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Eparchy is an anglicized Greek word ( ἐπαρχία ), authentically Latinized as eparchia, which can be loosely translated as the rule or jurisdiction over something, such as a province, prefecture, or territory. It has specific meanings both in politics, history and in the hierarchy of the Eastern Christian churches.
In secular use, the word eparchy denotes an administrative district in the Hellenistic-Roman / Byzantine Empire, or in modern Greece or Cyprus.
In ecclesiastical use, an eparchy is a territorial diocese governed by a bishop of one of the Eastern churches, who holds the title of eparch. It is part of a metropolis. Each eparchy is divided into parishes in the same manner as a diocese of western Christendom. In the Catholic Church, an archieparchy equivalent to an archdiocese of the Roman Rite and its bishop is an archieparch, equivalent to an archbishop of the Roman Rite.
Originally eparchy (ἐπαρχίᾱ, eparchia) was the Greek equivalent of the Latin term provincia , one of the districts of the Roman Empire. As such it was used, chiefly in the eastern parts of the Empire, to designate the Roman provinces. The term eparch (Greek : ἔπαρχος, eparchos) however, designating an eparchy's governor, was most usually used to refer to the praetorian prefects (singular in Greek: ἔπαρχος τοῦ πραιτωρίου, "eparch of the praetorium") in charge of the Empire's praetorian prefectures, and to the Eparch of Constantinople, the city's urban prefect.
The Dominate-period administrative system was retained In the Byzantine period of the Empire until the 7th century. As Greek became the Empire's main administrative language, replacing Latin, in the latter 6th century even the provinces of the Exarchate of Ravenna, in reconquered Italy, were termed eparchiae in Greek as well as in Latin.
In the latter half of the 7th century, the old provincial administration was replaced by the thematic system. Even after that however, the term eparchos remained in use until the 840s for the senior administrative official of each thema, under the governing strategos . Thereafter, eparchs are evident in some cases as city governors, but the most important by far amongst them was the Eparch of Constantinople, whose office had wide-ranging powers and functioned continuously until the 13th century.
The term eparchia was revived as one of the administrative sub-provincial units of post-Ottoman independent Greece, the country being divided into nomoi ("Prefectures"), of which in turn some were subdivided into eparchies. From 1887, the eparchies were abolished as actual administrative units, but were retained for some state services, especially finance services and education, as well as for electoral purposes. Before the Second World War, there were 139 eparchies, and after the war, with the addition of the Dodecanese Islands, their number grew to 147. The provinces were abolished in the mainland (but retained for the islands), in the wide-ranging administrative reform implemented in 1997 (the "Kapodistrias plan") and replaced by enlarged municipalities (demoi).
In Cyprus, the term eparchia is used to refer to the Districts of Cyprus.
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The Christian Church (before the split into Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox) adopted elements of political, administrative system of the late Roman Empire, as introduced by the reforms of Diocletian (284–305). Adopted elements included both organizational structure and terminology.
Notwithstanding the primacies of the Apostolic Sees of Rome, Alexandria and Antioch, the bishoprics of each civil province were grouped in one ecclesiastical province, also called eparchy, under the supervision of the metropolitan, usually the bishop of the provincial capital. The First Council of Nicaea in 325 accepted this arrangement and orders that: "the authority [of appointing bishops] shall belong to the metropolitan in each eparchy" (can. iv), i.e., in each such civil eparchy (province) there shall be a metropolitan bishop who has authority over the others.
Since the use of the term eparchy was originally linked to metropolitan rights, later in Eastern Christianity, after a process of title-inflation and multiplying the numbers of metropolitans by elevating local bishops to honorary metropolitan rank without giving them any real metropolitan powers, the use of the word "eparchy" was gradually modified and came to refer to dioceses of such "metropolitan" bishops, and later to dioceses in general. This process was initially promoted in the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and later the new usage of term "eparchy" became prevalent in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the ancient Oriental Churches, and the Eastern Catholic Churches.[ citation needed ]
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the name eparchy is not commonly used as the usual term for a diocese except in the Bulgarian, Czechoslovak, Russian, and Serbian Orthodox Churches. The Russian Orthodox Church in the early 20th century counted 86 eparchies, of which three (Kyiv, Moscow, and St. Petersburg) were ruled by bishops who always bore the title "Metropolitan."[ citation needed ]
In church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is one of the fourteen to sixteen autocephalous churches that together compose the Eastern Orthodox Church. It is headed by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, currently Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople.
The term exarch comes from the Ancient Greek ἔξαρχος, exarchos, and designates holders of various historical offices, some of them being political or military and others being ecclesiastical.
The name Greek Orthodox Church, or Greek Orthodoxy, is a term referring to the body of several churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, whose liturgy is or was traditionally conducted in Koine Greek, the original language of the Septuagint and the New Testament. Its history, traditions, and theology are rooted in the early Church Fathers and the culture of the Byzantine Empire. Greek Orthodox Christianity has also traditionally placed strong emphasis on and awarded high prestige to traditions of Eastern Orthodox monasticism and asceticism, with origins in Early Christianity in the Near East and in Byzantine Anatolia.
The Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, also known as the Antiochian Orthodox Church and legally as the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, is an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church within the wider communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Headed by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, it considers itself the successor to the Christian community founded in Antioch by the Apostles Peter and Paul.
An ecclesiastical province is one of the basic forms of jurisdiction in Christian Churches with traditional hierarchical structure, including Western Christianity and Eastern Christianity. In general, an ecclesiastical province consists of several dioceses, one of them being the archdiocese, headed by a metropolitan bishop or archbishop who has ecclesiastical jurisdiction over all other bishops of the province.
The Bulgarian Orthodox Church, legally the Patriarchate of Bulgaria, is an autocephalous Orthodox jurisdiction. It is the oldest Slavic Orthodox church, with some 6 million members in Bulgaria and between 1.5 and 2 million members in a number of European countries, the Americas, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. It was recognized as autocephalous in 1945 by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
The Melkite Greek Catholic Church or Melkite Byzantine Catholic Church, is an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See as part of the worldwide Catholic Church. It is headed by Patriarch Youssef Absi, headquartered in Cathedral of Our Lady of the Dormition, Damascus, Syria. The Melkites, Byzantine Rite Catholics, trace their history to the early Christians of Antioch, formerly part of Syria and now in Turkey, of the 1st century AD, where Christianity was introduced by Saint Peter.
The term Melkite, also written Melchite, refers to various Eastern Christian churches of the Byzantine Rite and their members originating in the Middle East. The term comes from the common Central Semitic root M-L-K, meaning "royal", and by extension "imperial" or loyal to the Byzantine Emperor. The term acquired religious connotations as denominational designation for those Christians who accepted imperial religious policies, based on Christological resolutions of the Council of Chalcedon (451).
Pentarchy is a model of Church organization historically championed in the Eastern Orthodox Church. It was formulated in the laws of Emperor Justinian I (527–565) of the Roman Empire. In this model, the Christian church is governed by the heads (patriarchs) of the five major episcopal sees of the Roman Empire: Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem.
The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa, also known as the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria, is an autocephalous patriarchate that is part of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Its seat is in Alexandria and it has canonical responsibility for the entire African continent.
The Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic is the Catholic eparchy (diocese) governing Byzantine Ruthenian (Rusyn) Catholics in the eastern United States. Its headquarters are at 445 Lackawanna Avenue, Woodland Park, New Jersey. On October 29, 2013, Pope Francis appointed Father Kurt Burnette, until then the Rector of Saints Cyril and Methodius Seminary, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as Eparch (Bishop)-elect of the Eparchy, succeeding William Skurla, who had become the leader of the Byzantine Catholic (Ruthenian) Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, the U.S. headquarters of this particular Eastern-rite Catholic church. Bishop-elect Burnette, 57, is a native of Falkenham, England, grew up in Texas, and was originally a priest of the Phoenix Eparchy.
The Ruthenian Catholic Eparchy of Parma, commonly but inaccurately called Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma, a suffragan diocese in the ecclesiastical province of the Metropolitan Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, is the eparchy of the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church in the Midwestern United States, in practice governing most Byzantine Rite Catholics in the Midwestern United States, hence informally also known as Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma. Its headquarters are located in Parma, Ohio. The Eparchy's Bishop is Milan Lach, SJ.
The Greek Catholic Eparchy of Križevci is an eparchy (diocese) of the Catholic Church for Eastern Catholics of Byzantine Rite in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia with its seat in Križevci, Croatia. It is part of the Greek Catholic Church of Croatia and Serbia, an Eastern Catholic Church sui iuris of the Byzantine Rite which is in full union with the Roman Catholic Church. The Eparchy is currently vacant since the retirement of Bishop Nikola Kekić in March 2019, and is administered by Fr. Milan Stipić, who on 8 September 2020 was appointed to be the new Bishop there.
The Greek Catholic Eparchy of Mukachevo is an eparchy (diocese) associated with the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church under an unidentified status and territory located in the west of Ukraine, roughly equivalent with Zakarpatska Oblast. The eparchy was created by the Pope Clement XIV in 1771.
The Hungarian (Greek) Catholic Eparchy of Miskolc is an eparchy of the Hungarian Greek Catholic Church, a Metropolitan particular church sui juris which uses the Byzantine Rite in the Hungarian language.
The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Kamyanets-Podilskyi is an eparchy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church sui iuris in its homeland Ukraine.
Slovak Catholic Eparchy of Saints Cyril and Methodius of Toronto is an eparchy for Byzantine-rite Eastern Catholics of Slovak origin in Canada. It is part of the Slovak Greek Catholic Church sui iuris; however, it is not suffragan to the metropolitan Archeparchy of Prešov, but it is subject immediately to the Congregation for the Eastern Churches. Its territory is extended on the whole territory of Canada. Its bishop is member of the Council of Hierarchs of the Slovak Greek Catholic Church sui iuris.
The Ukrainian (Greek) Catholic Eparchy of Olsztyn–Gdańsk is a suffragan eparchy in the ecclesiastical province of the Metropolitan Archeparchy of Przemyśl–Warsawa, which covers some part of Poland for the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church parallel to the Latin hierarchy. It depends from the Roman Congregation for the Oriental Churches.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Eparch .|