Patriarchate of Karlovci

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Patriarchate of Karlovci
Карловачка патријаршија
Karlovačka patrijaršija
Coat of Arms
Territory Habsburg Monarchy
Headquarters Karlovci, Habsburg Monarchy (today Sremski Karlovci, Serbia)
Denomination Serbian Orthodox
Established 1848
Dissolved 1920
Language Church Slavonic
Patriarchate of Karlovci in 1909
The Patriarchate Court in Sremski Karlovci, around 1890

The Patriarchate of Karlovci (Serbian: Карловачка патријаршија or Karlovačka patrijaršija) was a patriarchate of the Serbian Orthodox Church that existed between 1848 and 1920. It was formed in 1848, when former Metropolitanate of Karlovci was elevated to the rank of patriarchate.[1][2] The Patriarchate of Karlovci existed until 1920, when it was merged with Metropolitanate of Belgrade to form the Patriarchate of Serbia.[3] The seat of the Patriarchate was in Karlovci (today Sremski Karlovci, Serbia).


At the May Assembly in Karlovci in 1848, the Serbs living in the Habsburg Monarchy proclaimed the creation of the Serbian Vojvodina, a Serb autonomous region within the Monarchy. The metropolitan of Karlovci, Josif Rajačić, was also proclaimed a patriarch, thus the Metropolitanate of Karlovci became a Patriarchate.[4] The title of Serb patriarch given to Rajačić was confirmed by the emperor Franz Joseph I the same year.[5]

This confirmation of Rajačić as the Serb Patriarch, and Stevan Šupljikac as Vojvoda, was a political move made by emperor Francis Joseph I. He was confronted with revolution in his country and had difficulties subduing the Hungarians under Kossuth. Šupljikac and his Croatian counterpart, Josip Jelačić supported the Emperor against the Hungarians.[5]

The position of Serbian Orthodox Church and Serbs in Austria and Hungary was regulated in reforms brought about first by empress Maria Theresa and later by emperor Joseph II. The Serbian Church-Public Council of 1769 regulated the Serbs and their Church status in a special paper named "Regulament" and, later, in "Deklaratorij" published in 1779. These acts regulated the life of the Metropolitanate of Karlovci until 1868. Emperor Francis Joseph I published a special edict regulating Serbian Orthodox Church affairs and his edict was in force until the unification of Serbian Churches in 1920.[6]

The establishment of the Patriarchate in Karlovci was seen as restoration of Serbian unity in Austria and Hungary and the patriarch was even considered the ranking personage among the Serbs.[7] Some authors claimed that actually the Hapsburg dynasty in Austria founded the patriarchate of Karlovci.[8]

In the same year when the Patriarchate of Karlovci was created, the Romanians that were previously under jurisdiction of the Metropolitanate of Karlovci proclaimed their separation from the Serbian church, and creation of their own with its metropolitan seat in Sibiu. Similarly, in Bukovina, where the metropolitan of Radauti was subordinate to the Patriarchate of Karlovci, a new church was established in 1873.[1] The separate Romanian church was created later, in 1864, by the emperor's decree.

Emperor Francis Joseph I exercised full control over the Patriarchate. In 1890, contrary to the Serb Church Congress ruling and the Orthodox tradition, he promoted Georgije Branković to the patriarchal throne. That way the emperor discredited the Church hierarchy in the eyes of laity and encouraged rise of the anti-clerical Serb People's Radical Party in Austria-Hungary.[9][10]

The last patriarch, Lukijan Bogdanović, was murdered in 1913. After his death, the patriarchal throne remained vacant for the last seven years of its existence.

In 1920, the Patriarchate of Karlovci was merged into the newly formed Patriarchate of Serbia under one Serbian patriarch residing in Belgrade.[3]


It included following eparchies:

Patriarchs, 1848–1920[edit]

