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Former Archbishops of Bombay
Ivan Cardinal Dias
Archbishop of Bombay - 1996 to 2006
Date of Birth: 14th April 1936

Place of Birth: Bandra, Mumbai

Ordained Priest: 8th December 1958

Date of Death: 19th June 2017


8th May 1982 Appointed Titular Archbishop of Rusibisir


8th May 1982 Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Ghana, Benin and Togo


19th June 1982 - Ordained Titular Archbishop of Rusibisir


20th June 1987 - Apostolic Nuncio to Korea


28th October 1991 - Apostolic Nuncio to Albania


8th November 1996 - Archbishop of Bombay


21st February 2001 - Elevated to Cardinal and appointed Cardinal-Priest of Spirito Santo alla Ferratella


20th May 2006 - Grand Chancellor, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples


10th May 2011 - Retired as Grand Chancellor, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples

Simon Cardinal Pimenta
Archbishop of Bombay - 1978 to 1996
Date of Birth: 1st March 1920

Place of Birth: Marol, Mumbai

Ordained Priest: 21st December 1949

Date of Death: 19th July 2013


5th June 1971 - Appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay and Titular Bishop of Bocconia


29th June 1971 - Ordained Titular Bishop of Bocconia


26th February 1977 - Coadjutor Archbishop of Bombay and Titular Archbishop of Bocconia


11th September 1978 - Succeeded as Archbishop of Bombay


1982 to 1986

President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India CBCI


28th June 1988 - Elevated to Cardinal and appointed Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria “Regina Mundi” a Torre Spaccata


8th November 1996 - Retired as Archbishop of Bombay


Cardinal Emeritus Simon Pimenta was the eighth Archbishop of India. He was nominated a member of the Sacred Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes and the Pontifical Commission for the Final Revision of the New Code of Canon Law, Rome.

Valerian Cardinal Gracias
Archbishop of Bombay - 1950 to 1978
Date of Birth: 23rd October 1900

Place of Birth: Karachi

Ordained Priest: 3rd October 1926

Date of Death: 11th September 1978


11th April 1946 – Appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay and Titular Bishop of Thennesus


29th June 1946 - Ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay


4th December 1950 – Appointed Archbishop of Bombay


12th January 1953 - Elevated to Cardinal and appointed Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria in Via Lata


The tenure served by Cardinal Valerian Gracias was termed ‘The Gracias Era’ as it marked the area of consolidation and growth of the Church in Bombay. 

Archbishop Thomas d’Esterre Roberts S.J.
Archbishop of Bombay - 1937 to 1950

After the death of Archbishop Lima on July 21, 1936, the See of Bombay remained vacant for a year until the appointment of Thomas Roberts S.J. as Archbishop of Bombay, on August 12, 1937. The overarching significance of his administration lay in the transition of the Church in Bombay to indigenous leadership. He energetically built upon the foundations of his predecessor Archbishop Lima. In 1943, he was appointed to act as Vicar Delegate for the Indian Command during the Second World War.


After India attained Independence on August 15, 1947 Archbishop Robert saw that an Indian Archbishop must inevitably take charge of the Archdiocese. So, when he left Bombay on a world tour of seaports with a view to promoting the Apostleship of the Sea, Auxiliary Bishop Valerian Gracias was given all powers and responsibilities. This was the point of transition, as Bishop Roberts did not return but resigned from the See of Bombay.  He retired to England, where died in February 28, 1976.


Bishop Roberts is thus credited with  successfully engineering the transition of the Church in Bombay to Indian leadership.

Archbishop Joaquim Lima S.J.
Tenure as Archbishop of Bombay - 1928 to 1936

Archbishop Joaquim Lima S.J. was of Portuguese descent and served as the Archbishop of Bombay for eight years from 1928 – 1936. His administration helped the Church make the transition from the Double Jurisdiction to the jurisdiction of unity and co-responsibility. He was noted for his apostolic zeal, confidence in the laity, promotion of Catholic life, and encouragement of an indigenous Clergy. The League of Catholic Action and the Catholic Students’ Union were inaugurated during his tenure. In addition, new Churches, Chapels and schools were also built. The new Diocesan Seminary was started at Parel under the care of the Jesuits during his administration. He passed away on July 21, 1936, while still in office.

Archbishop Alban Goodier S.J.
Tenure as Archbishop of Bombay - 1919 to 1926

Three years after Archbishop Jurgen’s death, Archbishop Alban Goodier was appointed as the Archbishop of Bombay in 1919. He served as the Archbishop of Bombay from 1919 – 1926. A well noted author, Archbishop Goodier has written over a dozen books, including ‘Saints for Sinners’ and ‘The School of Love’. On January 15, 1925, Archbishop Goodier sailed for Italy for his "ad limina" intending to spend time in England before returning to Bombay. On October 7, 1926, news reached Bombay that he had resigned as Archbishop. He passed away on March 13, 1939.

Archbishop Herman Jurgens S.J.
Tenure as Archbishop of Bombay - 1907 to 1916

Herman Jurgens S.J. was the Archbishop of Bombay from 1907 – 1916. The distressful consequences of World War I and the treatment given to German Jesuits broke Archbishop Jurgens completely. He died on September 28, 1916. After his death the See of Bombay remained vacant for 3 years (September 1916 – December 1919).

Archbishop Theodore Dalhoff S.J.
Tenure as Archbishop of Bombay - 1891 to 1906

Theodore Dalhoff S.J. succeeded George Porter as Archbishop of Bombay in 1891. The most significant event of Archbishop Dalhoff’s administration was the Provincial Council of Bombay held from December 8, 1893, to January 1894 under the Presidency of the Delegate Apostolic, Msgr. Zaleski. He was instrumental in building the Church of The Holy Name, in 1905, on Wodehouse Road with Archbishop’s house attached to it. The Church of the Holy Name was elevated to Pro-Cathedral in 1941, and was raised to a Cathedral in 1964.

Archbishop George Porter S.J.
Tenure as Archbishop of Bombay - 1886 to 1889

Bishop George Porter S.J. was the first Archbishop of Bombay. He was appointed after the Archdiocese was formed, in 1886, through a new Concordat between the Holy See and Portugal. This Concordat of 1886 was further explained through two Papal Decrees which were issued on September 25, 1886. These papal decrees were then published by Archbishop Porter in 'The Bombay Catholic Examiner' on November 2, 1888.

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