Franjo Komarica

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His Excellency
Franjo Komarica
Bishop of Banja Luka
President of the Bishops' Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Franjo Komarica 1.jpg
Province Sarajevo
Diocese Banja Luka
See Banja Luka
Appointed 15 May 1989
Predecessor Alfred Pichler
Other posts President of the Bishops' Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina
President of Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ordination 29 June 1972
by Alfred Pichler
Consecration 6 January 1986
by John Paul II
Personal details
Birth name Franjo Komarica
Born (1946-02-03) 3 February 1946 (age 70)
Novakovići, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Yugoslavia
Nationality Croatian
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post Auxiliary Bishop of Banja Luka (and Titular Bishop of Satafis; 1985–1989)
Motto Gospodin je moja snaga i moja pjesma (The Lord is my strength and my song)
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}
Styles of
Franjo Komarica
Coat of Arms of Bishop Franjo Komarica.svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Bishop

Dr Franjo Komarica (born 3 February 1946) is a Bosnian Croat Roman Catholic prelate, the Bishop of Banja Luka and president of the Bishops' Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Early life[edit]

One of eleven children, Komarica was born in Novakovići near Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to Ivo and Ivka (née Marić) Komarica.[1] He finished elementary school in Banja Luka, then he attended the minor seminary in Zagreb (1961-63) and Đakovo (1963-65). After completing his compulsory military service he began theological studies in Ðakovo (1967-68), and continued studying at the Faculty of Catholic Theology of the University of Innsbruck (1968-72).[citation needed]


Komarica was ordained to the priesthood by Alfred Pichler on June 29, 1972[2] in Mariastern Abbey, near Banja Luka, and then continued special studies in Innsbruck, where he earned master's degree in 1973, and doctorate in liturgy in 1978.[citation needed]

Episcopal career[edit]

On 28 October 1985, Komarica was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Banja Luka and Titular Bishop of Satafis in Africa by Pope John Paul II.[2] He received his episcopal consecration from John Paul II, with Agostino Casaroli and Bernardin Gantin serving as co-consecrators on 6 January 1986.[2] Until the retirement of Bishop Alfred Pichler Komarica served as Bishop's Vicar General. On 15 May 1989, he was appointed Bishop of Banja Luka and two months later, officially took the office.

Role during the Bosnian war[edit]

Just a few years after he took the office whole Bosnia and Herzegovina and particular the Diocese of Banja Luka faced with armed aggression. During the Bosnian war, Bishop Komarica's diocese fell under Serbian control. Over 220,000 Roman Catholics were forced to flee the area now known as Republika Srpska, at least 400 were killed, including seven priests and nun. In the Diocese of Banja Luka, 98% of churches and a third of other Church property was destroyed in the war.[3] "It is an ethnocide, or genocide", the bishop said in 1996, "because the presence of a nation, its culture and religion is being wiped out. All the recognisable signs of our existence are being destroyed: churches, monasteries, graveyards, monuments, names, ..."[3]

During the war, although under house arrest and could not move around, the Bishop reportedly tried to keep in contact with his diocese, sending out priests to bring him information from the various parishes while endeavouring to make contact with Bosnian Serbian officials. During and after the war, Komarica reportedly gave hospitality in his own residence to displaced Muslim, Orthodox and Catholic families, numbering more than 30 people at a time.[4]

After the war[edit]

Bishop Komarica (left) with Bishop Vinko Puljić and Bishop Luigi Pezzuto

After the Yugoslav wars, Komarica remained a supporter of preserving Croatian and Roman Catholic traditions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.[5]

In 2005, at the request of Komarica, the Missionaries of Charity, opened their first monastery in Bosnia and Herzegovina. On 16 November 2005, Komarica founded the European Academy in Banja Luka.[6] Two months later, on 6 February 2006, he established the Center for Life and Family of Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina.[citation needed]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bishops' Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina profile of Bishop Komarica,; accessed 13 August 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Bishop Franjo Komarica". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Bishop seeks to heal wounds of Bosnian war,; accessed 13 August 2015.
  4. ^ "Impulses of the Spirit: the servant church after Vatican II". America. 8 October 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Bosnia-Herzegovina: Thousands of Catholics want to return",; accessed 13 August 2015.
  6. ^ "O nama" (in Croatian). Europska akademija. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Odluka kojom se biskup Franjo Komarica odlikuje" (in Croatian). Narodne novine. 2 July 2007. Retrieved 12 July 2008. 
  8. ^ "Visit of Bishop Franjo Komarica to Harvard: "Developed Europe and the US Should Not Abandon Us"". Croatian Chronicle Network. 19 December 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Antonio Teutonico
Bishop of Satafis
Succeeded by
Norberto Eugenio Conrado Martina
Preceded by
Alfred Pichler
Bishop of Banja Luka
Preceded by
Vinko Puljić
President of the BKBiH
President of the BKBiH
Succeeded by
Vinko Puljić