Hungarian Greek Catholic Church

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Hungarian Greek Catholic Church
Greek Catholic Cathedral Hajdudorog.jpg
Classification Eastern Catholic
Theology Catholic theology
Polity Episcopal
Governance Metropolitanate
Pope Francis
Archbishop Metropolitan Péter Fülöp Kocsis
Associations Congregation for the Oriental Churches
Region Hungary
Liturgy Byzantine Rite
Headquarters Debrecen, Hungary [1]
Origin18 June 1912
Separated from Eastern Orthodox Church
Merger of Catholic Church
Congregations187 [2]
Members326,200 [2]
Official website
Hungarian Greek Catholic Church administrative divisions Hungarian Greek Catholic Church administrative divisions.svg
Hungarian Greek Catholic Church administrative divisions

The Hungarian Greek Catholic Church (Hungarian : Magyar görögkatolikus egyház) or Hungarian Byzantine Catholic Church is a Metropolitan sui iuris ("autonomous") Eastern Catholic particular Church in full communion with the Catholic Church. It is headquartered in Debrecen. [1] Its liturgical rite is the Byzantine Rite in Hungarian.

Hungarian language language spoken in and around Hungary

Hungarian is a Uralic language of the Ugric branch spoken in Hungary and parts of several neighbouring countries. It is the official language of Hungary and one of the 24 official languages of the European Union. Outside Hungary it is also spoken by communities of Hungarians in the countries that today make up Slovakia, western Ukraine (Subcarpathia), central and western Romania (Transylvania), northern Serbia (Vojvodina), northern Croatia and northern Slovenia.

Metropolitan bishop ecclesiastical office

In Christian churches with episcopal polity, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis.

Sui iuris, also spelled as sui juris, is a Latin phrase that literally means "of one's own right". It is used in both civil law and canon law by the Catholic Church. The term church sui iuris is used in the Catholic Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (CCEO) to denote the autonomous churches in Catholic communion:

A church sui iuris is "a community of the Christian faithful, which is joined together by a hierarchy according to the norm of law and which is expressly or tacitly recognized as sui iuris by the supreme authority of the Church" (CCEO.27). The term sui iuris is an innovation of the CCEO, and it denotes the relative autonomy of the oriental Catholic Churches. This canonical term, pregnant with many juridical nuances, indicates the God-given mission of the Oriental Catholic Churches to keep up their patrimonial autonomous nature. And the autonomy of these churches is relative in the sense that it is under the supreme authority of the Roman Pontiff.



Hungary's Greek Catholics were originally concentrated in what is now northeastern Hungary. This region was historically inhabited by Greek rite Christians from the Carpathian Mountains (Ruthenians and Romanians). Serbs fleeing the Turkish advance arrived later in what was then Hungary, but most stayed in the area that is now part of Serbia. Later still, when the Turks were driven back from Vienna in 1683 and from Buda and central Hungary in 1686, Ruthenians and Slovaks settled in the abandoned lands of Hungary. They were cared for by the Ruthenian Byzantine Rite Eparchy of Mukacheve (Hungarian: Munkács). In the 17-18th centuries, during the conflict with Protestants, many Hungarians joined the Greek Catholic Church, and so adopted the Byzantine Rite rather than the Latin, which resulted in a considerable increase in their number. [3]

Hungary Country in Central Europe

Hungary is a country in Central Europe. Spanning 93,030 square kilometres (35,920 sq mi) in the Carpathian Basin, it borders Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Austria to the northwest, Romania to the east, Serbia to the south, Croatia to the southwest, and Slovenia to the west. With about 10 million inhabitants, Hungary is a medium-sized member state of the European Union. The official language is Hungarian, which is the most widely spoken Uralic language in the world, and among the few non-Indo-European languages to be widely spoken in Europe. Hungary's capital and largest city is Budapest; other major urban areas include Debrecen, Szeged, Miskolc, Pécs and Győr.

Carpathian Mountains Mountain range in Central and Eastern Europe

The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Roughly 1,500 km (932 mi) long, it is the third-longest European mountain range after the Urals with 2,500 km (1,553 mi) and the Scandinavian Mountains with 1,700 km (1,056 mi). The range stretches from the far eastern Czech Republic (3%) in the northwest through Slovakia (17%), Poland (10%), Hungary (4%) and Ukraine (10%) Serbia (5%) and Romania (50%) in the southeast. The highest range within the Carpathians is known as the Tatra mountains in Slovakia, where the highest peaks exceed 2,600 m (8,530 ft). The second-highest range is the Southern Carpathians in Romania, where the highest peaks range between 2,500 m (8,202 ft) and 2,550 m (8,366 ft).

Serbs Ethnic group

The Serbs are a nation and South Slavic ethnic group that formed in the Balkans. The majority of Serbs inhabit the nation state of Serbia, as well as the disputed territory of Kosovo, and the neighboring countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Montenegro. They form significant minorities in North Macedonia and Slovenia. There is a large Serb diaspora in Western Europe, and outside Europe there are significant communities in North America and Australia.

Perhaps largely because of this last element, Byzantine Hungarians began to use the Hungarian language in their liturgy. A translation of the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom for private study was published in 1795. A book containing the parts of the liturgy that the people sing appeared in 1862. Representatives of 58 Hungarian-speaking parishes met in 1868 and set up an organization to promote the liturgical use of the Hungarian language and the establishment of a separate eparchy. 1882 saw the publication, without formal ecclesiastical approval, of a Hungarian translation of the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom for actual use, which was soon followed by Hungarian translations of other liturgical texts.[ citation needed ]

John Chrysostom Important Early Church Father; Christian saint

Saint John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, was an important Early Church Father. He is known for his preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, and his ascetic sensibilities. The epithet Χρυσόστομος means "golden-mouthed" in Greek and denotes his celebrated eloquence. Chrysostom was among the most prolific authors in the early Christian Church, exceeded only by Augustine of Hippo in the quantity of his surviving writings.

