Levytsky, Mykhailo

Levytsky, Mykhailo [Левицький, Михайло; Levyc’kyj, Myxajlo], b 16 August 1774 in Lanchyn, Stanyslaviv circle, Galicia, d 14 January 1858 at the Univ Monastery, Zolochiv circle, Galicia. Ukrainian Catholic metropolitan and cardinal. After studying theology at the Barbareum in Vienna, he was ordained (1798) and appointed professor of biblical studies at the Greek Catholic Theological Seminary in Lviv. In recognition of his abilities he was made a canon in 1808 and then consecrated bishop of Peremyshl (1813). With the assistance of Ivan Mohylnytsky, he launched a major campaign in the field of education: he established 383 new parish schools in the eparchy, petitioned the government for Ukrainian-language instruction in schools, and established a clerical society to print religious and educational materials. He was elevated to the office of metropolitan of Halych (see Halych metropoly) and archbishop of Lviv in 1816 and continued his duties in Peremyshl until 1818. As metropolitan, Levytsky continued to press for educational development and the formation of new schools. His conservative attitudes, however, led to conflict with a new generation of intelligentsia (most notably the Ruthenian Triad) over questions of language (he favored an etymological orthography, while they advocated a phonetic system) and national identity (he regarded Galician Ukrainians as a separate nation [see Old Ruthenians], while they accepted a pan-Ukrainian identity). Levytsky enjoyed the complete confidence of the Austrian emperor and obtained concessions from him for his church. In 1848 the emperor named him primate of Galicia, though this position had previously always been held by the Roman Catholic bishop of Lviv. In 1856 Pope Pius IX appointed Levytsky a cardinal, the second Ukrainian in history to receive this honor. By this time he had largely withdrawn from public life because of ill health and was confined to the monastery in Univ.

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

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