Vatican City, Feb 18, 2019 / 10:00 am (CNA).- The Vatican announced on Monday that Bishop Boris Gudziak has been named as the new Archbishop of the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia. With this appointment, Gudziak will become the metropolitan bishop of all Ukrainian Greek Catholics living in the United States.
Gudziak is presently the bishop of the Ukrainian Eparchy of Saint Vladimir-le Grand de Paris, which covers Ukrainian Greek Catholics living in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. He was consecrated a bishop in August of 2012, and he has led the Eparchy of Saint Vladimir-le Grand de Paris since it was made an eparchy in January of 2013.
In the Eastern Catholic Church, an eparchy is the equivalent of a diocese. In the United States, there are three suffragan eparchies in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, in addition to the Archeparchy of Philadelphia.
Gudziak was born in Syracuse and graduated from Syracuse University prior to entering the priesthood. Both of his parents moved to the United States from Ukraine. He was ordained in November of 1998.
Prior to his time in Paris, Gudziak was the vice rector and rector of the Liviv Theological Academy, and president of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Liviv, Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Greek Archeparchy of Philadelphia has been sede vacante, without an archeparch, since August of 2018, when Archbishop Stefan Soroka retired early due to ill health.
Since then, the archeparchy has been led by Apostolic Administrator Andriy Rabiy, an auxiliary bishop of the archeparchy.
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is the largest of the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches that are in full communion with Rome. Each of these Churches is governed by their own proper canon law, which protects their unique cultural traditions and liturgical patrimony.
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was created in 1596. Most Ukrainian Christians today are members of the Eastern Orthodox faith.
There are about 18 million members of Eastern Catholic Churches, of which about four million are Ukrainian Greek Catholic. There are about 100,000 members of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church living in the United States. More than two thirds of this population lives within the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia.
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