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Archdiocese of Kalocsa-Bacs

(Colocensis et Bachiensis.)

This archdiocese embraces within its territories an archdiocese and a diocese founded by St. Stephen of Hungary in 1010. The question of the foundation of, and of the relations between, Kalocsa and Bacs was for a long time uncertain. George Fejér was of opinion that St. Stephen founded Kalocsa and Bacs as independent sees, and that subsequently St. Ladislau raised Bacs to archiepiscopal rank in 1093, and united it with Kalocsa. Stephen Katona, on the other hand, held that the Archbishopric of Bacs was founded by St. Ladislaus in 1903 by division of the Archbishopric of Kalocsa, the two archdioceses being afterwards reunited in 1135. To Julius Városy we are indebted for the solution of the question: he shows that the Archdiocese of Bacs never existed as an independent see, but that the archbishops of Kalocsa for various reasons changed their residence from time to time to Bacs, so that eventually there arose in this town an independent chapter with its own cathedral, etc. In 1135 the union of Kalocsa and Bacs was canonically confirmed, the chapter at Bacs was raised to archiepiscopal rank, and it was decided that in future the election of an archbishop should rest with the united chapters, but should be held in some third locality. It was also decided that the name of the archdiocese should be Kalocsa-Bacs. Bacs remained the residence of the archbishops, and likewise their burialplace, until 1526, when after the battle of Mohács it fell into the hands of the Turks. When first established the archdiocese was very extensive. It embraced the lands between the Danube and the Theiss from Domsod, which is situated to the south of Vácz (Waitzen), southwards as far as Titel, including also within its territories a portion of Syrmia. As early as 1229 it suffered its first diminution of territory, when Syrmia was formed into a separate diocese.

The history of the archdiocese and the archbishops of Kalocsa-Bacs is closely interwoven with that of Hungary. The first archbishop was Astrik, who later appears as Archbishop of Gran. It is not quite clear whether the title of archbishop was personal to Astrik, or was also transmissible to his successors, for, while his immediate successor, George, is spoken of as archbishop, his second successor, Desiderius, is spoken of only as bishop. Then again Desiderius's successor, Fabianus, is called archbishop. The Archbishop of Kalocsa from the beginning was next in rank to the Archbishop of Gran. In 1175, when Gran was vacant, the Archbishop of Kalocsa was chosen to crown Béla III; likewise, in 1204, Archbishop John crowned Ladislaus III. Supported by these two precedents the archbishops of Kalocsa claimed the right to crown the kings of Hungary. In 1212 the question was so far settled that, in case Gran should be vacant, or its archbishop should decline to act, the right to crown the sovereign belonged to Kalocsa. Archbishop Saul (1192-1202) was held in great esteem by the Holy See, which sought his opinion on many questions. Under Ugrin (1219-41) occured the foundation of the great hospital in Kalocsa, and the establishment of the Diocese of Syrmia in 1229. In this time also the wars against the Patarenes in Bosnia broke out, and, more especially after the establishment of the See of Syrmia, these wars against the Patarenes and other unbelievers were the chief occupation of the archbishops. Ugrin also took part in the coronation of Andrew II. He fell in the battle of Muhi against the Tatar hordes in 1241. Archbishop Ladislaus (1317-37) was distinguished for great theological learning. Andrew Brenti (1413-31) took an important part in the preparations for the Council of Constance. Stephan Várday (1456-71) was distinguished for his humanistic culture. He had studied at Italian universities, and brought back with him a taste for the splendour of the Renaissance. As chancellor and intimate friend of King Matthias Corvinus, he was on of the most zealous promoters of humanism and the renaissance in Hungary. Thanks to the recommendation of the king, he had the distinction of being the first archbishop of Kalocsa to the named cardinal, but died before receiving the insignia. Peter Váradi (1480-1501) was also one of Matthias's confidants, but for some unknown reason forfeited the royal favour, was imprisoned in 1484, and regained his freedom only after the king's death in 1490. He thenceforth devoted his energies mainly to the re-establishment of ecclesiastical discipline. To this end he held a diocesan synod, instituted canonical visitations of the parishes, turned his attention to the education of the clergy, sent young ecclesiastics to the universities for more extensive study, and founded a library. He also regulated the temporalities of the archidiocese.

