The Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, His Excellency Archbishop Antonio Mennini, has released the following statement:
“The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has elevated the Ukrainian Apostolic Exarchate in Great Britain to the rank of Eparchy, with the title of the Holy Family (Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family of London), and has appointed as its first Eparchial Bishop, His Excellency Bishop Hlib Borys Sviatoslav Lonchyna, until now Apostolic Exarch of the same circumscription.”
The Apostolic Exarchate for Ukrainians in Great Britain was erected in England and Wales in 1957 and was extended to Scotland and Great Britain in 1968. An Apostolic Exarchate in the Eastern Catholic Church is similar to an Apostolic Vicariate in the Latin Rite Catholic Church. It is headed by a Titular Bishop as its Ordinary with the title of Exarch. With the elevation of the Ukrainian Apostolic Exarchate in Great Britain to the rank of Eparchy, Bishop Hlib Lonchyna is no longer the Titular Bishop of Bareta but becomes the first Bishop of the new Eparchy (Diocese) of the Holy Family of London.
Born in Steubenville, Ohio in February 1954, Bishop Lonchyna was ordained to the priesthood in July 1977. He was appointed Titular Bishop of Bareta and ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Lviv, Ukraine on 27 February 2002. On 14 January 2003 he was appointed Apostolic Visitor for the Ukrainian Greek–Catholics in Italy. On 4 March 2004 he became Apostolic Visitor in Spain and Ireland. In 2009, he was appointed Apostolic Administrator “sede vacante” of the Apostolic Exarchate for Ukrainian Catholics in Britain and Ireland. He was formally named Apostolic Exarch by Pope Benedict XVI on 14 June 2011 and was installed on 2 August 2011. Bishop Hlib’s appointment as Eparch is with immediate effect.