Catholic Church in Kosovo

(Redirected from Roman Catholicism in Kosovo)

The Catholic Church has a population in Kosovo of approximately 65,000 in a region of roughly 2 million people.[1]

Catholicism in Kosovo, 2011 census.

Another 60,000 Kosovan Catholics are outside the region, mainly for work.[2] They are mainly ethnic Albanians, with a few Croats.

The Diocese of Prizren-Pristina (until 5 September 2018, an Apostolic Administration of Prizren) is the ecclesiastical district of the Catholic Church in Kosovo. It is centered in the city of Prizren. Bishop Dodë Gjergji serves as diocesan bishop as of 2019. As of 2019, the Holy See does not recognise Kosovo as a sovereign state (see also Holy See's reaction to the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence).

However, as stated by Bishop Dodë Gjergji, the Kosovan prelate of the Diocese of Prizren-Pristina, in an interview with RTV Dukagjini on December 12, 2020, “The Vatican has two segments: the Vatican as the seat of the Catholic Church and as a state. Pope Francis has raised our church from the Church of Kosovo to the Church of Prizren-Pristina, just like the bishops all over the world. Therefore, religiously we are very fine. The state aspect is a diplomatic aspect.”[3]

Papal nuncio edit

Archbishop Juliusz Janusz, 66, originally a priest of the Archdiocese of Kraków, Poland, is the Apostolic Nuncio to Slovenia and the Apostolic Delegate to Kosovo; he had served previously as Apostolic Nuncio to Hungary and before that as Apostolic Nuncio to Mozambique and Rwanda. He was delegate from 10 February 2011 to 21 September 2018.

Titular archbishop of Sulci Jean-Marie Speich is Apostolic Nuncio to Slovenia and Apostolic Delegate to Kosovo from 19 March 2019.

History edit

Middle Ages edit

After the Great Schism between the east and the west, Albanians who had ties to the Roman church started converting to catholicism. Northern Albanians started to convert to catholicism en masse during the 12th and 13th centuries, including Albanians living in Kosovo.[4] During the late 12th century Kosovo was fully conquered by Stefan Nemanja, thus introducing Serbian Orthodoxy to local Vlachs, Bulgarians and Catholic Albanians. Albanians in Kosovo are reported by Stefan Uroš I, as well as Albanian toponyms in the Drenica valley and Dukagjin plains (1246-1255) and in Rugovo (1292).[5] Most of these Albanians were Roman Catholic.[6]

When Stefan Dečanski founded the Visoki Dečani monastery in 1327, he referred to "villages and katuns of Vlachs and Albanians" in the area of White Drin.[7] King Stefan Dečanski granted the Visoki Dečani monastery with pasture land along with catholic Vlach and Albanian katuns around Drin and Lim rivers of whom had to carry salt and provide serf labour for the monastery.[8] A chrysobull of the Serbian Tsar Stefan Dušan that was given to the Monastery of Saint Mihail and Gavril in Prizren between the years of 1348-1353 states the presence of catholic Albanians in the Plains of Dukagjin, the vicinity of Prizren and in the villages of Drenica. In 1348 a total of 9 Albanian villages are mentioned in the vicinity of Prizren.[7][5] Albanian catholic communities lived in Novo Brdo and Janjevo alongside Saxon miners and Ragusan merchants.[9] Ragusan documents in the early 14th century mention 150 catholic Albanian household heads living in Novo Brdo with their families. They also mention Albanian communities in Trepça and Prizren.[10] Albanian presence is also mentioned in 14th and 15th century Pristina.[11]

Pope John XXII tried to turn catholic Albanians against Serbian rule, but this didn't succeed.[12] In 1332, an anonomous Dominican priest called for help to liberate "catholic Latins and Albanians who detest Slavic rule" from the Kingdom of Rascia(Serbia).[13] Under the rule Tsar Stefan Dušan catholic Albanians were persecuted and were forcefully converted to Serbian orthodoxy, thus having their names changed to Slavic orthodox names.[14][15][16] After the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 Serbian rule in Kosovo started to weaken and Ottoman Islam was first introduced in Kosovo, with the first mosques being built in Pristina, Vushtrri and Prizren. In 1455 Kosovo was fully conquered by the Ottomans, with Novo Brdo falling in 27 of June 1441,[17] Prizren in 21 of June 1455[18] and Zvečan in 1455,[19] thus ending 157 years of Serbian rule in Kosovo.[20]