Archbishop Paul Tomori (1523-26) led the Hungarian army in the decisive struggle against the Turks, meeting his death in the disastrous battle of Mohács in 1526. The territories of the archdiocese were now overrun by the Turks, who prevented the archbishops from exercising their authority. The Holy See continued to appoint to the archdiocese, but the archbishops possessed only the title without being able to exercise any real jurisdiction. George Draskovich (1572-87) took a conspicuous part in the Council of Trent, and received the cardinal's hat. The population diminished at first under Turkish rule, but as early as 1550 Dalmatian Catholics began to immigrate, and the number of Catholics subsequently increased. To satisfy the religious requirements of the population, the Holy See adopted the expedient of treating the archbishopric as missionary territory, and turned over the care of the faithful to the Franciscans. This condition lasted through the whole period of Turkish domination. Leopold Kolonits (1691-5) was first in a position to enter into personal occupation of the archdiocese, and resume jurisdiction, whereupon the archdiocese ceased to be a missionary district. Still, for a time it was governed by vicars. Paul Szechenyi (1696-1710), the second of this family to become archbishop of Kalocsa (the first, George Szechenyi, was archbishop from 1668 to 1685), played an important part as mediator between Prince Francis Rakóczy II and the Viennese Court, but his efforts to effect a reconciliation were fruitless. A new archiepiscopal curia at Kalocsa was begun in his time, and also the reconstruction of the parish church, etc. Count George Csaky (1710-32), successor of the last-mentioned, laid the foundation of the new cathedral. His successor, Count Gabriel Patachich, may be looked upon as the second founder of the archdiocese. He removed the archiepiscopal residence permanently to Kalocsa, and concentrated all his efforts on the reorganization of the archdiocese. He built the seminary and restored the cathedral chapter. Among the recent archbishops may be specially mentioned Count Franz Nadasdy, whose short reign (1845-51) was devoted mainly to charitable works, but who also played an important part in the political events of these years; Joseph Kunszt (1852-66), who has perpetuated his name in various religious institutions. Archbishop Lajos Haynald is treated in a separate article. The present archbishop is Julius Városy. St. Stephen is now the patron saint of the archdiocese, although it was originally under the protection of St. Paul the Apostole, and the metropolitan church is dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin.

The archiepiscopal chapter of Kalocsa was founded at the same time as the archdiocese. At first it was richly endowed, but in time became so impoverished that Innocent VI reduced the number of canons from twelve to six, but Gregory XI, in 1376, raised the number to ten, where it remained until the battle of Mohács in 1526. There was another chapter at Bacs, already mentioned, but Turkish rule put an end to both. The chapter at Bacs was never re-established, but that of Kalocsa was revived by Archbishop Count Gabriel Patachich in 1738. Clement XII gave the members the right to wear the cappa magna, and the chapter also recovered its right as locus credibilis. There were four canons until 1763, when another stall was established, with which, in memory of the archiepiscopal chapter of Bacs, the title of Provost of Bacs was associated. Finally, in 1776, the number of canons was increased to ten, a figure which obtains to the present day. In 1779 Maria Theresa granted to the canons the badge which they still wear. The Archbishopric of Kalocsa-Bacs has to-day as suffragans the bishops of Transylvania, Csanád, Grosswardein (Lat. Rite), and the (titular) See of Knin (Tinin). The archbishpric is divided into three archdeaconries -- the metropolitan and those of Bacs and Theiss -- subdivided into 16 vice-archdeaconries. Besides the 10 regular cathedral canons, the archdiocese contains 8 titular stalls, 9 titular abbacies, and 10 titular provostships. The number of parish churches is 126; of chapels-of-ease, 226; of parish priests, 105; of curates-in-charge, 23. The total number of priests in the archdiocese is 284; of clerics, 46. There are 5 orders in the diocese, 6 monasteries with 143 monks, and 32 convents with 548 nuns. The right to give benefices is still exercised by 27 patrons. The population numbers 940,038, of whom 647,408 are Catholics, 265,842 non-Catholics, 26,379 Jews, while 409 are attached to no denomination.

In Latin: KALONA, Historia metropolit. Ecclesiæ Colocensis (Kalocsa, 1800); PRAY, Specimen hierarchi Hungaricæ, I-II (Pozsony, 1776-79); VÁROSY, Disquisitio historica de unione ecclesiarum Colocensis et Bachiensis in Schematismus archidi c. Coloc. Et Bachiens. (1885 and 1901). In Hungarian: KARACSONYI, Ecclesiastical History of Hungary in its most important phases (Nagy-Várad, 1906), passim; Catholic Hungary (Budapest, 1902); Monograph on the County of Bacs, II (Budapest, 1909) with bibliograpy.


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