Hrebnytsky, Floriian

Hrebnytsky, Floriian [Гребницький, Флоріян; Hrebnyc'kyj, Florijan], b 1683 in the vicinity of Polatsk, Belarus, d 1762 in Strun, near Polatsk. Leader of the Ukrainian-Belarusian Uniate church. Entering the Basilian monastic order in 1699, he completed his theological studies in Vilnius Collegium (TH D, 1710) and was appointed archbishop of Polatsk in 1717. He participated in the Synod of Zamostia in 1720 and vigorously implemented its reforms. Between 1746 and 1748 he administered the Kyiv metropoly and in 1748 he became metropolitan. He protested Russian discrimination against Uniates and Polish attempts to subsume the Uniates under the Roman Catholic church. On his request Pope Benedict XIV issued Allatae sunt (1755), reaffirming papal opposition to the conversion of eastern-rite Catholics to the Latin rite. Hrebnytsky did much to improve the education of the Uniate clergy. Thanks to his efforts, the Pope gave the Uniate church control of the Vilnius Pontifical Seminary. Hrebnytsky summoned frequent episcopal councils to strengthen unity and discipline within the church.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]

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