Thursday, December 6, 2007

Hierarchy Update- Eastern Catholic Churches

It was just before Thanksgiving that I posted a comprehensive update on Eastern Catholic Churches in the United States. Well, this morning there is movement on that front. Bishop William Skurla, who was serving as bishop of the Ruthenian Eparchy of Van Nuys, California, was transferred to the Eparchy of Passaic, New Jersey to replace Bishop Andrew Pataki, who is retiring due to age. Monsignor Gerald Dino, who was serving as pastor of St. George Ruthenian parish in Linden, New Jersey, has been appointed to replace Bishop Skurla in the Eparchy of Van Nuys.

Since the Ruthenians in the United States Constitute a sui juris Church (i.e., a Church in its own right) and do not have a patriarch, retirements and appointments are accepted and made directly by the Holy Father, as in the Roman Rite. The very fact that Msgr. Dino is a monsignor, which is a papal honor, indicates a close tie between the Ruthenians in the United States and the Holy See.

Among the Eastern Rite Catholic archeparchies and eparchies in the United States there are no episcopal vacancies and only the Armenian Rite bishop, Manuel Batakian, at age 78, is past retirement age.

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