Eparchy is an anglicized Greek word (ἐπαρχία), authentically Latinized as eparchia, which can be loosely translated as the rule or jurisdiction over something, such as a province, prefecture, or territory. It has specific meanings both in politics, history and in the hierarchy of the Eastern Christian churches.

In secular use, the word eparchy denotes an administrative district in the Roman / Byzantine Empire, or in modern Greece or Cyprus.

In ecclesiastical use, an eparchy is a territorial diocese governed by a bishop of one of the Eastern churches, who holds the title of eparch. It is part of a metropolis. Each eparchy is divided into parishes in the same manner as a diocese of western Christendom. In the Catholic Church, an archieparchy equivalent to an archdiocese of the Roman Rite and its bishop is an archieparch, equivalent to an archbishop of the Roman Rite.

Secular jurisdictions

Imperial Roman administration

Originally eparchy (ἐπαρχίᾱ, eparchia) was the Greek equivalent of the Latin term provincia, one of the districts of the Roman Empire. As such it was used, chiefly in the eastern parts of the Empire, to designate the Roman provinces. The term eparch (Greek: ἔπαρχος, eparchos) however, designating an eparchy's governor, was most usually used to refer to the praetorian prefects (singular in Greek: ἔπαρχος τοῦ πραιτωρίου, "eparch of the praetorium") in charge of the Empire's praetorian prefectures, and to the Eparch of Constantinople, the city's urban prefect.

Byzantine administration

The Dominate-period administrative system was retained In the Byzantine period of the Empire until the 7th century. As Greek became the Empire's main administrative language, replacing Latin, in the latter 6th century even the provinces of the Exarchate of Ravenna, in reconquered Italy, were termed eparchiae in Greek as well as in Latin.

In the latter half of the 7th century, the old provincial administration was replaced by the thematic system. Even after that however, the term eparchos remained in use until the 840s for the senior administrative official of each thema, under the governing strategos. Thereafter, eparchs are evident in some cases as city governors, but the most important by far amongst them was the Eparch of Constantinople, whose office had wide-ranging powers and functioned continuously until the 13th century.[1]

Modern Greece and Cyprus

The term eparchia was revived as one of the administrative sub-provincial units of post-Ottoman independent Greece, the country being divided into nomoi ("Prefectures"), of which in turn some were subdivided into eparchies. From 1887, the eparchies were abolished as actual administrative units, but were retained for some state services, especially finance services and education, as well as for electoral purposes. Before the Second World War, there were 139 eparchies, and after the war, with the addition of the Dodecanese Islands, their number grew to 147. The provinces were abolished in the mainland (but retained for the islands), in the wide-ranging administrative reform implemented in 1997 (the "Kapodistrias Project") and replaced by enlarged municipalities (demoi).

In Cyprus, the term eparchia is used to refer to the Districts of Cyprus.

Church hierarchy

The Christian Church (before the split into Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox) adopted elements of political, administrative system of the late Roman Empire, as introduced by the reforms of Diocletian (284-305). Adopted elements included both organizational structure and terminology.

Notwithstanding the primacies of the Apostolic Sees of Rome, Alexandria and Antioch, the bishoprics of each civil province were grouped in one ecclesiastical province, also called eparchy, under the supervision of the metropolitan, usually the bishop of the provincial capital. The First Council of Nicaea in 325 accepted this arrangement and orders that: "the authority [of appointing bishops] shall belong to the metropolitan in each eparchy" (can. iv), i.e., in each such civil eparchy (province) there shall be a metropolitan bishop who has authority over the others.[2]

Since the use of the term eparchy was originally linked to metropolitan rights, later in Eastern Christianity, after a process of title-inflation and multiplying the numbers of metropolitans by elevating local bishops to honorary metropolitan rank without giving them any real metropolitan powers, the use of the word "eparchy" was gradually modified and came to refer to dioceses of such "metropolitan" bishops, and later to dioceses in general. This process was initially promoted in the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and later the new usage of term "eparchy" became prevalent in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the ancient Oriental Churches, and the Eastern Catholic Churches.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the name eparchy is not commonly used as the usual term for a diocese except in the Bulgarian, Czechoslovak, Russian, and Serbian Orthodox Churches. The Russian Orthodox Church in the early 20th century counted 86 eparchies, of which three (Kiev, Moscow, and St. Petersburg) were ruled by bishops who always bore the title "Metropolitan."


