar church uses the East - Syrian liturgy of the Assyrian Church of the East. It was in 1665 AD when the Syro-Malabar Church accepted the Pope as their head. This church is an offshoot of the Ancient Assyrian church of the East.
The current head of the Syro-Malabar church is Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil.