|Slovak Greek Catholic Church|
|Primate||Metropolitan Ján Babjak|
|Associations||Congregation for the Oriental Churches|
|Region||Slovakia, with communities in Canada|
|Other name(s)||Slovak Byzantine Catholic Church|
|Part of a series on|
| Particular churches sui iuris |
of the Catholic Church
|Particular churches are grouped by rite.|
|East Syriac Rite|
|West Syriac Rite|
The Slovak Greek Catholic Church (Slovak: Gréckokatolícka cirkev na Slovensku, "Greek-Catholic Church in Slovakia"), or Slovak Byzantine Catholic Church, is a Metropolitan sui iuris Eastern particular Church in full union with the Catholic Church. Its liturgical rite is the Byzantine Rite. L'Osservatore Romano of January 31, 2008 reported that, in Slovakia alone, it had some 350,000 faithful, 374 priests and 254 parishes. In addition, the 2012 Annuario Pontificio gave its Canadian Eparchy of Saints Cyril and Methodius of Toronto as having 2,000 faithful, 4 priests and 5 parishes.The Slovak Greek Catholic Church is in full communion with the Holy See.
Slovak or less frequently Slovakian is a West Slavic language. It is called slovenský jazyk or slovenčina in the language itself.
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.
Since the unanimous acceptance of the Union of Uzhhorod on the territory that includes present day eastern Slovakia in 1646, the history of the Slovak Greek Catholic Church was intertwined with that of the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church for a period of several centuries. At the end of World War I, most Greek Catholic Ruthenians and Slovaks were included within the territory of Czechoslovakia, including two eparchies, Prešov and Mukačevo. The eparchy of Prešov, created on September 22, 1818, was removed in 1937 from the jurisdiction of the Hungarian primate and subjected directly to the Holy See, while the 21 parishes of the eparchy of Prešov that were in Hungary were formed into the new exarchate of Miskolc.
The Union of Uzhhorod, also referred to as Union of Ungvár, was the 1646 decision of 63 Ruthenian Orthodox priests from the south slopes of the Carpathian Mountains, then within the Kingdom of Hungary, to join the Catholic Church on terms similar to the Union of Brest from 1596 in the lands of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The modern result of this union is the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church.
Slovakia, officially the Slovak Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the west, and the Czech Republic to the northwest. Slovakia's territory spans about 49,000 square kilometres (19,000 sq mi) and is mostly mountainous. The population is over 5.4 million and consists mostly of Slovaks. The capital and largest city is Bratislava, and the second-largest city is Košice. The official language is Slovak.
The Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church, also known in the United States as the Byzantine Catholic Church, is an Eastern Catholic church that uses the Byzantine Rite for its liturgies, laws, and cultural identity. It is one of the 23 Eastern Catholic churches that are in full communion with the Holy See. There are two main communities within the church: American and European. In the United States, the Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan Church of Pittsburgh is self-governing. In Europe, Ruthenian Catholics are immediately subject to the Holy See. The European branch has an eparchy in Ukraine and another in the Czech Republic.
After World War II, the eparchy of Mukačevo in Transcarpathia was annexed by the Soviet Union, thus the eparchy of Prešov included all the Greek Catholics that remained in Czechoslovakia. After communists seized the country in April 1950, a "synod" was convoked at Prešov, at which five priests and a number of laymen signed a document declaring that the union with Rome was disbanded and asking to be received into the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate, later the Orthodox Church of Czechoslovakia. Greek Catholic bishop Blessed Pavel Petro Gojdič of Prešov along with his auxiliary, Blessed Basil Hopko, were imprisoned and bishop Gojdič died in prison in 1960.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
Carpathian Ruthenia, Carpatho-Ukraine or Zakarpattia is a historic region in the border between Central and Eastern Europe, mostly located in western Ukraine's Zakarpattia Oblast, with smaller parts in easternmost Slovakia and Poland's Lemkovyna. Before World War I most of this region was part of the Kingdom of Hungary. In the interwar period, it was part of the First and Second Czechoslovak Republic. During World War II, the region was annexed by the Kingdom of Hungary once again. After the war, it was occupied by the USSR and became part of Soviet Ukraine.
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a Marxist-Leninist sovereign state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres (4,500 mi) north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.
During the Prague Spring in 1968, the former Greek Catholic parishes were allowed to restore communion with Rome. Of the 292 parishes involved, 205 voted in favor. This was one of the few reforms by Dubček that survived the Soviet invasion the same year. However, most of their church buildings remained in the hands of Orthodox Church.
The Prague Spring was a period of political liberalization and mass protest in Czechoslovakia as a Communist state after World War II. It began on 5 January 1968, when reformist Alexander Dubček was elected First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ), and continued until 21 August 1968, when the Soviet Union and other members of the Warsaw Pact invaded the country to suppress the reforms.
Alexander Dubček was a Czechoslovak and Slovak politician who served as the First Secretary of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) from January 1968 to April 1969. He attempted to reform the communist government during the Prague Spring but was forced to resign following the Warsaw Pact invasion in August 1968.
After communism was overthrown in the 1989 Velvet Revolution, Church property was gradually returned to the Slovak Greek Catholic Church. This process was almost completed by 1993, the year after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. For Greek Catholics in the Czech Republic, a separate Apostolic Vicariate was created, elevated in 1996 to an exarchate thus forming the Apostolic Exarchate in the Czech Republic (now considered part of Ruthenian Catholic Church); the 2007 Annuario Pontificio indicated that it had by then grown to having 177,704 faithful, 37 priests and 25 parishes.
