Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
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In the Eastern Christian Churches the name for an ecclesiastical province. It is contrasted with an exarchate or civil dioceses, of which it is a subdivision. Known already in the early fourth century, its official head is an eparch, sometimes called the metropolitan, who can veto the election of the bishops of the dioceses in his eparcy. (Etym. Greek eparchia, province; from eparchos, prefect.)