Greek Catholic Eparchy of Križevci

The Eparchy of Križevci is a Greek Catholic Church of Croatia and Serbia eparchy of the Catholic Church in Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.[1] Its current eparch is Milan Stipić. The cathedra is in the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, in the episcopal see of Križevci, Croatia.

Eparchy of Križevci

Dioecesis Crisiensis

Križevačka eparhija
Križevačka katedrala 1.jpg
Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Križevci, Croatia
TerritoryCroatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ecclesiastical provinceZagreb
- Catholics (including non-members)
(as of 2013)
DenominationCatholic Church
Sui iuris churchGreek Catholic Church of Croatia and Serbia
RiteByzantine Rite
Established17 June 1777
CathedralCathedral of the Holy Trinity in Križevci, Croatia
Co-cathedralCo-Cathedral of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Zagreb
Secular priests28
Current leadership
EparchMilan Stipić
Metropolitan ArchbishopJosip Bozanić
Bishops emeritusNikola Kekić

It mostly gathers its faithful among ethnic Croats in central and eastern Croatia, and among the Ukrainians and Rusyns in eastern Slavonia, with a small Serbian minority. The liturgy used by the Eparchy is the Slavonic form of the Byzantine Rite, using the Old Church Slavonic language and the Cyrillic alphabet.


Historical backgroundEdit

The Ottoman wars in Europe caused a number of Christian refugees, Orthodox Serbs, to migrate to the Military Frontier of the Habsburg monarchy (in south-central Croatia and in most of Slavonia) during the 16th and 17th centuries. In particular after the Ottoman defeat in Battle of Sisak of 1593, the Habsburg tried to established an ecclesiastical jurisdiction in full communion with Rome and separated from the Serbian Orthodox Church. After negotiations, it was decided to establish a particular Byzantine Rite jurisdiction in the form of an apostolic vicariate based in the monastery of Marča (located near Ivanić Grad).

The basis for the creation of Apostolic Vicariate of Marča was formally enabled by Pope Paul V on 21 November 1611 with the decree Divinae Majestatis arbitrio, and the administration of the Vicariate was given to eparchs (bishops) who bore the title Episcopus Platæensis (from Plataea, the titular see they were assigned to[2]), while the Habsburg government called this see Episcopatus Svidnicensis or Episcopatus Maciensum (Eparchy of Marča).[3][4] After the death in 1630 of the first eparch (bishop), Simeon Vratanja, and in 1628 of the Latin Bishop of Zagreb, Petar Dimitrović, the eparchy came into conflict with the Latins and in 1671 bishop Pavle Zorčić [hr] accepted for himself and his successors the position of vicar-general of the Latin bishops of Zagreb.[3]

On 17 November 1735, the supporters of the Serbian Orthodox Church occupied by force of arms the monastery of Marča and two years later, on 17 June 1737, set fire to it. The monastery was restored to the Byzantine Rite Catholics in 1753.[4]

Erection of the Eparchy of KriževciEdit

To support the pastoral action for the Greek Rite population, the Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa realized that it was necessary to grant independence to the eparchy, and she obtained from Pope Pius VI its separation from the Latin Diocese of Zagreb, in a similar way as occurred in 1771 for the Eparchy of Mukacheve from the Diocese of Eger. Accordingly, on 17 June 1777,[5] Pope Pius VI erected the Greek Rite Eparchy of Križevci which superseded the Eparchy of Marča. Vasilije Božičković, who played a prominent role in the erection of the eparchy, was chosen as first eparch,

Many Orthodox Serbs opposed the new eparchy especially in Žumberak, particularly the metropolitan of Karlovci, Arsenije III Čarnojević. However, the Serb soldiers of the Žumberak regiment of the Military Frontier joined the Eparchy of Križevci.[citation needed]

Križevci, the location of the see, is a town northeast of Zagreb. The new bishop was a suffragan initially of the Archdiocese of Esztergom, and later of Zagreb, after this became a metropolitan see in 1852.


In 1914, the Ruthenian Catholic Apostolic Administration of Bosnia-Hercegovina was created from the Eparchy of Križevci, but in 1925, it was merged back into it, when the eparchy was expanded to include all Greek Catholics in Yugoslavia. Owing to this expansion and to population movements over time, Križevci includes Catholics of varied national heritage[6] including:

Since the break-up of YugoslaviaEdit

Until 2001, the 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 North Macedonia. In January 2001, a separate Greek Catholic Apostolic Eparchy of Macedonia was formed for Eastern Catholics of the Byzantine Rite in Macedonia. It was fully separated from the Eparchy of Križevci and directly subjected to the Holy See.[9]

In 2003, a new apostolic exarchate was created for Eastern Catholics of the Byzantine Rite in Serbia and Montenegro, called the Apostolic Exarchate of Serbia and Montenegro. Its first exarch Đura Džudžar was appointed in 2003, with residence in Ruski Krstur. This exarchate remained in association with the Eparchy of Križevci. After those changes, the jurisdiction of Eparchy of Križevci was reduced 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 the Apostolic Exarchate of Serbia and Montenegro was reduced to just Serbia, now the Eparchy of Saint Nicholas of Ruski Krstur.[10] Since then, the Eparchy of Križevci and the Eparchy of Saint Nicholas of Ruski Krstur together constitute the Greek Catholic Church of Croatia and Serbia as a sui iuris Eastern Catholic Church of the Byzantine Rite, in full communion with the rest of the Catholic Church.


