Friday, June 26, 2015

Sui Juris Churches XXIII: The Macedonian Greek Catholic Church

(on sui juris churches in general)

Liturgical Family: Byzantine

Primary Liturgical Language: Macedonian

Juridical Status: Apostolic Exarchate

Approximate Population (to Nearest 1000): 15,000

Brief History: The Macedonian Greek Catholic Church is a former part of two different sui juris churches. Its roots lie in the formation of an Apostolic Exarchate for Macedonia in 1883; that was part of the Bulgarian Greek Catholic Church, because a considerable portion of the Byzantine rite Catholics in Macedonia were of Bulgarian background. After World War I, however, and the formation of Yugoslavia, it made more administrative sense for Macedonia to be folded into the Eparchy of KriĹževci along with the rest of Yugoslavia. As part of the eparchy it endured the same problems and occasional persecutions that Greek Catholics faced throughout Yugoslavia.

In 2001 the Apostolic Exarchate of Macedonia was re-formed, and since 2008 it has been officially regarded as independent of the Byzantine Church of Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro. The Exarch is also the Latin Rite bishop of Skopje. Its population has grown steadily over the past decade.

Notable Monuments: Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Strumica.

Extent of Official Jurisdiction: The Apostolic Exarchate of Macedonia of the Macedonians

Online Sources and Resources: There is very little online information about this sui juris church.

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