Metropolitan Church History

The Byzantine Church in the West: The Eparchy of Van Nuys

In May 1981, the bishops of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan Province met in Pittsburgh.  One of the topics at this meeting was the proposal made by Bishop Emil Mihalik to create a fourth diocese to minister to Byzantine Catholics in the western portion of the United States.  In light of the great distances between the emerging western parishes and the episcopal see of the Parma Eparchy, Bishop Mihalik felt that a new diocese organized and headquartered closer to these parishes was imperative in order to better serve their needs.  When his fellow bishops agreed with this assessment, a formal request was dispatched to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, through the Sacred Oriental Congregation, to establish a Byzantine Catholic diocese for the western United States.

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The Church in Transition

During the 1990's, all four of the dioceses making up the Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan Province experienced changes in leadership due to retirements, death and reassignments.  As a result of this “changing of the guard,” this era can best be described as a transitional phase in the history of the Metropolitan Province.  Highlighting this new transitional era was the rapid turnover in the leadership of the Pittsburgh Archeparchy which saw four different bishops assume responsibility for governing its affairs within the period of five years.

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