Msgr. Dražen Kutleša was born in Tomislavgrad on September 25, 1968 to father Krešo and mother Danica Kutleša née Ćurić. After attending primary school in Prisoje from 1975 to 1983, Kutleša joined the seminary and attended the Diocesan Classical Grammar School in Dubrovnik until 1987. He then continued his education by studying Philosophy and Theology at the Vrhbosna Catholic Theology in Sarajevo. He graduated from the Vrhbosna Catholic Theology in 1993 and in 1994 he earned his Bachelor’s degree. Dražen Kutleša was ordained as a priest of the Roman Catholic Mostar-Duvno Diocese in Prisoje on June 29, 1993. In 1995 Dražen Kutleša enrolled in the postgraduate study of Canon Law at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome, where he earned his Master’s degree in 1997 and Ph.D. in 2001.

From 1993 to 1995 he served as chaplain at the Mostar Catholic Cathedral and catechist in secondary schools. From 1988 to 1996 he served a vice chancellor in the Diocesan Curia, rector of parish Grude, lecturer of Canon Law at the Theological Catechetical Institute in Mostar and member of the College of Advisors and the Council of Presbyters. From 2006 to 2011 Kutleša worked for the Dicastery for Bishops in Vatican. As of 2010 he is an associate member of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as bishop coadjutor of Poreč-Pula Diocese on September 17,2011. He was ordained as bishop on December 10, 2011 in the Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč. His bishop’s motto “But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord!” is taken from Psalm 31. On June 14, 2012 Kutleša was appointed as diocesan bishop of the Poreč-Pula Diocese.

On July 11, 2020 Pope Francis appointed him archbishop coadjutor of the Split – Makarska Archdiocese and since then he has been serving the apostolic administrator of the Poreč – Pula Diocese. Kutleša was ordained as Archbishop of the Split - Makarska Archdiocese on May 13, 2022 in the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Split.

Pope Francis appointed him to the Dicastery for Bishops on July 13, 2022.

On October 18, 2022 he was elected president of the Croatian Bishops’ Conference within which he also serves as president of the Permanent Council, the Commission on Legal Affairs, and the Commission on Relations with the State.

Dražen Kutleša was appointed archbishop coadjutor of the Zagreb Archdiocese on February 14, 2023.

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the Archdiocese of Zagreb, Croatia, presented by His Eminence Cardinal Josip Bozanić on Saturday April 15, 2023. Msgr. Kutleša succeeded Bozanić as Archbishop of the Zagreb Archdiocese. On the Feast of St. Catherine of Siena, doctor of the church and co-patroness saint of Europe, Msgr. Dražen Kutleša took over his service of Archbishop of the Zagreb Archdiocese in the liturgical space of the Blessed Alojzije Stepinac next to the Zagreb Cathedral.
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