Josip Bozanić

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His Eminence
Josip Bozanić
Cardinal-Archbishop of Zagreb
Josip Bozanic Benedictus PP XVI Zagreb 04062011 2.jpg
Archdiocese Archdiocese of Zagreb
Province Zagreb
See Zagreb
Appointed 5 July 1997
Predecessor Franjo Kuharić
Other posts
  • Cardinal-Priest of S. Girolamo dei Croati (degli Schiavoni)
Ordination 29 June 1975
by Karmelo Zazinović
Consecration 25 June 1989
by Franjo Kuharić
Created Cardinal 21 October 2003
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Birth name Josip Bozanić
Born (1949-03-20) 20 March 1949 (age 65)
Rijeka, Croatia
Nationality Croatian
Denomination Roman Catholic
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Coat of arms
Styles of
Josip Bozanić
Coat of arms of Josip Bozanic.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal

Josip Bozanić (born 20 March 1949) is a Croatian Cardinal of the Roman 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.


Early life and ordination[edit]

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 work[edit]

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]

Support of referendum on definition of marriage[edit]

In 2013, on the occasion of a referendum which approved by 66% to 34% a proposal that the constitution of the Republic of Croatia be amended with a provision stating that marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman, Bozanić issued a pastoral letter that stated: "Marriage is the only union enabling procreation". Of the referendum and its result, an activist on the "no" side said: "This was a referendum to humiliate the gay population, and to strike against the progress of the past decades"; an activist on the "yes" side said: "There is a feeling that gay marriage and adoption by gays was on the agenda, and this vote was an attempt to show that there is strong opposition to this." Neither activist was reported as commenting on the pastoral letter.[5]


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Franjo Kuharić
Archbishop of Zagreb