Greek Catholic Church of Croatia and Serbia

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Greek Catholic Church of Croatia and Serbia
Croatian: Grkokatolička crkva u Hrvatskoj i Srbiji
Serbian: Гркокатоличка црква у Хрватској и Србији
Coat of arms of Dura Dzudzar.svg
Coat of arms of the clergy Đura Džudžar, Bishop of the Eparchy of San Nicola di Ruski Krstur (Križevci)
Classification Eastern Catholic
Orientation Byzantine Rite
Polity Episcopal
Pope Francis
Bishops Milan Stipić, Đura Džudžar

The Greek Catholic Church of Croatia and Serbia is a particular ( sui iuris ) Eastern Catholic Church of the Byzantine Rite which is in full union with the Catholic Church. It consists of the Eparchy of Križevci, [1] covering Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the Eparchy of Ruski Krstur, [2] covering Serbia. The Eparchy of Križevci was headed by Bishop Nikola Kekić until his retirement in March 2019, and since then the eparchy is governed by apostolic administrator Milan Stipić. [3] The Eparchy of Ruski Krstur is headed by Bishop Đura Džudžar since his appointment in 2003 (until 2018 as Apostolic Exarch). [4]

Sui iuris, also spelled as sui juris, is a Latin phrase that literally means "of one's own right". It is used in both civil law and canon law by the Catholic Church. The term church sui iuris is used in the Catholic Code of Canons of the Oriental Churches (CCEO) to denote the autonomous churches in Catholic communion:

A church sui iuris is "a community of the Christian faithful, which is joined together by a hierarchy according to the norm of law and which is expressly or tacitly recognized as sui iuris by the supreme authority of the Church" (CCEO.27). The term sui iuris is an innovation of the CCEO, and it denotes the relative autonomy of the oriental Catholic Churches. This canonical term, pregnant with many juridical nuances, indicates the God-given mission of the Oriental Catholic Churches to keep up their patrimonial autonomous nature. And the autonomy of these churches is relative in the sense that it is under the supreme authority of the Roman Pontiff.

Byzantine Rite Whole of the worship life of the Eastern Catholic Churches

The Byzantine Rite, also known as the Greek Rite or Constantinopolitan Rite, is the liturgical rite used by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Greek/Byzantine Catholic churches, and in a modified form, Byzantine Rite Lutheranism. Its development began during the fourth century in Constantinople and it is now the second most-used ecclesiastical rite in Christendom after the Roman Rite.

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

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Although two eparchies are canonicaly linked, the Church has no unified structure, nor an ecclesiastical province of its own, since the Eparchy of Križevci is suffragan to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Zagreb, and the Eparchy of Ruski Krstur is directly subjected to the Holy See.

An ecclesiastical province is one of the basic forms of jurisdiction in Christian Churches with traditional hierarchical structure, including Western Christianity and Eastern Christianity. In general, an ecclesiastical province consists of several dioceses, one of them being the archdiocese, headed by metropolitan bishop or archbishop who has ecclesiastical jurisdiction over all other bishops of the province.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Zagreb archdiocese

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Zagreb is the central archdiocese of the Catholic Church in Croatia, centered in the capital city Zagreb. It is the metropolitan see of Croatia, and the present archbishop is Josip Bozanić. It encompasses the northwestern continental areas of Croatia.

History

Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Krizevci, Croatia Krizevacka katedrala 1.jpg
Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Križevci, Croatia
Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Ruski Krstur, Serbia Ruski Krstur, Uniate church.jpg
Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Ruski Krstur, Serbia
Byzantine Catholic Church of St. Cyril and Methodius in Metlika, Slovenia Cerkev sv Cirila in Metoda Metlika.jpg
Byzantine Catholic Church of St. Cyril and Methodius in Metlika, Slovenia

Until 2001, the Greek Catholic Eparchy of Križevci had full jurisdiction over all Eastern Catholics of the Byzantine Rite throughout the entire territory of former Yugoslavia, including all of its successor states: Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. During that time, it mostly gathered its faithful among the Croats in central and eastern Croatia, among the Rusyns or Ukrainians in eastern Croatia, northern Bosnia and northern Serbia and among Macedonians in Macedonia.

Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Socialist republic in Southeast Europe between 1943 and 1992

The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), also known as SFR Yugoslavia or simply Yugoslavia, was a country located in central and Southeastern Europe that existed from its foundation in the aftermath of World War II until its dissolution in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. Covering an area of 255,804 km², the SFRY was bordered by the Adriatic Sea and Italy to the west, Austria and Hungary to the north, Bulgaria and Romania to the east, and Albania and Greece to the south.

Croatia Republic in Central Europe

Croatia, officially the Republic of Croatia, is a country at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, on the Adriatic Sea. It borders Slovenia to the northwest, Hungary to the northeast, Serbia to the east, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro to the southeast, sharing a maritime border with Italy. Its capital, Zagreb, forms one of the country's primary subdivisions, along with twenty counties. Croatia has an area of 56,594 square kilometres and a population of 4.28 million, most of whom are Roman Catholics.

Slovenia republic in Central Europe

Slovenia, officially the Republic of Slovenia, is a country located in southern Central Europe at a crossroads of important European cultural and trade routes. It is bordered by Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Hungary to the northeast, Croatia to the southeast, and the Adriatic Sea to the southwest. It covers 20,273 square kilometers (7,827 sq mi) and has a population of 2.07 million. One of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, Slovenia is a parliamentary republic and a member of the United Nations, of the European Union, and of NATO. The capital and largest city is Ljubljana.

After the formation of independent successor states from what had been Yugoslavia, the process of administrative reorganization was initiated. In 2001, a separate Byzantine Catholic Apostolic Exarchate of Macedonia was formed for Greek Catholics in Macedonia. It was fully separated from the Eparchy of Križevci and proclaimed as directly subject only to the Holy See. [5]

Yugoslavia 1918–1992 country in Southeastern and Central Europe

Yugoslavia was a country in Southeastern and Central Europe for most of the 20th century. It came into existence after World War I in 1918 under the name of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes by the merger of the provisional State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs with the Kingdom of Serbia, and constituted the first union of the South Slavic people as a sovereign state, following centuries in which the region had been part of the Ottoman Empire and Austria-Hungary. Peter I of Serbia was its first sovereign. The kingdom gained international recognition on 13 July 1922 at the Conference of Ambassadors in Paris. The official name of the state was changed to Kingdom of Yugoslavia on 3 October 1929.

In 2003, a new Apostolic Exarchate was created for Greek Catholics in Serbia and Montenegro, the Apostolic Exarchate of Serbia and Montenegro. [6] Its first exarch Đura Džudžar (Ђура Џуџар) was appointed in 2003, with residence in Ruski Krstur. This exarchate remained in association with the Eparchy of Križevci.

Đura Džudžar Serbian bishop

Đura Džudžar is Titular Bishop of Acrassus, former Byzantine Catholic Apostolic Exarch of Serbia and Montenegro (2003-2013), Byzantine Catholic Apostolic Exarch of Serbia (2013-2018) and current Eparchial Bishop of Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Saint Nicholas of Ruski Krstur since 2018.

Ruski Krstur Place in Vojvodina, Serbia

Ruski Krstur is a village in Vojvodina, Serbia. It is located in the municipality of Kula, West Bačka District. The village has a Rusyn ethnic majority. Its population numbered 5,213 in the 2002 census. Ruski Krstur is the cultural centre of the Rusyns in Serbia. The number of Rusyns in Ruski Krstur is in constant decline as many of them have moved out to Canada concentrating in the town of North Battleford, Saskatchewan.

After those changes, the jurisdiction of the Eparchy of Križevci was confined to Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

In 2013, all Catholics of Byzantine Rite in Montenegro were entrusted to the local Latin Bishops, so the jurisdiction of Apostolic Exarchate of Serbia and Montenegro was reduced to Serbia only. [7] The Apostolic Exarchate of Serbia was elevated to the Eparchy of Ruski Krstur in December 2018. [8]

Liturgy and Extension

The liturgy is the Slavonic form of Byzantine Rite, using the Old Church Slavonic language and the Cyrillic alphabet.

The Eparchy of Križevci reported for the year 2010 a total of 21,509 faithful (in Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina). At that time, the Apostolic Exarchate for Serbia and Montenegro reported 22,369 faithful. [9]

See also

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