The Eparchy reported for the year 2010 a total of 21,509 faithful in the eparchy proper (including Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina) and 22,369 in the Apostolic Exarchate for Serbia and Montenegro.[11] In comparison, the most recently published census results for the Republic of Croatia, those of 2001, report only 6,219 Croatians defining themselves specifically as Greek Catholics.[12]

A historical trend of a sharp decline in numbers, particularly in the general vicinity of Zumberak, is explained by a number of factors including emigration, particularly to the United States (including Cleveland, Chicago and Pittsburgh), and rural depopulation, particularly in the period following the second world war.


The first Greek Catholic priest from Croatia came to the United States of America in 1902, whose work among Byzantine-Rite Croatians in Cleveland was encouraged by the bishop of Križevci.[13] Another Croatian priest came to Allegheny, Pennsylvania, in 1894.[14] Križevci is one of the four Eastern European eparchies that are the roots of the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches in the United States.[15]


The eparchy is made up of four vicariates:

  • Žumberak vicariate
  • Bosnian vicariate
  • Slavonia-Srijem vicariate
  • Dalmatian vicariate, in Croatia


The list of the eparchs (bishops) of the Greek Catholic Eparchy of Križevci is:[16][17]

# Incumbent From Until
1 Vasilije Božičković, O.S.B.M.
15 July 1777 9 May 1785
2 Jozafat Bastašić, O.S.B.M.
30 March 1789 28 August 1793
3 Silvestar Bubanović, O.S.B.M.
8 November 1795 14 June 1810
4 Konstantin Stanić
10 September 1815 31 July 1830
5 Gabrijel Smičiklas
8 September 1834 14 March 1856
6 Đuro Smičiklas
21 December 1857 20 April 1881
7 Ilija Hranilović
15 March 1883 20 March 1889
8 Julije Drohobeczky
17 December 1891 18 May 1917
9 Dionisije Njaradi
Apostolic Administrator, 1917–1920
Bishop, 1920–1940
18 May 1917 14 April 1940
10 Janko Šimrak
Apostolic Administrator, 1941–1942
Bishop, 1942–1946
16 August 1941 9 August 1946
11 Gabrijel Bukatko
Apostolic Administrator, 1952–1960
Bishop, 1960–1961
Apostolic Administrator, 1961–1981
23 February 1952 19 October 1981
- Joakim Segedi
Auxiliary Bishop
24 February 1963 27 October 1984
12 Slavomir Miklovš
22 January 1983 25 May 2009
13 Nikola Kekić
(b. 1943)
25 May 2009 18 March 2019
- Milan Stipić
(b. 1978)
Apostolic Administrator, 2019–2020
Bishop, 2020–present
18 March 2019 Present

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2012 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2012 ISBN 978-88-209-8722-0), p. 1140
  2. ^ Ritzler, Remigius (1952). "Plataearum". Hierarchia catholica Medii aevi sive summorum pontificum, S.R.E. cardinalium, ecclesiarum antistitum series. Vol. 5. Padua. p. 317.
  3. ^ a b Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Crisium" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  4. ^ a b Nicolao Nilles (1885). Kalendarium Manuale Utriusque Ecclesiae Orientalis et Occidentalis Vol 3 Part 1. Feliciani Rauch. p. 83.
  5. ^ David M. Cheney. "Diocese of Križevci (Kreutz) (Byzantine)". Catholic-hierarchy. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
  6. ^ "The Rites Of The Catholic Church". Archived from the original on 2008-06-09. Retrieved 2008-05-02.
  7. ^ "Zagrebacko-ljubljanska eparhija". Archived from the original on 2009-12-20. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
  8. ^ Greek Catholic Churches in Former Yugoslavia
  9. ^ Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 93 (2001) Archived April 30, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, p. 339.
  10. ^ Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 105 (2013), p. 187.
  11. ^ "The Eastern Catholic Churches 2010" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2011-10-09.
  12. ^ Croatian Bureau of Statistics, Population by Religion, by Towns/Municipalities, Census 2001
  13. ^ Floral art supplies
  14. ^ Croatian Franciscan Custody
  15. ^ Lega Cyrus : The Rusyns People
  16. ^ Croatian Diocese of Križevci
  17. ^ "Diocese of Križevci (Kreutz) (Križevci)". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 23 January 2015.

External linksEdit