  1. ^ Ostrogorsky 1956.
  2. ^ Meyendorff 1989.


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "article name needed". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Eparch" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 9 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 666.
  • Pauly-Wissowa
  • Ostrogorsky, George (1956). History of the Byzantine State. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
  • Meyendorff, John (1989). Imperial unity and Christian divisions: The Church 450-680 A.D. The Church in history. 2. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press.
  • Nedungatt, George, ed. (2002). A Guide to the Eastern Code: A Commentary on the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. Rome: Oriental Institute Press.

External links

Eparchy of Dalmatia

The Eparchy of Dalmatia (Serbian: Далматинска епархија or Dalmatinska eparhija) is a diocese or eparchy of the Serbian Orthodox Church, having jurisdiction over the region of Dalmatia, in Croatia. Since 2017, Serbian Orthodox Bishop of Dalmatia is Nikodim Kosović.

Eparchy of Gornji Karlovac

The Eparchy of Gornji Karlovac (Croatian: Eparhija gornjokarlovačka, Serbian: Епархија горњокарловачка; "Eparchy of Upper Karlovac") is an eparchy of the Serbian Orthodox Church seated in the city of Karlovac, Croatia. It covers the area of Banovina, Kordun, Lika, Krbava, Gorski Kotar, as well as northern Croatia and Istria.

The important Orthodox Christian monasteries in the region are Gomirje near Ogulin and Komogovina between Glina and Kostajnica.

Eparchy of Osječko polje and Baranja

Eparchy of Osječko polje and Baranja (Serbian Cyrillic: Епархија осјечкопољска и барањска or Епархија осечкопољска и барањска; Croatian: Osječkopoljska i baranjska eparhija) is an eparchy (diocese) of the Serbian Orthodox Church encompassing easternmost areas of Croatia, with seat in Dalj.

Since the death of bishop Lukijan Vladulov in spring of 2017, the Eparchy is administered by bishop Irinej Bulović of Bačka. The eparchy has three vicarages (in Osijek, Vukovar and Baranja), with a total of 39 priests and two deacons.

Eparchy of Raška and Prizren

Eparchy of Raška and Prizren or Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Raška-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija (Serbian: Епархија рашко-призренска и косовско-метохијска, Eparhija raško-prizrenska i kosovsko-metohijska, Albanian: Eparkia Rashkë - Prizren) is one of the oldest eparchies of the Serbian Orthodox Church, featuring the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Serbian Patriarchal Monastery of Peć, as well as Serbian Orthodox Monastery of Visoki Dečani, which together are part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Serbia.

Jurisdiction of the Eparchy is reflected in its name: it has diocesan jurisdiction over Eastern Orthodox Christians in historical regions of Raška, Kosovo and Metohija. The official see of the Eparchy is in Prizren, Kosovo.

Eparchy of Slavonia

Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Slavonia (Serbian Cyrillic: Српска православна епархија славонска, Croatian: Srpska pravoslavna eparhija slavonska) is an eparchy (diocese) of the Serbian Orthodox Church encompassing areas of western and central Slavonia, in modern Croatia. Since 2014, the Eparchy is headed by bishop Jovan Ćulibrk.

Eparchy of Srem

The Eparchy of Srem (Serbian: Сремска епархија or Sremska eparhija) is an eparchy (diocese) of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the Syrmia (Srem) region, Serbia. Most of the eparchy is in the autonomous province of Vojvodina, and it also includes a small south-eastern part of Syrmia within the city limits of Belgrade, as well as some West Syrmian parishes in the border region of Croatia. The seat of the eparchy is at Sremski Karlovci. Since 1986, the diocesan bishop is Vasilije Vadić.