The Velvet Revolution or Gentle Revolution was a non-violent transition of power in what was then Czechoslovakia, occurring from 17 November to 29 December 1989. Popular demonstrations against the one-party government of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia included students and older dissidents. The result was the end of 41 years of one-party rule in Czechoslovakia, and the subsequent dismantling of the command economy and conversion to a parliamentary republic.
The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name, Czechia, is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east, and Poland to the northeast. The Czech Republic has a landlocked and hilly landscape that covers an area of 78,866 square kilometers (30,450 sq mi) with a mostly temperate continental climate and oceanic climate. It is a unitary parliamentary republic, with 10.6 million inhabitants. Its capital and largest city is Prague, with 1.3 million residents; other major cities are Brno, Ostrava, Olomouc and Pilsen.
An exarchate is any territorial jurisdiction whose ruler is described as an exarch.
In Slovakia itself, Pope John Paul II created an Apostolic Exarchate of Košice in 1997. Pope Benedict XVI raised this to the level of an Eparchy on January 30, 2008 and at the same time erected the new Byzantine-rite Eparchy of Bratislava. He also raised Prešov to the level of a metropolitan see, constituting the Slovak Greek Catholic Church as a sui iuris metropolitan Church.
Pope John Paul II was the Pope of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 1978 to 2005.
Pope Benedict XVI is a retired prelate of the Catholic Church who served as head of the Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 2005 until his resignation in 2013. Benedict's election as pope occurred in the 2005 papal conclave that followed the death of Pope John Paul II. Benedict chose to be known by the title "pope emeritus" upon his resignation.
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 the United States, the Slovak Greek Catholics are not distinguished from the Ruthenians. Nonetheless, they have an eparchy in Canada, the Eparchy of Saints Cyril and Methodius of Toronto.
The Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia is a self-governing body of the Eastern Orthodox Church that territorially covers the countries of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Archbishop Rastislav of Prešov was elected by the Extraordinary Synod held on January 11, 2014, as the new primate. On December 9, 2013, the Synod removed Archbishop Simeon (Jakovlevic) of Brno and Olomouc from his position as Locum Tenens, and appointed Archbishop Rastislav in his place, an action against which Archbishop Simeon protested and which was deplored by Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople.
The Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh is part of the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church in the United States.
The Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix is the Catholic eparchy (diocese) governing most Byzantine Ruthenian Catholics in the western United States. Its headquarters are at 8105 North 16th Street, Phoenix, Arizona. The current bishop is the Most Reverend John Stephen Pazak.
The Catholic Church in Slovakia is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome.
The Greek Catholic Cathedral Church of Virgin Mary's Birth is located at Moyzesova Street in the historic centre of Košice, Slovakia. It is the cathedral of the Eparchy of Košice.
The Hungarian Greek Catholic Church 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. Its liturgical rite is the Byzantine Rite in Hungarian.
Stephen John Kocisko was the first Metropolitan Archbishop of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan Church of Pittsburgh, the American branch of the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church
The Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh is the Catholic archeparchy (archdiocese) governing all of the Byzantine Catholic (Ruthenian) Church in the western portion of Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, and in the states of Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. Its chancery office and the residence of the Archbishop are located at 66 Riverview Avenue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is distinguished from the Latin Church Diocese of Pittsburgh.
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 Slovak (Greek) Catholic Archeparchy of Prešov is the Metropolitan archeparchy of the Byzantine Rite Slovak Greek Catholic Church which covers the territory of the Prešov Region.
Pavel Peter Gojdič, O.S.B.M.,, was a Rusyn-Slovak Basilian monk and the eparch of the Greek Catholic Eparchy of Prešov. He was martyred by the communist regime in Czechoslovakia. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2001 and recognised as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 2007.
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 Ruthenian (Greek) Catholic Apostolic Exarchate of the Czech Republic, also known as the Apostolic Exarchate in the Czech Republic, is an Eastern Catholic institution overseeing Catholics of the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church. It uses the localized Byzantine Rite in archaic Slavonic language and is based in the Czech Republic.
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.
John Stephen Pazak, C.Ss.R. is an American-born member of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, commonly known as the Redemptorists, who serves as an eparch of the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church. Since July 2016 he has served as the Eparch of the Ruthenian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Protection of Mary, which is based in Phoenix, Arizona.
Bishop Milan Chautur, C.Ss.R. is a Slovak Greek Catholic hierarch, who has served as the first Eparchial Bishop of the newly created Slovak Catholic Eparchy of Košice since 30 January 2008. Previously he served as Titular Bishop of Cresima and an Auxiliary Bishop of the Slovak Catholic Eparchy of Prešov from 11 January 1992 until 27 January 1997 and as Apostolic Exarch of the Apostolic Exarchate of Košice from 29 January 1997 until 30 January 2008.
Bishop Ján Eugen Kočiš is a Slovak and Czech Greek Catholic hierarch, who served as a Titular Bishop of Abrittum and an Auxiliary Bishop of the Ruthenian Catholic Apostolic Exarchate of Czech Republic from 24 April 2004 until 7 October 2006.