18-January-2013 -- ZENIT.org News Agency |

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Pope Creates Eparchy in London for Ukrainian Catholics

Ohio-born Priest Named 1st Bishop of New Diocese

LONDON, January 18, 2013 (Zenit.org) - Benedict XVI has elevated the Ukrainian apostolic exarchate in Great Britain to the rank of eparchy (diocese).

The new eparchy has the title: Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family of London.

Bishop Hlib Borys Sviatoslav Lonchyna, until now apostolic exarch there, was named the first eparchial bishop.

An apostolic exarchate in the Eastern Catholic Church is similar to an apostolic vicariate in the Latin Rite Catholic Church. It is headed by a titular bishop as its ordinary with the title of exarch.

With the elevation of the Ukrainian apostolic exarchate in Great Britain to the rank of eparchy, Bishop Hlib Lonchyna is no longer the titular bishop of Bareta but becomes the first bishop of the new Eparchy (Diocese) of the Holy Family of London.

The apostolic exarchate for Ukrainians in Great Britain was erected in England and Wales in 1957 and was extended to Scotland and Great Britain in 1968.

Born in Steubenville, Ohio, in 1954, Hlib Lonchyna was ordained to the priesthood in July 1977. He was appointed titular bishop of Bareta and ordained auxiliary bishop of Lviv, Ukraine, in 2002. The next year, he was appointed apostolic visitor for the Ukrainian Greek-Catholics in Italy. In 2004 he became apostolic visitor in Spain and Ireland.

In 2009, he was appointed apostolic administrator "sede vacante" of the apostolic exarchate for Ukrainian Catholics in Britain and Ireland. He was formally named apostolic exarch by Benedict XVI in June 2011.

Bishop Hlib's appointment as eparch is with immediate effect.

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