Sui iuris

Finally, on 8 June 1912, Pope Pius X established the Eparchy of Hajdúdorog [4] [5] for the 162 Hungarian-speaking Greek Catholic parishes. He limited the use of Hungarian to non-liturgical functions, requiring the clergy to use Greek in the liturgy, but granted an interval of three years for the change of language to be effected. Because of the outbreak of the First World War, this interval was prolonged indefinitely, and use of Hungarian has continued.[ citation needed ]

Pope Pius X Catholic Pope and saint

Pope Pius X, born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, was head of the Catholic Church from August 1903 to his death in 1914. Pius X is known for vigorously opposing modernist interpretations of Catholic doctrine, promoting liturgical reforms and orthodox theology. He directed the production of the 1917 Code of Canon Law, the first comprehensive and systemic work of its kind.

Hajdúdorog Town in Hajdú-Bihar, Hungary

Hajdúdorog is a town in Hajdú-Bihar county, in the Northern Great Plain region of eastern Hungary. In 2001, 80.9% of the population of Hajdúdorog was Greek Catholic.

Greek language Language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

The change of national frontiers after the First World War led to the reduction of the territory of the Eparchy of Hajdúdorog from the 168 parishes to which it had grown to only 90. Within Hungary there were also 21 parishes of the Eparchy of Prešov and one of the Eparchy of Mukačevo. On 4 June 1924, these were brought together as the new Exarchate of Miskolc, [6] [gci 1] at first - because at that time they still used Church Slavonic in the liturgy - classified as Ruthenian, but now considered part of the Hungarian Greek Catholic Church.[ citation needed ]

Prešov City in Slovakia

Prešov is a city in Eastern Slovakia. It is a seat of the administrative Prešov Region and Šariš as well as the historic Szepes County of the Kingdom of Hungary. With a population of approximately 89,000, it is the third-largest city in Slovakia. It lends its name to the Eperjes-Tokaj Hill-Chain. There are many tourist attractions in Prešov such as castles, pools and the old town.

Miskolc City with county rights in Northern Hungary, Hungary

Miskolc (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈmiʃkolt͡s] is a city in northeastern Hungary, known for its heavy industry. With a population of 161,265 Miskolc is the fourth largest city in Hungary. It is also the county capital of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén and the regional centre of Northern Hungary.

The territory of the eparchy at first corresponded to that of the Latin Archdiocese of Eger (eastern Hungary) and Budapest. But its jurisdiction was extended on 17 July 1980 to the whole of Hungary.[ citation needed ]

Eger City with county rights in Heves, Hungary

Eger is the county seat of Heves, and the second largest city in Northern Hungary. Eger is best known for its castle, thermal baths, baroque buildings, the northernmost Ottoman minaret, dishes and red wines. Its population according to the census of 2011 makes it the 19th largest centre of population in Hungary. The town is located on the Eger Stream, on the hills of the Bükk Mountains.

Budapest Capital of Hungary

Budapest is the capital and the most populous city of Hungary, and the tenth-largest city in the European Union by population within city limits. The city has an estimated population of 1,752,286 over a land area of about 525 square kilometres. Budapest is both a city and county, and forms the centre of the Budapest metropolitan area, which has an area of 7,626 square kilometres and a population of 3,303,786, comprising 33% of the population of Hungary.

On 20 March 2015, Pope Francis elevated the Hungarian Church to a Metropolitanate with Hajdúdorog as its Metropolitan See, naming Bishop Fülöp Kocsis as its metropolitan. He also raised the Apostolic Exarchate of Miskolc to the status of an Eparchy, to be headed by Bishop Atanáz Orosz. Finally he erected the Eparchy of Nyiregyhaza from territory previously within the See of Hajdúdorog. The two eparchies are suffragans of the Hajdúdorog see. [7]

A small number of Hungarian Greek Catholics have emigrated to North America, where their few parishes are aggregated, in the United States of America, to the Ruthenian Byzantine Metropolia, and, in Canada, to the Ukrainian eparchies. [8]


The Church comprises only a single ecclesiastical province, which consists of the Metropolitan Archeparchy (Archdiocese) and two suffragan Eparchies (dioceses):

Its bishops are members of the (mainly Latin) episcopal conference of Hungary.[ citation needed ]

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  1. 1 2 "Ferenc pápa megalapította a Hajdúdorogi Metropóliát" (in Hungarian). Hungarian Catholic Church website. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2015.Cite web requires |website= (help)
  2. 1 2 Roberson, Ronald G. "The Eastern Catholic Churches 2014" (PDF). Eastern Catholic Churches Statistics. Catholic Near East Welfare Association. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  3. Magyar Katolikus Lexikon (Hungarian Catholic Lexicon): Görögkatolikusok (Greek Catholics)
  4. Cheney, David M. "Diocese of Hajdúdorog". All Dioceses. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  5. "Diocese of Hajdúdorog". Catholic Dioceses in the World. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  6. Cheney, David M. "Apostolic Exarchate of Miskolc". All Dioceses. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  8. Roberson, Ronald G. "The Hungarian Catholic Church. Page 2". Eastern Catholic Churches. Catholic Near East Welfare Association. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  1. "Apostolic Exarchate of Miskolc". Catholic Dioceses in the World. GCatholic. Retrieved 10 January 2012.

Coordinates: 47°57′19″N21°42′45″E / 47.9554°N 21.7124°E / 47.9554; 21.7124