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The Western Ukrainian clergy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church were a hereditary tight-knit social caste that dominated Western Ukrainian society from the late eighteenth until the mid-twentieth centuries, following the reforms instituted by Joseph II, Emperor of Austria. Because, like their Orthodox brethren, Ukrainian Catholic priests could marry, they were able to establish "priestly dynasties", often associated with specific regions, for many generations. Numbering approximately 2,000-2,500 by the 19th century, priestly families tended to marry within their group, constituting a tight-knit hereditary caste. In the absence of a significant culturally and politically active native nobility (although there was considerable overlap, with more than half of the clerical families also be

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  • The Western Ukrainian clergy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church were a hereditary tight-knit social caste that dominated Western Ukrainian society from the late eighteenth until the mid-twentieth centuries, following the reforms instituted by Joseph II, Emperor of Austria. Because, like their Orthodox brethren, Ukrainian Catholic priests could marry, they were able to establish "priestly dynasties", often associated with specific regions, for many generations. Numbering approximately 2,000-2,500 by the 19th century, priestly families tended to marry within their group, constituting a tight-knit hereditary caste. In the absence of a significant culturally and politically active native nobility (although there was considerable overlap, with more than half of the clerical families also be
  • The Western Ukrainian clergy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church were a hereditary tight-knit social caste that dominated Western Ukrainian society from the late eighteenth until the mid-twentieth centuries, following the reforms instituted by Joseph II, Emperor of Austria. Because, like their Orthodox brethren, married men in the Ukrainian Catholic Church could become priests (although they cannot become Bishops unless they are widowers), they were able to establish "priestly dynasties", often associated with specific regions, for many generations. Numbering approximately 2,000-2,500 by the 19th century, priestly families tended to marry within their group, constituting a tight-knit hereditary caste. In the absence of a significant culturally and politically active native nobility (alt
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  • Western Ukrainian clergy
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  • The Western Ukrainian clergy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church were a hereditary tight-knit social caste that dominated Western Ukrainian society from the late eighteenth until the mid-twentieth centuries, following the reforms instituted by Joseph II, Emperor of Austria. Because, like their Orthodox brethren, Ukrainian Catholic priests could marry, they were able to establish "priestly dynasties", often associated with specific regions, for many generations. Numbering approximately 2,000-2,500 by the 19th century, priestly families tended to marry within their group, constituting a tight-knit hereditary caste. In the absence of a significant culturally and politically active native nobility (although there was considerable overlap, with more than half of the clerical families also being of petty noble origin ), and enjoying a virtual monopoly on education and wealth within western Ukrainian society, the clergy came to form that group's native aristocracy. The clergy adopted Austria's role for them as bringers of culture and education to the Ukrainian countryside. Most Ukrainian social and political movements in Austrian-controlled territory emerged or were highly influenced by the clergy themselves or by their children. This influence was so great that western Ukrainians were accused by their Polish rivals of wanting to create a theocracy in western Ukraine. The central role played by the Ukrainian clergy or their children in western Ukrainian society would weaken somewhat at the end of the nineteenth century but would continue until the Soviet Union forcibly dissolved the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Ukrainian territories in the mid-twentieth century (the so-called Council of Lviv, 1946).
  • The Western Ukrainian clergy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church were a hereditary tight-knit social caste that dominated Western Ukrainian society from the late eighteenth until the mid-twentieth centuries, following the reforms instituted by Joseph II, Emperor of Austria. Because, like their Orthodox brethren, married men in the Ukrainian Catholic Church could become priests (although they cannot become Bishops unless they are widowers), they were able to establish "priestly dynasties", often associated with specific regions, for many generations. Numbering approximately 2,000-2,500 by the 19th century, priestly families tended to marry within their group, constituting a tight-knit hereditary caste. In the absence of a significant culturally and politically active native nobility (although there was considerable overlap, with more than half of the clerical families also being of petty noble origin ), and enjoying a virtual monopoly on education and wealth within western Ukrainian society, the clergy came to form that group's native aristocracy. The clergy adopted Austria's role for them as bringers of culture and education to the Ukrainian countryside. Most Ukrainian social and political movements in Austrian-controlled territory emerged or were highly influenced by the clergy themselves or by their children. This influence was so great that western Ukrainians were accused by their Polish rivals of wanting to create a theocracy in western Ukraine. The central role played by the Ukrainian clergy or their children in western Ukrainian society would weaken somewhat at the end of the nineteenth century but would continue until the Soviet Union forcibly dissolved the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Ukrainian territories in the mid-twentieth century (the so-called Council of Lviv, 1946).
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