Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Eastern Catholic Churches, again

Hearkening back to my late November post on Eastern Catholic Churches, something interesting was announced by the Holy See today, namely the creation of the Greek-Catholic Slovak Church as a sui iuris Metropolitan Church. The Slovak republic is the eastern and more Slavic part of the former Czechoslovakia. Czechs tend to be Roman Catholic, while Slovaks tend to look East and be either Orthodox or Eastern Catholic. The creation of the Slovak Greek-Catholic Church as a Metropolitan sui iuris Church necessitated the elevation of the eparchy of Presov to the status of a metropolitian see, with its Bishop, His Excellency Jan Babjak, S.J., becoming the metropolitan archbishop of the Church. The exarchate of Kosice for Catholics of the Byzantine rite was elevated to an eparchy (i.e., a diocese) and made a suffragan of the metropolitan church of Presov, with the exarchate's bishop remaining in place as eparchal bishop, Bishop Milan Chautur C.SS.R. Finally, a whole new eparchy was erected as a suffragan of the metropolitan church of Presov. Fr. Peter Rusnak, pastor of the Greek-Catholic parish of the Exaltation of the Cross in Bratislava and proto-priest of the proto-presbyterate of the same name, was named the first bishop of the new eparchy.

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