Popovych, Vasyl

Popovych, Vasyl [Попович, Василь; Popovyč, Vasyl'], b 12 September 1796 in Velyki Komiaty, Ugocsa komitat, Transcarpathia, d 19 October 1864 in Uzhhorod. Greek Catholic bishop. In 1820, after obtaining a PH D in philosophy from the University of Pest, he became a priest and secretary to the bishop of Prešov, Hryhorii Tarkovych. In 1837 he was consecrated bishop of Mukachevo eparchy, following a six-year vacancy. His attempts to undo the Latinizing work of his Romanian predecessor, A. Pocsy, led to a renewal of national and religious life in the eparchy, including the revival of Eastern rite observances and the use of the Ukrainian language by the clergy. He also improved education in the eparchy, launched an extensive renovation and building program, took steps to ensure the material well-being of the clergy, and sought to provide each parish with trained cantors and an adequate supply of liturgical books. Popovych became increasingly conservative and Magyarophile, after the defeat of the Hungarians (whom he supported) in the Revolution of 1848–9 in the Habsburg monarchy.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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