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The establishment of the borders of the Diocese of Pécs in Slavonia in the first half of the 18th century

Robert Skenderović

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 180 Kb

str. 407-429

preuzimanja: 873



The problem of establishment of the diocese borders in Slavonia first appeared at the time of the Ottoman rule and became even more pronounced after the end of the Viennese War. Reestablishment of the old borders that existed prior to the Ottoman conquest was impossible because the political and ecclesiastical circumstances had changed drastically. The surviving historical documents reveal that the survival of
some of the dioceses depended on the decisions of the court in Vienna and of Rome, but also on the support of local parish priests and civilian and military authorities.The liberation of Slavonia from the Ottoman rule opened up the serious issue of defining borders between the dioceses in the area. The bishops of Zagreb, Bosnia and Ðakovo, Pécs, Srijem, and Belgrade pretended to the territory unclearly defined in many of the documents as the area between the Sava and the Drava. The Bishop of Zagreb was at an advantage because he had established a close cooperation with the Franciscans in Slavonia back in the first half of the 17th century and was supported in his endeavors by the Viennese Court and the Hungarian Episcopate. For this reason the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Zagreb reaching all the way to the river Vuka was confirmed in 1699 in litigation before the Metropolitan Court. Thus the territories of Požega and Osuvak Archdeaconates, which used to belong to the Diocese of Pécs prior to the Ottoman conquest, were attached to the Diocese of Zagreb. Internal problems and the state of war that lasted until the end of Rákoczy’s uprising in 1711 prevented the bishops of Pécs from getting involved in the dispute over diocese borders.After the political circumstances settled down, Nesselrode, the Bishop of Pécs, was able to start fighting with increased fervor to defend the Diocese’s borders in Slavonia. He secured the support of local clergy by cooperating with the Franciscans and Belgrade’s Bishop Luka Natali, and managed to get his ecclesiastical authority recognized in the territory from Vukovar to the river Sava at the end of the 1720s. The canonic visitation from 1729 is a proof of Nesselrode’s success in consolidating his authority in the aforementioned part of Eastern Slavonia and Western Srijem. Thus the diocese borders in Slavonia were mainly established. Nesselrode’s successor, Antun Kazimir de Thurn, only managed to expand his diocese to the area of Valpovo and Miholjac, as well as to the parishes of Kukujevci and Nijemci. Thus established diocese borders remained in force until the Diocese of Bosnia was united with the Diocese of Srijem in 1773 and the Slavonian Deanery was ceded by the Diocese of Pécs to the newly formed Diocese of Bosnia and Srijem in 1780. Disputes over diocese borders point to all the factors that influenced their formation and explain the complex relations between the Church and the political authorities at the time.

Ključne riječi

Diocese of Pécs; Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith; diocese borders; Slavonia; 18th century

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