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Chelm and Belz
(CHELMENSIS ET BELTHIENSIS RUTENORUM).
A diocese of the Greek-Ruthenian Rite in Russian Poland, subject directly to the Holy See, and formerly a suffragan of Kiijow. Established in 1592, this diocese was the last of the Uniat Church to withstand the persecution of the Russian Government. In 1841 Bishop Felix Szumborski (d. 1851) consented to order a return to the rite which had been in use before the union with Rome; but, admonished by the pope, he recalled the order. A struggle ensued between the Church and the civil authorities. All the priests who remained true to their faith were exiled and the faithful oppressed. As a result of persecution and schism, the Diocese of Chelm and Belz was virtually abolished.
Kirchenlex. (Freiburg im Br., 1891), VII, 445 sq.; WERNER, Orbis Terrarum Catholicus (Freiburg im Br., 1890); 113; BATTANDIER, Ann. pont. cath.
LEO A. KELLY