No. Primate Portrait Personal name Reigned from Reigned until Title Notes
1 Josif
Патријарх српски Јосиф.jpg Ilija Rajačić
Илија Рајачић
1848 1861 Patriarch of Karlovci
41st Patriarch of Serbs
(1st Patriarch of Karlovci)
2 Samuilo
No image.png Sava Maširević
Сава Маширевић
1864 1870 Patriarch of Karlovci
42nd Patriarch of Serbs
(2nd Patriarch of Karlovci)
3 Prokopije
No image.png Petar Ivanković
Петар Ивачковић
1874 1879 Patriarch of Karlovci
43rd Patriarch of Serbs
(3rd Patriarch of Karlovci)
4 German
No image.png Grigorije Anđelić
Григорије Анђелић
1881 1888 Patriarch of Karlovci
44th Patriarch of Serbs
(4th Patriarch of Karlovci)
5 Georgije
Патријарх српски Георгије (1830 — 1907).jpg Đorđe Branković
Ђорђе Бранковић
1890 1907 Patriarch of Karlovci
45th Patriarch of Serbs
(5th Patriarch of Karlovci)
6 Lukijan
Lukijan Bogdanović 1913-37.JPG Lazar Bogdanović
Лазар Богдановић
1908 1913 Patriarch of Karlovci
46th Patriarch of Serbs
(6th Patriarch of Karlovci)
Murdered under unclear circumstances

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Paul Robert Magocsi: Historical Atlas of Central Europe, University of Toronto Press, 2002
    "Then, in 1766, when the Ottomans abolished Pec, the Karlovci province became an independent body, eventually with six suffragan bishops (Novi Sad, Timisoara, Vrsac, Buda, Pakrac, and Karlovac), known as the Serbian Orthodox Slav Oriental Church, which after 1848 was raised to the status of a patriarchate."
  2. ^ Erwin Fahlbusch, Geoffrey William Bromiley (editors): The Encyclopedia of Christianity: J-O Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2003 page 603
    In these territories a Serbian church for "Hungarian" Serbs was set up, elevated to the Patriarchate of Sremski Karlovci by Emperor Francis Joseph in 1848
  3. ^ a b Ken Parry: The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity, John Wiley & Sons, May 10, 2010 page 235, Serbian Christianity chapter.
    "Until re-establishment of the Serbian Church in 1920 under the auspices of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, there existed several independent church units of the Serbian Church: the Metropolitanate of Karlovac, the Metropolitanate of Montenegro, and the Serbian Churches in Dalmatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, South Serbia, and Macedonia."
  4. ^ Barbara Jelavich: History of the Balkans, Cambridge University Press, Jul 29, 1983 page 316
    In May 1848 Serbian national assembly attended by several thousand people met in Sremski Karlovci. The delegates chose Josip Rajačić as patriarch and Stephen Supljikac as vojvoda.
  5. ^ a b Aidan Nichols: Theology in the Russian Diaspora: Church, Fathers, Eucharist in Nikolai Afanasyev (1893-1966) CUP Archive, 1989 pages 49, 242
  6. ^ Mario Katic, Tomislav Klarin, Mike McDonald:Pilgrimage and Sacred Places in Southeast Europe: History, Religious Tourism and Contemporary Trends, LIT Verlag Münster, Jan 12, 2014 page 207
  7. ^ Vladimir Dedijer: History of Yugoslavia, McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1974 page 222
    Under successive patriarchs, of Serbian origin, unity was restored and the patriarch was even considered the ranking personage among the Serbs under Hapsburg rule, organized in the see of Sremski Karlovci.
  8. ^ The Salesianum, Volumes 31-32, Alumni Association of St. Francis Seminary, 1936 page 121 Serbia were an autonomous patriarchate ; the Hapsburg dynasty in Austria founded the patriarchate of Karlovci.
  9. ^ Bojan Aleksov: Religious Dissent Between the Modern and the National: Nazarenes in Hungary and Serbia 1850-1914, Otto Harrassowitz Verlag, 2006 pages 37-38
    But too tight imperial control over the Karlovci Serb Patriarchate - as in the appointment of unpopular patriarchs - tended to discredit the hierarchy in the laity's eyes, further encouraging the rise of the anti-clerical Radical Party among Hungarian Serbs
  10. ^ Dejan Medaković: Prilog Srpske akademije nauka i umetnosti javnoj raspravi o nacrtu amandmana na ustav SR Srbije, Srpska akademija nauka i umetnosti, 1989 page 53


  • Živko M. Marinković - Jevrem Igumanović, Istorija opštehrišćanske i Srpske pravoslavne crkve sa hronologijom, Banja Luka - Beograd, 2002.
  • Vojislav Stoja, Istorija Srpske pravoslavne crkve - kratak pregled, Novi Sad, 2000.
  • Dr Dušan Popov, Karlovačka mitropolija, Enciklopedija Novog Sada, sveska 10, Novi Sad, 1998.

External links[edit]