Bishop Milan Lach, SJ enthroned in Parma.
Bishop Milan Lach, SJ, was enthroned as the fifth bishop of the Eparchy of Parma during a June 30 Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. He succeeds Bishop John Kudrick, whose resignation was accepted by the Vatican May 7, 2016.
Bishop Milan’ s appointment as eparch was announced June 1. Up until then, he had served as apostolic administrator, an appointment he received June 24, 2017. Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States presided at the enthronement liturgy. Archbishop William C. Skurla was the main celebrant.
Bishop Milan Lach, SJ, said he has received his appointment as the fifth eparch of the Eparchy of Parma as the will of God. “We ask in the Our Father that the will of God be done,” Bishop Lach told Horizons. “I believe that this (appointment) is the will of God and I accept it, to do my duties as bishop and to shepherd my flock with the help of our priests and deacons.”
Last June, Pope Francis had appointed Bishop Milan, then auxiliary bishop of the Archeparchy of Presov, Slovakia, as the apostolic administrator sede vacante of Parma. His appointment came after Archbishop William had already served as the administrator of Parma for more than a year.
On June 1, Pope Francis named Bishop Milan as the ordinary bishop of the Eparchy. Bishop Milan said the new appointment “does not change anything for the faithful.” The spiritual care and guidance he offered prior to his appointment will continue.
From a canonical point of view, however, the appointment grants full powers of episcopal governance, as canon law places limitations on an administrator regarding certain ecclesial matters, including parish closures and mergers,the alienation of property and the reorganization of diocesan structures.
Byzantine Catholic faithful, both in the United States and in Slovakia, took to social media to express their joy and congratulations to the 44-year-old bishop upon hearing about the appointment.