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Original scientific paper

Archbishop Stadler's efforts regarding the introduction of congrua for the Catholic clergy in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1882 to 1910

Milenko Krešić orcid id ; Catholic Theological Faculty of Sarajevo

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page 245-274

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The paper deals with Archbishop Stadler's efforts regarding the introduction and regulation of congrua (adequate support for priests), first in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vrhbosna (and Banja Luka till 1884) and later in the entire Ecclesiastical Province of Vrhbosna in the period from 1882 to 1910 following the example of other Monarchy countries, i.e. in the agreement with the state authorities. The first chapter deals with Stadler's attempts to introduce congrua from 1882 to 1901. Throughout this period, he tried to solve the problem in agreement with the Bosnian Franciscans, who almost exclusively, especially at the beginning, comprised the pastoral clergy of the mentioned Dioceses, as well as with the suffragan bishops. He had acceptable support from the bishop, but the problem was not solved because Bosnian Franciscans were not interested for its solving. The second chapter deals with the attempts to solve this issue in the framework of addressing the so called "Catholic autonomy". They lasted from 1905 to 1909. Joint minister of finances, I. Burián was at his disposal then, as well as the agreement of the suffragan bishops, but he did not have the consent of the Franciscan Province of Bosnia administration that requested "parity" in relation to bishops regarding making decisions for introduction and distribution of congrua. As that was contrary to canon law for Stadler, it was unacceptable for Bishop Marković. Stadler then suggested to the government a draft of the congrua arrangement that was very close to the Franciscan attitude, but since the government did not accept the entire autonomy project, they also did not accept the proposal of the congrua arrangement. In June 1909 Stadler had a new proposal for the government regarding the congrua arrangement. He had a consent of Bishop Marković, but not of Bishop Buconjić and Bosnian Franciscans. At that moment it was clear why Franciscans were rejecting congrua. They thought that their incomes would be decreased with the introduction of congrua, which could endanger the existence of their monasteries and educational institutes. The third chapter deals with Stadler's attempt to make the agreement with the Land Government regarding the congrua introduction. When it was seen that the congrua could not be introduced for all the clergy due to oppositions of the Franciscans and Bishop Buconjić, the Government, who thought this issue should be solved, suggested Stadler to limit introduction of congrua only on secular clergy. Although Stadler made some steps in that sense (sent to the government reports of diocesan parishes as the confirmation that the faithful wanted congrua instead of parish-priest fees) conditions set by the government or ministries from Vienna were not eventually acceptable for Stadler. Namely, the minister required that the lay faithful, who should be taxed, have a decisive role in the congrua arrangement, as it was the case with the Serbian Orthodox and Muslims. According to Stadler that was against canonical norms. The fourth and the last chapter deals with Stadler's efforts to make pressures on Franciscans through the Holy See and that they ask for the introduction of congrua. The Holy See estimated that this issue caused division among the clergy in Bosnia and Herzegovina and decided to examine it before making final decision. He entrusted the issue to Apostolic Delegate P. Bastien, whom he sent to Sarajevo at the end of 1910.


congrua; Archbishop Stadler; Franciscans; Land Government; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Holy See.

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