Ivan Devčić

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Ivan Devčić (born in Krasno near Senj, 1 January 1948) is a Croatian archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Rijeka and university professor of philosophy.


Ivan Devčić

Archbishop of Rijeka
Msgr Ivan Devcic 151010 1.jpg
ArchdioceseRoman Catholic Archdiocese of Rijeka
Appointed17 November 2000
Installed16 December 2000
PredecessorPosition established
Ordination28 June 1975
Consecration16 December 2000
by Josip Bozanić
Personal details
Birth nameIvan Devčić
Born (1948-01-01) 1 January 1948 (age 73)
Krasno, SFR Yugoslavia (now Croatia)
DenominationRoman Catholic
Alma materPontifical Gregorian University
MottoKrist naša nada
Christ our hope
Coat of armsIvan Devčić's coat of arms

Early life and educationEdit

Ivan Devčić was born in a small village of Krasno near Senj on 1 January 1948 to Antun and Kata Devčić. He finished primary school in Krasno, after which he attended minor seminaries in Rijeka and Pazin between 1963 and 1967. Devčić started his higher education at the Rijeka branch of the Zagreb Catholic Faculty of Theology, and finished it at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordered as a priest of the Archdiocese of Rijeka on 28 June 1975.[1] In 1980, he received a PhD in theology with thesis Der Personalismus bei Nikolaj A. Berdjajew. Versuch einer Philosophie des Konkreten.[2]


After Devčić returned from Rome, he got intensively engaged in research and teaching work, and since teaches philosophy at the Rijeka branch of the Zagreb Catholic Faculty of Theology. He has published several scientific articles and books. In the Archdiocese of Rijeka, he served as Vice-Rector of the Theological Seminary (1980-1985), Rector and Bursar of the Seminary (1985-2000), and a university professor of philosophy (1995-present).[3][4] On 17 November 2000 Pope John Paul II appointed him Archbishop and Metropolitan. He was ordered on 16 December 2000. The main consecrate was Cardinal Josip Bozanić, and co-consecrates Msgr. Ivan Milovan and Msgr. Mile Bogović.[5]

General outlookEdit

Msgr. Devčić is considered to be theologically moderate.

On Christmas 2013, when the Croatian society was deeply divided on the issue of the 2013 marriage referendum in which it was proposed to change the constitution so it would define marriage only as a union between a man and a woman, Archbishop Devčić held a Mass and stated in his homily:

"God isn't legitimized only by unity but also by diversity and thus gives us one Gospel in four different forms. God doesn't like uniformity, he likes the unity in diversity, a unity that does not exclude, he likes multitude of expressions and forms. If we were created in the image of God, and the Bible tells us that we were, we should act same and accept and promote unity in difference and difference in unity in our life together."

This Mass was attended by Prime Minister Zoran Milanović, who has thus made a precedent by becoming the first prime minister to visit Rijeka Cathedral on Christmas because all of his predecessors traditionally attended Holy Mass held at the Zagreb Cathedral. This was interpreted as Milanović's protest against the Archbishop of Zagreb Josip Bozanić, who intervened in the political campaign by openly urging people to vote for changing the constitution, as well as because Bozanić criticized Milanović's government in his homily on 2012 Christmas Mass for introducing sex education in schools.[6][7]

Prime Minister Ivica Račan described Devčić as "a tolerant intellectual with strong spirituality."[8]


  1. ^ "Verbum | Ivan Devčić". Verbum.hr. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  2. ^ https://www.katolsk.no/biografier/utenriks/devcic
  3. ^ "HBK - Hrvatska biskupska konferencija". Hbk.hr. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  4. ^ "Izv. prof. dr. sc. IVAN DEVČIĆ | Teologija u Rijeci". Ri-kbf.org. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  5. ^ "Zaređen Prvi Riječki Nadbiskup Msgr. Ivan Devčić". Hrt.hr. Archived from the original on 2016-03-07. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  6. ^ "Milanović i Devčić se složili: Budimo jedinstveni u različitosti - Rijeka / Novi list". Novilist.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  7. ^ "Milanović na misi u Rijeci, Josipović u Zagrebu - Vijesti". Index.hr. 2013-12-25. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  8. ^ https://www.jutarnji.hr/vijesti/hrvatska/odreknuce-papa-ce-do-uskrsa-umiroviti-cetvoricu-najdesnijih-hrvatskih-biskupa/845428/