Eparchy of Zahumlje and Herzegovina

The Eparchy of Zahumlje, Herzegovina and the Littoral (Serbian: Епархија Захумско-херцеговачка и Приморска) is an eparchy (diocese) of the Serbian Orthodox Church with its seat in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has jurisdiction over the region of Herzegovina, the littoral region of southern Dalmatia in Croatia and a small part of Montenegro. Since 1999, the Bishop of Zahumlje and Herzegovina has been Grigorije Durić.

Greek Catholic Church of Croatia and Serbia

The Greek Catholic Church of Croatia and Serbia is a particular (sui iuris) Eastern Catholic Church of the Byzantine Rite which is in full union with the Catholic Church. It consists of the Eparchy of Križevci, covering Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the Eparchy of Ruski Krstur, covering Serbia. The Eparchy of Križevci was headed by Bishop Nikola Kekić until his retirement in March 2019, and since then the eparchy is governed by apostolic administrator Milan Stipić. The Eparchy of Ruski Krstur is headed by Bishop Đura Džudžar since his appointment in 2003 (until 2018 as Apostolic Exarch).Although two eparchies are canonicaly linked, the Church has no unified structure, nor an ecclesiastical province of its own, since the Eparchy of Križevci is suffragan to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Zagreb, and the Eparchy of Ruski Krstur is directly subjected to the Holy See.


Ismailia (Arabic: الإسماعيلية‎ al-Ismāʻīlīyah Egyptian Arabic pronunciation: [lesmæʕiˈlejjæ]) is a city in north-eastern Egypt. Known in Egypt as "The City of Beauty and Enchantment", Ismailia is situated on the west bank of the Suez Canal, it is the capital of the Ismailia Governorate. The city has a population of 366,669 as of 2012 (or approximately 750,000, including surrounding rural areas). It is located approximately halfway between Port Said to the north and Suez to the south. The Canal widens at that point to include Lake Timsah, one of the Bitter Lakes linked by the Canal.

List of Catholic dioceses (structured view)

As of May 31, 2018, the Catholic Church in its entirety comprises 3,160 ecclesiastical jurisdictions, including over 645 archdioceses and 2,236 dioceses, as well as apostolic vicariates, apostolic exarchates, apostolic administrations, apostolic prefectures, military ordinariates, personal ordinariates, personal prelatures, territorial prelatures, territorial abbacies and missions sui juris around the world.

In addition to these jurisdictions, there are 2,103 titular sees (bishoprics, archbishoprics and metropolitanates).

This is a structural list to show the relationships of each diocese to one another, grouped by ecclesiastical province, within each episcopal conference, within each continent or other geographical area.

The list needs regular updating and is incomplete, but as articles are written up, more will be added, and various aspects need to be regularly updated.


Luxor (; Arabic: الأقصر‎ al-Uqṣur ; Egyptian Arabic: Loʔṣor [ˈloʔsˤoɾ]; Sa'idi Arabic: Logṣor [ˈloɡsˤor], Coptic: ⲛⲏ) is a city in Upper (southern) Egypt and the capital of Luxor Governorate. The population numbers 506,588 (2012 estimate), with an area of approximately 417 square kilometres (161 sq mi).As the site of the Ancient Egyptian city of Waset, known to the Greeks as Thebes, Luxor has frequently been characterized as the "world's greatest open-air museum", as the ruins of the temple complexes at Karnak and Luxor stand within the modern city. Immediately opposite, across the River Nile, lie the monuments, temples and tombs of the west bank Necropolis, which includes the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens.

Thousands of tourists from all around the world arrive annually to visit these monuments, contributing greatly to the economy of the modern city.

Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral

The Metropolitanate of Montenegro is the largest diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro. Founded in 1219 by Saint Sava, it is now one of the most prominent dioceses in the Serbian Orthodox Church. The current Metropolitan bishop is Amfilohije Radović. His current title is "Archbishop of Cetinje and Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral".