Kosovo war (1997-1999) edit

During the Kosovo war, vandalisation of Kosovo Albanian Catholic churches occurred.[21] The Catholic Church of St Anthony located in Gjakovë had major damage done by Yugoslav Serb soldiers.[22] In Pristina, Yugoslav Serb officers ejected nuns and a priest from the Catholic church of St. Anthony and installed aircraft radar in the steeple.[21]

Modern period edit

On 26 November 2019, an earthquake struck Albania. The Catholic Church in Kosovo held mass on 1 December across the country and it collected charitable donations by parishioners for earthquake victims and their families.[23][24]

One of the oldest Catholic churches in Kosovo is the Catholic church of Vinarc, in Mitrovica.[25][26]

Churches edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ US State Dept 2022 report
  2. ^ "In Kosovo, whole families return to Catholic faith" Archived 2009-02-11 at the Library of Congress Web Archives 9 February 2009 Link accessed 21 March 2010
  3. ^ "Don Lush Gjergji: Në aspektin fetar Vatikani e ka njohur Kosovën, në aspektin politik fajet i ka diplomacia" Archived 2020-12-30 at the Wayback Machine December 26, 2020. Link accessed March 17, 2023.
  4. ^ Stavrianos, Leften Stavros (2000). The Balkans since 1453. London: Hurst. ISBN 1-85065-550-2. OCLC 59436364. Religious differences also existed before the coming of the Turks. Originally, all Albanians had belonged to the Eastern Orthodox Church... Then the Ghegs in the North adopted in order to better resist the pressure of Orthodox Serbs.
  5. ^ a b Iseni, Bashkim (2008). La question nationale en Europe du Sud-Est : genèse, émergence et développement de l'indentité nationale albanaise au Kosovo et en Macédoine (in French). Bern: P. Lang. ISBN 978-3-03911-320-0. OCLC 269329200.
  6. ^ Guy Brunet (2004). Minorities. Peter Lang. p. 147.
  7. ^ a b Malcolm, Noel (1998). Kosovo: A short history. Macmillian. p. 54. ISBN 9780810874831. "And Dusan's chrysobull of 1348 for the Monastery of the Holy Archangels in Prizren mentions a total of nine Albanian katuns."(The monastery Dečani isn't in Prizren, which this quote is talking about)
  8. ^ Wilkinson, Henry Robert (1955). "Jugoslav Kosmet: The evolution of a frontier province and its landscape". Transactions and Papers (Institute of British Geographers) (21): 171–193. doi:10.2307/621279. JSTOR 621279. The monastery at Dečani stands on a terrace commanding passes into High Albania. When Stefan Uros III founded it in 1330, he gave it many villages in the plain and catuns of Vlachs and Albanians between the Lim and the Beli Drim. Vlachs and Albanians had to carry salt for the monastery and provide it with serf labour.
  9. ^ Gjini, Gaspër. Ipeshkvia Shkup-Prizren nëpër shekuj (PDF). Diocese of Skopje-Prizren. p. 81.
  10. ^ Hitchins, Keith (1991). "Pronësia Feudale Në Tokat Shqiptare (SHEK. XV-XVI). By Selami Pulaha. Tiranë: Akademia e Shkencave e RPS të Shqipërisë, 1988. 518 pp. - Bŭlgarskata Narodnost Prez XVII Vek. By Elena Grozdanova. Sofia: Nauka i izkustvo, 1989. 725 pp. Tables". Slavic Review. 50 (3): 714–715. doi:10.2307/2499895. ISSN 0037-6779.
  11. ^ Rexha, Iljaz (2016). Registration of settlements and Albanian population on Kosovo. Prishtinë: Institute of History “Ali Hadri”. p. 513.
  12. ^ Миљан, М. Гогић (2018). УНИВЕРЗИТЕТ У БЕОГРАДУ ФИЛОЗОФСКИ ФАКУЛТЕТ Миљан М. Гогић ПОЛИТИЧКО И ДРУШТВЕНО УРЕЂЕЊЕ КОТОРА У ДРУГОЈ ПОЛОВИНИ XII И XIII ВИЈЕКУ (докторска дисертација) Београд, 2018 (PDF) (Милутинови противници, Филип Тарентски и папа Јован XXII, настојали су да против њега окрену албанске великаше. У том правцу наведени папа је јуна 1319. године упутио неколико писама локалним феудалцима, позивајући их да збаце власт српског краља. Судећи по поменима Милутиновог наследника Стефана у тим крајевима, на почетку његове владавине, изгледа да ти планови нијесу дали резултата." (Stefan Milutin's opponents, Philip Tarentsky and Pope John XXII, sought to turn against him the Albanian nobles. To this end, the Pope in June 1319 sent several letters to the local feudal lords, urging them to overthrow the rule of the Serbian king. Judging by the mention of Stefan Milutin's successor Stefan in those parts, at the beginning of his reign, these plans did not seem to have worked.) ed.). Belgrad. