Pope Benedict has raised the Ukranian Apostolic Exarchate to the new rank of Eparchy

Pope Benedict XVI has raised the Ukrainian Apostolic Exarchate in Great Britain to the new rank of Eparchy (diocese).

In a statement this morning Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the Apsotolic Nuncio to Great Britain, said: “The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has elevated the Ukrainian Apostolic Exarchate in Great Britain to the rank of Eparchy, with the title of the Holy Family (Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family of London).”

Pope Benedict has also appointed the Apostolic Exarch, Bishop Hlib Borys Sviatoslav Lonchyna, as its first eparchial bishop.

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The Apostolic Exarchate for Ukrainians in Great Britain was erected in England and Wales in 1957 and extended to Scotland and Great Britain in 1968.

An Apostolic Exarchate in the Eastern Catholic Church is similar to an Apostolic Vicariate in the Latin Rite Catholic Church. It is led by a titular bishop as its Ordinary with the title of Exarch.

Bishop Hlib’s appointment as Eparch is with immediate effect.

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