Lviv eparchy

Lviv eparchy [Львівська епархія; Lvivska eparkhiia]. A church administrative unit with its see in Lviv. The eparchy had its beginnings as Halych eparchy, founded in the mid-12th century. This eparchy was under the jurisdiction of the Kyivan metropolitan, although in 1303 it was elevated to the status of a run metropoly (see Halych metropoly). It ceased to function as a separate eparchy in the early 15th century and was administered by vicars designated initially by the Kyivan metropolitan and later by the Roman Catholic archbishop of Lviv.

The Polish king Sigismund I the Old renewed the eparchy in 1539 and named the previous administrator, Makarii Tuchapsky, as bishop of Halych, Lviv, and Kamianets-Podilskyi, with his see in Lviv. Ordained by the Kyivan Metropolitan Makarii II in 1540, Tuchapsky (1540–9) was the first in a long uninterrupted line of Lviv bishops that included Arsenii Balaban (1549–69), Hedeon Balaban (1569–1607), Yeremiia Tyssarovsky (1607–41), Arsenii Zhelyborsky (1641–63), and Atanasii Zhelyborsky (1663–76). In 1700 Bishop Yosyf Shumliansky (1646–1708) accepted the Church Union of Berestia, and the eparchy joined the Greek Catholic church. Uniate bishops of Lviv included Varlaam Sheptytsky (1710–15), Atanasii Sheptytsky (1715–46), Lev Sheptytsky (1749–79), P. Biliansky (1780–98), and M. Skorodynsky (1798–1805). In 1807 Halych metropoly was re-established with two eparchies, Lviv eparchy and Peremyshl eparchy. Since then the Lviv bishop (later archbishop) has also been metropolitan of Halych.

In 1885 a portion of Lviv eparchy was established as Stanyslaviv eparchy. In 1936 Lviv eparchy included 1,266 parishes and 1,350,000 faithful. After the Second World War the territory of Lviv eparchy was incorporated into the Ukrainian SSR. The Ukrainian Catholic church was suppressed, and the sham Lviv Sobor of 1946 proclaimed the conversion of the eparchy to Orthodoxy. The eparchy was enlarged with some parishes from Peremyshl eparchy; its name was changed to the LvivTernopil eparchy; and a bishop of the Russian Orthodox church was installed. The Ukrainian Catholic church survived in the underground, however, and on 1 December 1989 it was legalized. At that time Volodymyr Sterniuk was recognized as the ordinary of Lviv archeparchy, assisted by bishops F. Kurchaba, M. Sapryha, and Yu. Voronovsky. In March 1992 the eparchy claimed approx 1,000 parishes. The late 1980s also saw the rebirth of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox church and the establishment of a Lviv eparchy of that church, under Metropolitan I. Bodnarchuk.

Rudovych, I. Istoriia halytsko-l’vovskoi ieparkhiï (Zhovkva 1902)
Skochylias, Ihor. Halyts'ka (Lvivs'ka) ieparkhiia XII–XVIII st. (Lviv 2010)

Wasyl Lencyk

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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