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  13. ^ Elsie, Robert. Texts and Documents of Albanian History. is inhabited by two peoples, i.e. the Albanians and the Latins who, in their beliefs, their rites and their obedience, both abide by the Roman Catholic Church... The Latins have six towns with bishops: firstly Antibarum (Bar), the seat of the archbishop, then Chatarensis (Kotor), Dulcedinensis (Ulcinj), Suacinensis (Shas) (2), Scutarensis (Shkodra) and Drivascensis (Drisht) (3), which are inhabited by the Latins alone. Outside the town walls, the Albanians make up the population throughout the diocese. There are four Albanian towns: Polatum Maius (Greater Pult) (4), Polatum Minus (Lesser Pult), Sabatensis (Sapa) (5) and Albanensis (Albanopolis) (6) which, together with the towns of the Latins, are all legally subject to the Archbishop of Bar and his church as their metropolitan. The Albanians indeed have a language quite different from Latin. However they use Latin letters in all their books (7). The sway of the Latins is thus confined to the limits of their towns. Outside the towns, they do possess vineyards and fields, but there are no fortifications or villages actually inhabited by the Latins. The Albanians for their part, the larger of the two peoples, could assemble over fifteen thousand horsemen for warfare according to the custom and manner of the country, who would be courageous and industrious warriors. Since the said Latins and Albanians suffer under the unbearable yoke and extremely dire bondage of their odious Slav leaders whom they detest – the people being tormented, the clergy humiliated and oppressed, the bishops and abbots often kept in chains, the nobles disinherited and held hostage, episcopal and other churches disbanded and deprived of their rights, and the monasteries in decay and ruin – they would all to a man believe that they were consecrating their hands in the blood of the aforementioned Slavs if a French prince were to appear... With the help of the aforementioned Albanians and Latins, one thousand French knights and five or six thousand foot soldiers could without a doubt easily conquer the whole length and breadth of this kingdom.
  14. ^ Alexandru Madgearu; Martin Gordon (2008). The Wars of the Balkan Peninsula: Their Medieval Origins. Scarecrow Press. p. 86.
  15. ^ Ines Angeli Murzaku (2015). Monasticism in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Republics. Routledge. p. 249.
  16. ^ Joan Mervyn Hussey (1966). The Cambridge Medieval History: The Byzantine Empire V. 2. Cambridge University Press. p. 540.
  17. ^ Setton, Kenneth M.; Hazard, Harry W.; Zacour, Norman P. (1 June 1990). A History of the Crusades: The Impact of the Crusades on Europe. Univ of Wisconsin Press. p. 267. ISBN 978-0-299-10744-4. The Ottoman conquest of Novo Brdo, a center of silver production, took place on June 27, 1441; see JireSek, Geschichte der Serben, II, 178.
  18. ^ Malcolm, N (1999). Kosovo: A Short History. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-06-097775-7.
  19. ^ Urošević, Atanasije (20 April 1957). Bulletin de l'Academie Serbe des Sciences. Section des Sciences Sociales. Srpska akademija nauka i umetnosti. p. 34.
  20. ^ Malcolm 1998, pp. 81–92. ISBN 0-333-66612-7
  21. ^ a b Schwartz, Stephen (2000). Kosovo: Background to a War. London: Anthem Press. p. 161. ISBN 9781898855569.Schwartz 2000, p. 161. " Albanian Catholic churches were also vandalized. Riedlmayer learned that Serb officers had installed anti-aircraft radar in the steeple of St. Anthony's Catholic church in Pristina, after ejecting the priest and nuns; NATO bombing of the radar, and therefore the church and surrounding houses, would have been labelled an atrocity."
  22. ^ Bevan, Robert (2007). The Destruction of Memory: Architecture at War. Reaktion books. p. 85. ISBN 9781861896384. "Major damage to the Roman Catholic church of St Anthony in Gjakova, reportedly bombed by NATO, was actually committed by Serbian soldiers."
  23. ^ "Kisha Katolike në Kosovë organizon meshë dhe mbledhje të hollash për të prekurit e tërmetit në Shqipëri" (in Albanian). Epoka e Re. 27 November 2019. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  24. ^ "Kisha Katolike e Kosovës kujton viktimat e tërmetit në Shqipëri". Vatican News. 2 December 2019. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  25. ^ "Database of Cultural Heritage of Kosovo". Archived from the original on 2018-09-25. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  26. ^ "Catholic Church of Vinarc". Mitrovica Guide. 17 June 2022.