Metropolitanate of Zagreb and Ljubljana

Metropolitanate of Zagreb and Ljubljana (in Serbian language: Митрополија загребачко-љубљанска) is an Eastern Orthodox eparchy (diocese) and one of the five honorary Metropolitanates of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The headquarters of the Metropolia is located in Zagreb, Croatia and its jurisdiction covers northern Croatia and the entire territory of Slovenia.

Romanian Greek Catholic Church

The Romanian Greek Catholic Church or Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic (Romanian: Biserica Română Unită cu Roma, Greco-Catolică) is a sui iuris Eastern Catholic Church, in full union with the Roman Catholic Church. It has the rank of a Major Archiepiscopal Church and it uses the Byzantine liturgical rite in the Romanian language.

Cardinal Lucian Mureșan, Archbishop of Făgăraș and Alba Iulia, has served as the head of the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church since 1994. On December 16, 2005, as the Romanian Church United with Rome, the Greek-Catholic church was elevated to the rank of a Major Archiepiscopal Church by Pope Benedict XVI, with Lucian Mureșan becoming its first major archbishop. Mureşan was eventually created a cardinal, at the Consistory of February 18, 2012.

Besides the Archeparchy of Fǎgǎraș and Alba Iulia, there are five more Greek-Catholic eparchies in Romania (Eparchy of Oradea Mare, Eparchy of Cluj-Gherla, Eparchy of Lugoj, Eparchy of Maramureș, and Eparchy of Saint Basil the Great of Bucharest), as well as one eparchy overseas, the Romanian Catholic Eparchy of St George's in Canton, answering directly to the Major Archbishop and the Holy See, in the United States of America and Canada.According to data published in the 2016 Annuario Pontificio, the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church had 504,280 members, 8 bishops, 1,225 parishes, some 835 diocesan priests and 235 seminarians of its own rite at the end of 2012. However, according to the 2011 Romanian government census, the number of its followers living in Romania was as low as 150,593, of which 124,563 are ethnic Romanians. The dispute over this figure is mentioned in the United States Department of State report on religious freedom in Romania.In addition, there are five other Catholic dioceses in Romania, belonging to the Latin Church, whose members are more numerous.

Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Braničevo

Eparchy of Braničevo is one of the eparchies of the Serbian Orthodox Church, with the seat at Braničevo, Serbia. Since 1994, it is headed by bishop Ignatije Midić.

Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Düsseldorf and all of Germany

The Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Düsseldorf and all of Germany (Serbian: Српска православна епархија Диселдорфска и све Немачке, German: Serbische Orthodoxe Diözese von Düsseldorf und ganz Deutschland), officially renamed in 2018, and formerly known as Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Central Europe (Serbian: Српска православна епархија средњоевропска, German: Serbische Orthodoxe Diözese für Mitteleuropa), is a Serbian Orthodox Church diocese in Germany. It has its headquarters in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Syro-Malabar Catholic Church

The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church (Classical Syriac: ܥܸܕܬܵܐ ܩܵܬܘܿܠܝܼܩܝܼ ܕܡܲܠܲܒܵܪ ܣܘܼܪܝܵܝܵܐ‎ Edta Qatholiqi D'Malabar Suryaya; Malayalam: മലബാറിലെ സുറിയാനി കത്തോലിക്ക സഭ Malabarile Suriyani catholika Sabha) or Church of Malabar Syrian Catholics is an Eastern Catholic Major Archiepiscopal Church based in Kerala, India. It is a sui iuris particular church in full communion with the Pope and the worldwide Catholic Church, with self-governance under the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

