|New Honor, New Bishops and a New Eparchy|
At the start of the decade of the 1960's, the organizational status of the Byzantine Catholic Church in the United States was merely that of a church missionary territory with limited self-governing authority. By the end of decade of the 1960's, however, the remarkable growth and the steadfast loyalty of Byzantine Catholics in the United States would be recognized and capped by the bestowal of a new ecclesiastical dignity and status.
In order to “foster religious life” among the Byzantine Catholic faithful, Pope Paul VI issued a decree on February 21, 1969 entitled Quandoquidem Christus (When Christ). By virtue of this decree, the Holy Father transformed the status of the Byzantine Catholic Church in America, creating a metropolitan province with greater self-governing responsibilities, elevating the Eparchy of Pittsburgh to the status of an archdiocese or archeparchy headed by an archbishop, designating the Eparchy of Passaic as a “suffragan” or constituent part of the province and creating a new suffragan eparchy from the territory of the Pittsburgh Eparchy to be headquartered in Parma, Ohio.
Pope Paul appointed Bishop Stephen Kocisko, the new bishop of Pittsburgh, to head the new Byzantine Metropolitan Province and elevated him to the status of archbishop. Bishop Michael Dudick, who succeeded Bishop Kocisko in Passaic in 1968, remained as the head of the five year old Passaic Eparchy. Father Emil Mihalik, the Chancellor of the Passaic Eparchy, was named as the first bishop for the newly created Parma Eparchy.