Josip Bozanić

Josip Bozanić (pronounced [jǒsip bǒzanit͡ɕ]; born 20 March 1949) is a Croatian Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He is the eighth and current Archbishop of Zagreb, having previously served as Bishop of Krk from 1989 to 1997. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 2003. He is a member of the Supervisory Commission of Cardinals of the Institute for the Works of Religion, along with other five cardinals.

Josip Bozanić
Archbishop of Zagreb
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
Appointed5 July 1997
PredecessorFranjo Kuharić
Other posts
Ordination29 June 1975
by Karmelo Zazinović
Consecration25 June 1989
by Franjo Kuharić
Created cardinal21 October 2003
by Pope John Paul II
Personal details
Birth nameJosip Bozanić
Born (1949-03-20) 20 March 1949 (age 72)
Rijeka, PR Croatia, FPR Yugoslavia
DenominationCatholic (Roman Rite)
Previous post
Alma mater
MottoDa život imaju
That they may have life
(John 10:10)
Coat of armsJosip Bozanić's coat of arms
Styles of
Josip Bozanić
Coat of arms of Josip Bozanic.svg
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal


Early life and ordinationEdit

Josip Bozanić was born in Rijeka, Yugoslavia (now Croatia), to Ivan Bozanić and Dinka Valković. He attended the minor seminary of Pazin, and the Theological Faculties of Rijeka and Zagreb, where he obtained a Master's degree in theology. He was ordained to the priesthood on 29 June 1975 by Bishop Karmelo Zazinović, to whom Bozanić then served as private secretary until 1976.

Pastoral workEdit

He was a parish priest for three years before furthering his studies in Rome from 1979 to 1985. He earned a licentiate in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University and a licentiate in canon law from the Pontifical Lateran University.

Upon his return to Yugoslavia, he served as chancellor (1986–1987) and vicar general (1987–1989) of the Diocese of Krk. He also taught dogmatic theology and canon law at the Theological Institute of Rijeka from 1988 to 1997.


On 10 May 1989, Bozanić was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Krk by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on the following 25 June from Franjo Cardinal Kuharić, with Archbishop Josip Pavlišić and Bishop Zazinović serving as co-consecrators, at Assumption Cathedral. He later succeeded Zazinović as Bishop of Krk upon the latter's retirement on 14 November 1989; one of his ancestors, Bartol Bozanić, served in the same post from 1839 to 1854.

He briefly served as Apostolic Administrator for the Archdiocese of Rijeka-Senj from June to November 1996, and was named the eighth Archbishop of Zagreb on 5 July 1997. He has also been the President of the Croatian Bishops' Conference between 1997 and 2007, and the Vice-President of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences between 2001 and 2006.


John Paul II created him Cardinal-Priest of San Girolamo dei Croati in the consistory of 21 October 2003. Bozanić was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI.

Within the Roman Curia, he is a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for Catholic Education (renewed on 11 December 2010),[1] the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and the Special Council for Europe of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops. On 5 January 2011 he was appointed among the first members of the newly created Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation.[2]

On 29 December 2011 he was appointed a member of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications for a five-year renewable term.[3]

On Tuesday, 18 September 2012, Cardinal Bozanić was named by Pope Benedict XVI as one of the papally-appointed Synod Fathers for the upcoming October 2012 13th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization.[4]

He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2013 papal conclave that selected Pope Francis.

Views on HomosexualityEdit

In 2013, he intervened in the political campaign to alter the Croatian referendum so that it more explicitly defined marriage only as a union between a man and a woman. He issued a pastoral letter to be read in all Catholic churches across the country reminding parishioners that "Marriage is the only union enabling procreation". The referendum was subsequently approved by a vote of 66% to 34%; and was thus regarded as a major victory for the Roman Catholic Church, and a blow to gay rights advocates.[5]


  1. ^ Holy See Press Office
  4. ^ "Nomina di Padri sinodali della XIII Assemblea Generale Ordinaria del Sinodo dei Vescovi (7–28 ottobre 2012)" [Appointment of Fathers of the XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops ( 7–28 October 2012)]. Daily Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 18 September 2012. Archived from the original on 24 December 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  5. ^ Dan Bilefsky, "Croatian Government to Pursue Law Allowing Civil Unions for Gay Couples" in The New York Times (2 December 2013)

External linksEdit

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Karmelo Zazinović
Bishop of Krk
14 November 1989 – 5 July 1997
Succeeded by
Valter Župan
Preceded by
Franjo Kuharić
President of the Croatian Episcopal Conference
1997 – 18 October 2007
Succeeded by
Marin Srakić
Archbishop of Zagreb
5 July 1997 –
Preceded by
Cormac Murphy-O'Connor
Vice-President of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences
2001 – 2 October 2011
Succeeded by
Jean-Pierre Bernard Ricard
Preceded by
Franjo Kuharić
Cardinal-Priest of San Girolamo dei Croati
21 October 2003 –
No prior officeholder Vice-President of the Croatian Episcopal Conference
16 October 2013 –