The Syro-Malabar Church is headed by the

Metropolitan and Gate of all India Mar Cardinal George Alencherry of the Archeparchy of Ernakulam-Angamaly in Kerala. The Church uses the Divine Liturgy of Saints Mar Addai and Mar Mari belonging to the East Syriac Rite, which dates back to 3rd century Edessa, as such it is a part of Syriac Christianity by liturgy and heritage. The name Syro-Malabar is coined from the words Syriac (referring to the East Syriac liturgy) and Malabar (the historical name for Kerala). The name has been in usage in official Vatican documents since the nineteenth century. As per Mar Paremmakkal Thoma Kathanar's travelogue Varthamanappusthakam (dated to 1790), the Church was known then as the Malankare Kaldaya Suriyani Sabha (Malankara Chaldean Syriac Church). The Church shares the same liturgy with the Chaldean Catholic Church based in Iraq and the Nestorian Chaldean Syrian Church based in Thrissur, Kerala, which is an archbishopric of the Assyrian Church of the East based in Iraq. The Syro-Malabar Church is the third-largest particular church (sui juris) in the Catholic Church (after the Latin or Roman Church and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church).The Syro-Malabar Church is the largest of the "Nasrani" (St. Thomas Christians) denominations with over 4 million believers and traces its origins to the evangelistic activity of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century. Syro-Malabar scholar and theologian Mar Placid Podipara describes the Church as "Catholic by faith, Indian by culture, and East Syriac/Oriental in liturgy." The Syro-Malabar Church members are predominantly of the Malayali ethnic group and speak Malayalam. Following emigration of its members, eparchies have opened up in other parts of India and other countries due to facilitating the Malayali diaspora living in North America, Australia and the United Kingdom. Saint Alphonsa is the Church's first canonized saint, followed by Saint Kuriakose Chavara and Saint Euphrasia. It is one of the two Eastern Catholic churches in India, the other one being the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church which uses the West Syriac Rite.

Syro-Malankara Catholic Church

The Syro-Malankara Catholic Church also known as the Malankara Syrian Catholic Church (Malayalam: മലങ്കര സുറിയാനി കത്തോലിക്കാ സഭ) is an Eastern Catholic sui iuris particular church in full communion with the Pope and the worldwide Catholic Church, with self-governance under the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. The Church is headed by Major Archbishop Cardinal Cleemis Maphrian of the Major Archdiocese of Trivandrum based in Kerala, India. The Church follows the West Syriac Rite liturgy of Saint James, which is also used in the Maronite Church, the Syriac Catholic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church, and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. The Church traces its origins to the evangelistic activity of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century. It is one of the two Eastern Catholic Churches from India, the other one being the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church which uses the East Syriac Rite liturgy.

The Malankara Catholic Church was established on 20 September 1930 as a result of the union movement under the leadership of Archbishop Mar Ivanios, when it split from the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and entered into communion with the Catholic Church. The Malankara Church itself had emerged from the split within the Saint Thomas Christian community of the 16th century; However, the collapse of the Church of the East and influence from the Portuguese, who tried to bring them under the Latin Church of the Catholic Church, led to a rift in the community. Eventually, some entered into communion with the Catholic Church, as the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, while the majority remained with the parent Malankara Church aligned with the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch.

By 1926, a group of five Malankara Syrian bishops who opposed the jurisdiction of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch in India appointed Mar Ivanios to have negotiations with Rome to enter into a new communion. Rome only required that bishops make a profession of faith and that their baptisms and ordinations be proven valid in each case. However, only two of the bishops accepted this arrangement with Rome, including Mar Ivanios. The two bishops, a priest, a deacon and a layman were received into the Catholic Church together on September 20, 1930. This resulted in a significant movement of the faithful into the Malankara Catholic Church, by 1950 there were some 65,588 faithful, in 1960 112,478, and in 1970 183,490. There are now over 400,000 faithful in over six dioceses in India and across the world.

Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saints Peter and Paul of Melbourne

The Ukrainian (Greek) Catholic Eparchy of Saints Peter and Paul of Melbourne is a Byzantine Rite Eastern Catholic eparchy (diocese) of the Catholic Church in Australia based in Melbourne and suffragan of its Latin Metropolitan Archbishop of Melbourne.

The Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, in North Melbourne, Victoria, is the episcopal see of the eparch, currently Peter Stasiuk CSSR.


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