Ukrainian Catholic Major Archeparchy of Kyiv–Galicia

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Major Archeparchy of Kyiv–Galicia

Archieparchia Kioviensis–Haliciensis Ucrainorum

Country Ukraine
HeadquartersKyiv, Ukraine
Sui iuris churchUkrainian Greek Catholic
RiteByzantine Rite
Established1808 (as Metropolitan of Galicia and Archbishop of Lemberg)
CathedralKyiv Patriarchal Cathedral
Current leadership
ArchbishopSviatoslav Shevchuk
Metropolitan ArchbishopSviatoslav Shevchuk

The Major Archeparchy of Kyiv–Galicia, or Kyiv–Halych, is the only major archeparchy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. The cathedral church, the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ, was finished in 2013 in Kyiv.


The ecclesiastical province dates back to the 10th century when a Metropolia was established, by the Patriarch of Constantinople then still before the Great Eastern Schism, after the conversion of the Grand Duke of Kyiv St. Volodymyr the Great in 988.

After the Mongol invasion which devastated Kyiv during the 13th century a second Metropolia was established in Halych in 1303 by the efforts of King Leo I of Halych and later his son George. It existed during most of the 14th century but remained vacant since 1401 as the Metropolitan of Kyiv took over the title.

During the 15th century the Metropolitans worked together with the Patriarch of Constantinople to re-establish Christian Unity and in 1439 participated in the Union of Florence. In 1596 the Metropolia entered the Union of Brest, re-establishing full communion with the Holy See, however suffering a deep internal split.

Following the Partitions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth at the end of the 18th century most of the Ruthenian (modern Belarusian and Ukrainian) lands fell under Russian rule, where the Greek Catholic Church was gradually suppressed by 1839. Nevertheless, the Church survived in Austrian ruled Halychyna, where the Metropolia of Halych was reestablished, with prerogatives to administer the vacant see of Kyiv, on the basis of the Eparchy of Lviv in 1807 by Pope Pius VII.

In 1939 Halychyna also came under Russian rule and in 1946 the local Church structure was forcefully subjected under the Russian Orthodox Church. In 1969 the Metropolitan, temporarily residing in Rome, was raised by Pope John XXIII to the newly created position of Major Archbishop, with rights equivalent to those of a Patriarch, however not named so as not to provoke a new wave of repressions against the Catacomb Church in Ukraine and avoid hampering ecumenical dialogue with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.

Following the collapse of Soviet Union the Major Archbishop returned to his archepiscopal see in Lviv, and it enjoyed a papal visit from Pope John Paul II June 2001.

In 2004 the Major Archbishop was transferred to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, with the Major Archeparchy of Lviv renamed by Pope Benedict XVI to its current name. The title of the suppressed Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Kamyanets was united with it on 2004.12.06.

Sviatoslav Shevchuk was installed as the Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halych in March 2011, succeeding Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, M.S.U. He was auxiliary bishop of the Major Archeparchy of Lviv during 1996–2000 and was apostolic administrator in 2000 until his appointment as Major Archbishop in 2001.

List of primates[edit]

Greek Catholic Church[edit]

Upon the partition of Poland, Eparchies that ended up within the Habsburg Monarchy were reorganized. The Eparchy of Lviv was converted into archeparchy and its bishop became a Metropolitan bishop governing the rest of the eparchies of the former Ruthenian Uniate Church. The new Metropolia received name of Galicia and in way became a successor of the 14th century Metropolia of Galicia. All primates were approved by the Pope.

Metropolitan of Galicia and Archbishop of Lemberg:

In 1945 Josyf Slipyj as leading bishop of the Greek Catholic Church was arrested by the Soviet authorities. Following the Lviv Council (1946), the Greek Catholic Church was forcibly abolished on the territory of the Soviet Union, and its property and clergy transferred to the Russian Orthodox Church.

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church[edit]

Major Archbishop of Lviv[edit]

In 1963 the Archbishop of Lviv was elevated to the rank of Major archbishop. With fall of the Soviet Union, in 1989 the Metropolitan of Galicia was revived.

Major Archbishop of Lviv and Metropolitan of Galicia[edit]

Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Galicia[edit]

In 2005 Exarch of Kyiv-Galicia was transformed into a diocese and converted into an archdiocese. The new archdiocese was also turned into the Major Archbishop's see and reinstating the Kyiv see since the 1838 Synod of Polotsk.

Source and External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°27′00″N 30°30′00″E / 50.4500°N 30.5000°E / 50.4500; 30.5000