Ruthenian Uniate Church

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The Ruthenian Uniate Church (Belarusian: Руская Уніяцкая Царква; Ukrainian: Руська Унійна Церква; Latin: Ecclesia Ruthena unita; Polish: Ruski Kościół Unicki), a historical church, originated within the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth following the Union of Brest of 1595/1596 which attempted to reconcile Ruthenian Orthodox structures with the Papacy. The formation of the church led to high degree of confrontation among Ruthenians, such as the murder of Josaphat Kuntsevych in 1623.

Following the partition of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1772–1795), the church was mostly dissolved within territory that was annexed by the Russian Empire, with most of the church eparchies being forcibly converted to Russian Orthodoxy. On territory annexed by the Austrian Empire, the church continued in operation, but was reorganized as a Greek Catholic Church under a Galician Metropolitan. Today, the Ruthenian Uniate Church survives as the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, and the Belarusian Greek Catholic Church.

Composition (eparchies)[edit]

Administrative divisions of the Ruthenian Uniate (Greek-Catholic) Church in 1772 (before the partition of Poland).
The archbishop Josaphat Kuntsevych encourages inhabitants at Vitebsk, Vitebsk Voivodeship, to join the union.[a]
Martyrdom of Vitebsk archbishop Josaphat in 1623 by Polish painter Simmler, 1861.

After partition[edit]

Russian Empire
German Empire
Austrian Empire

Metropolitan bishops[edit]

Metropolitans of Kyiv, Galicia and all Ruthenia:[2]

Post-partition administrators in Russia[edit]




  1. ^ In 1893, Russian painter Ilya Repin "depicted the moment when a Jesuit encourages residents of Vitebsk join the union," in a drawing on the theme of "preaching Kuntsevych".[1]


  1. ^ Brodskiĭ, Iosif; Moskvinov, V. N., eds. (1969). Новое о Репине : статьи и письма художника. Воспоминания учеников и друзей. Публикации (in Russian). Leningrad: Художник РСФСР. p. 389. OCLC 4599550. [...] 1893 года на тему 'Проповедь Кунцевича', посвященных одному из героических эпизодов в жизни белорусского народа. Художник изобразил момент, когда монах-иезуит призывает жителей Витебска примкнуть к унии, [...]
  2. ^ Pelesz, Julian (1881). Geschichte der Union der ruthenischen Kirche mit Rom. Woerl. pp. 1083–84.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]