On 18 June, Pope John Paul II named Msgr. Isaac Thottunkal Apostolic Visitator for the Syro-Malankara Catholic faithful in North America and Europe. Prior to this appointment, Msgr. Thottunkal was Vicar General of the Eparchy of Battery. Because there is no Syro-Malankara Catholic eparchy in North America or Europe, Bishop-Elect Thottunkal will be ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Trivandrum on 18 August in Tiruvalla, India.