Sembratovych, Yosyf

Sembratovych, Yosyf [Сембратович, Йосиф; Sembratovyč, Josyf], b 8 November 1821 in Krynytsia (Krynica), Nowy Sącz circle, Galicia, d 23 October 1900 in Rome. Ukrainian Catholic metropolitan; uncle of Sylvester Sembratovych. A Vienna University graduate in theology, he was ordained in 1845. After receiving a D TH degree from Vienna, he served as prefect (1850–2) at the Peremyshl Greek Catholic Theological Seminary and the Greek Catholic Theological Seminary in Lviv, vice-rector (1852–60) of the Greek Catholic theological seminary in Vienna, and an assistant professor (1850–2) and professor (1861–5) of New Testament studies at Lviv University. In 1865 Pope Pius IX nominated him titular bishop of Nazianzus in Rome. In 1867 he was appointed administrator of Peremyshl eparchy, a position he held until 1872. In 1870 Emperor Francis Joseph I nominated him archbishop of Lviv and metropolitan of Halych, and Pius IX made him a Roman count and assistant to the papal throne and appointed him consultator to the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. Sembratovych spearheaded the temperance movement in his Halych metropoly, thereby incurring the wrath of the local Polish nobility, which monopolized distilling and owned all the taverns. They used their influence in Vienna to try to have Sembratovych removed by accusing him of political incompetence and blaming him for the spread of Russian Orthodoxy and the Russophile movement among the peasants and clergy of Galicia. In 1882, after Rev Ivan Naumovych converted to Orthodoxy and was followed by his parishioners in Hnylychky, Zbarazh county, Francis Joseph I ordered Sembratovych to Vienna and demanded that he give up his metropoly. Sembratovych went to Rome, where Pope Leo XIII accepted his resignation and appointed him, instead, titular archbishop of Theodosiopolis, consultator to the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith and to the Congregation of the Index, and chairman of the papal commission for the revision of ecclesiastical texts. During his last 18 years in Rome, Sembratovych promoted and defended the rights of the Uniate church.

Wasyl Lencyk, Irynei Nazarko

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

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