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Pope Francis Nominates Auxiliary Bishop from Slovakia as Apostolic Administrator of Eparchy of Parma for the Ruthenians

June 24, 2017

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named Auxiliary Bishop, Milan Lach, SJ, currently Auxiliary Bishop of Prešov, Slovakia, as Apostolic Administrator of the sede vacante (vacant see) of the Epharcy of Parma for the Ruthenians. The Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma is the Catholic eparchy governing most Ruthenian Catholics in the mid-western United States. It is headquartered in Parma, Ohio.

The appointment was publicized in Washington, June 24, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Pope Francis relieved His Excellency William Skurla, Archbishop of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Pittsburgh, from the pastoral governance of the Eparchy of Parma.

Bishop Lach, 43, was born in Kežmarok, Slovakia in 1973. In 1992, he was admitted to the Greek-catholic seminary in Prešov and in 1995 entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus in Trnava, Slovakia. He continued his studies at Trnava University and also studied at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, where he obtained a master's degree from the Eastern Church Sciences and later, a doctorate degree. In 2009, he began working at the Center of Spirituality East – West of Michal Lacko in Košice, Slovakia.

He was ordained a deacon of the Society of Jesus on November 11, 2000 and was ordained a priest on July 1, 2001. He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Prešov and titular bishop of Ostracine on April 19, 2013. He was ordained as auxiliary bishop of Prešov and titular bishop of Ostracine, June 1, 2013.

The Eparchy of Parma for the Ruthenians was erected February 21, 1969. Currently, the Eparchy of Parma encompasses the geographical area of Ohio (except the eastern border counties), Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. Byzantine Catholics living in those states are members of the local Church of Parma.


Keywords: bishop appointment, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Auxiliary Bishop Milan Lach, SJ, Eparchy of Parma for the Ruthenians, Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma, Ruthenian Catholics, auxiliary, Slovakia, Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh.

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Judy Keane

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