Some authors affirm that the Peremyshl Eparchy was founded by disciples
of Sts. Cyril and Methodius towards the end of the ninth century. There are ruins of a rotunda in Peremyshl' which might be the cathedral of that time. The first concrete mention of the existence of the eparchy is from the year 122O in the annals of Novhorod (1 and 4), in which it is stated that in that year the Metropolitan of Kyiv appointed Bishop Antin of Novhorod to the See of Peremyshl' From that time on there exists a nearly continuous list of bishops of Peremyshl' until the present day .
The eparchial chapter - krylos - and the eparchial Consistory were instrumental in the administration of the eparchy. The chapter was made up of the arch priest, archdeacon, the custos and later [in c.1836] also the scholasticus, and a group of other members (usually 4 or 5) called the canonici gremiales. The Consistory included the chapter members with a number of other members of the clergy who ran the chancery office and/or held various other positions in the eparchy Both the chapter and the Consistory had chancellors, although in fact the position of chapter chancellor was almost never filled and the duties were performed by the Consistory chancellor.
The chapter or krylos was an old Ukrainian institution and acted mainly as an advisory board to the bishops. Its membership consisted of the pastors of the churches in the bishop's city and the surrounding area. Between the years 1335 and I 689, mentions are made in Ill contemporary documents, mostly dealing with the approval of appointments and matters of dispute. During Polish times the bishops were often appointed from the lower class nobility and the krylosy were in great part neglected. Bishop I. Vynnyc'kyj revived the krylos on October 18,1687. On May 5, 1689, King Jan Sobieski approved the appointment of 12 persons (6 prelates and 6 canons) to the krylos. When Austria took over, Joseph II sanctioned their existence, but it was not a formal approval. On the initiative of Bishop Mykhailo Levyc'kyj on April 20, 1816 the bylaws and the establishment of the krylosy of both Peremyshl' and L'viv were formally approved by Emperor Franz I of Austria. On July 12, 1864, the krylosy of both Peremyshl' and L'viv were approved by Pope Pius IX 1.
The Consistory was established in the eparchy on August 27, 1787 2.
It is difficult to ascertain anything definite about the boundaries of the eparchy in the early times. Probably they were not much changed through the centuries from the princely period. On the east there was the extensive See of Halych, later of L'viv. On the south there were some connections with Trascarpathian territories, on which the Eparchy of Mukachiv was established, but they were not durable. On the west there were the Latin rite Polish territories of the See of Krakow, which was continuously encroaching upon the territory and faithful of the Eparchy of Peremyshl' under Polish and even under Austrian domination. On the north there was the Eparchy of Kholm, which had included the regions of Kholm and Belz since the princely period. The northern boundaries were stable until 1772 when Austria took part of the Eparchy of Kholm, most of which then became part of the Eparchy of Peremyshl' (Bishop Maksymylijan Rylo of Kholm became Bishop of Peremyshl') and some of the parishes from Kholm went to the Arch eparchy of L'viv after a few years.
The administrative division of the eparchy was no doubt only slowly organized through the centuries, and in the last couple of centuries under Polish domination it was probably very little changed. The administration of the parishes in the eparchy was divided into deaneries, each of which included a number of parishes, filial churches and localities. Each deanery had a dean, a vice-dean, sometimes a librarian, and later gradually a supervisor of education was added.
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© LV Productions Originally Composed: May 12th, 1997
Date last modified: Sunday July 11th, 1999.