Archdiocese in the 20th century

The organization of the Archdiocese of Zagreb into 15 archdeaconries was also confirmed by the First Synod of the Archdiocese of Zagreb in 1925, which confirmed the existing and established some new deaneries.

The synod state was completed by Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac  on July 4, 1943, when he founded 5 parishes at the foot of Medvednica mountain, from Šestine to Granešina, the new Remete Deanery within the Cathedral Archdeaconry and the new Varaždin-Toplice Deanery, which he merged with the Archdeaconry of Varaždin, although the Remetinec, Mađarevo, Ljubešćica and Svibovec parishes were separated from the Archdeaconry of Kalnik.

Later on, on May 31, 1979, Archbishop Franjo Kuharić issued a decree with which he merged the Jasenovac and Kostajnica deaneries into a new deanery dubbed the Dubica Deanery, and the Archdeaconry of Dubica, which consisted only of the two small deaneries, with the Archdeaconry of Gora into an archdeaconry named the Archdeaconry of Gora-Dubica.

Two years later, a similar matter pertaining to the small Archdeaconry of Vrbovec (de Urbocz), which consisted of only 14 parishes in two smaller deaneries, was raised, so Archbishop Franjo Kuharić issued a decree on October 9, 1981, whereby the Archdeaconry of Vrbovec (de Urbocz) was merged with the Zagorje archdeaconry under the name "Archdeaconry of Zagorje" (Zagorje and Vrbovec).

This merger of the Gora and Dubica archdeaconries and Zagorje and Vrbovec (Urbocz) archdeaconries into one archdeaconry was registered in official documents, so the Archdiocese of Zagreb has had 13 archdeaconries since that time.

The Archdiocese of Zagreb suffered great human losses and material damage during and after World War II. 71 priests, 7 seminarians and divinity students and about ten nuns were killed. 155 priests were sent to prison camps and 24 priests were exiled after the war. 32 cases of violent behaviour towards priests and 102 locations in the Archdiocese of Zagreb in which Croatian Catholics were murdered after World War II are known (compare S. Kožul, Martirologij, Zagreb 1998, p. 7). More than 250 Catholic churches and chapels were ruined, demolished or damaged.

An even higher number of sacral facilities were destroyed by the Serbian aggressors during the Croatian Independence War. Sacral buildings were demolished or damaged in 463 locations in the Archdiocese of Zagreb: 340 buildings, 93 crucifixes; and 30 graveyards devastated.

Despite being shackled by the totalitarian communist rule, the Archdiocese of Zagreb kept its freedom and organized numerous celebrations, such as celebrations in Marija Bistrica in 1971 and 1984 (Marian and Mariological Congress, National Eucharist Congress (NEK)). In 1994, the archdiocese marked the 900th anniversary of its existence.

On the occasion, the faithful of the Zagreb Church and entire Croatia were visited by Pope John Paul II, on September 10- 11, 1994. About a million Croatian pilgrims attended the Mass with the Pope.

This was the largest religious gathering ever held in Croatia. At the end of the year, on November 3-5, 1994, a scientific meeting dedicated to Zagreb and the Archdiocese of Zagreb was held in Zagreb. Discussions held at the meeting were published in a special anthology dedicated to Cardinal and Archbishop Franjo Kuharić.

According to the Archdiocese of Zagreb's schematism from 1996, the archdiocese was divided into 13 archdeaconries with 45 deaneries and 473 parishes. Episcopal priests managed 419 parishes and monastic communities managed 54 parishes. There were 458 episcopal priests serving in the congregation, 78 in other services and 16 outside the archdiocese, as well as 60 retired priests, or rather 612 priests of the Archdiocese of Zagreb in total.

That year, 84 monks served in the congregation and 258 in monasteries in the Archdiocese of Zagreb, a total of 342 monks, as well as 1,736 nuns. At the time, 459 instructors in catechism had already worked in the archdiocese, in particular 181 nuns and 278 lay instructors. 114 priest candidates, 100 monastic candidates, 14 nuns and 265 lay persons studied at the Catholic Faculty of Theology, University of Zagreb, a total of 493 students. Three auxiliary bishops served alongside Archbishop and Cardinal Franjo Kuharić: Đuro Kokša (since 1978), Juraj Jezerinac (since 1991) and Marko Culej (since 1992).

In 1997, in the area of the then large Archdiocese of Zagreb, the Holy See established the Diocese of Požega with the seat in Požega and the Diocese of Varaždin with the seat in Varaždin. In 2009, the Holy See established the Diocese of Sisak, and in 2010, the Holy See executed the re-establishment of the Diocese of Sisak with the seat in Sisak and the establishment of the Diocese of Bjelovar-Križevci with the seat in Bjelovar.

The Diocese of Požega encompassed all parishes of the Požega, Virovitica, Našice, Nova Kapela, Nova Gradiška and Pakrac deaneries, as well as Jasenovac, Krapje and Lonja parishes. This includes three historical archdeaconries: Vaška, Gušće and Svetačje, as well as the three mentioned parishes of the Dubica Deanery within the Archdeaconry of Gora-Dubica. The border was on the river Ilova, or rather on the historical border of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia.

The Diocese of Varaždin got all parishes of the Donji Varaždin, Gornji Varaždin, Varaždin-Toplice, Donje Međimurje, Gornje Međimurje, Đurđevac, Koprivnica, Virje and Bednja deaneries, which included 3 archdeaconries: Varažin, Bekšin, Komarnica and Bednja deaneries of the Archdeaconry of Zagorje.

The Diocese of Požega encompassed 85 parishes of the Slavonian part of the previous Archdiocese of Zagreb, and the Diocese of Varaždin encompassed 96 parishes of the Međimurje-Varaždin and Zagorje-Podravina parts of the Archdiocese of Zagreb. Former priests of the Archdiocese of Zagreb became the first bishops of the new dioceses: Antun Škvorčević in Požega and Marko Culej in Varaždin. A change was introduced in Zagreb, as well.

Archbishop and Cardinal Franjo Kuharić, to whom much credit goes for the Church and the Croatian homeland retired, and Bishop of Krk Josip Bozanić was appointed new archbishop. All these changes happened in the first year of the three-year preparatory phase for the entry into the new Christian millennium.

Pope John Paul II paid the second visit to Croatia, November 2-4, 1998. On this occasion, he beatified Archbishop of Zagreb and Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac in a glorious Mass in Marija Bistrica.

On May 8, 2001, Archbishop of Zagreb Josip Bozanić issued a decree whereby he gave new names to archdeaconries and deaneries, keeping the historical continuity and taking larger cities and places in the area into consideration, with a smaller correction of borders, since the Archdiocese of Zagreb remained within the new borders after the establishment of the Požega and Varaždin dioceses.

At the time the Archdiocese of Zagreb (1997-2009) had 7 archdeaconries with deaneries:

The Cathedral Archdeaconry includes the following deaneries: Gornji Grad, Maksimir-Trnje, Trešnjevka, Kustošija, Novi Zagreb, Remete, Resnik, Sesvete-Vugrovec.
The Archdeaconry of Bjelovar-Kalnik encompasses the following deaneries: Bjelovar, Križevac, Vrbovec-Cirkvena and Zelina.
The Archdeaconry of Čazma-Moslavina encompasses the following deaneries: Čazma-Ivanić-Grad, Dugo selo, Garešnica and Kutina.
The Archdeaconry of Karlovac-Gorica encompasses the following deaneries:  Karlovac, Duga resa-Mrežnica, Jastrebarsko and Ozalj-Lipnik.
The Archdeaconry of Sisak-Gora encompasses the following deaneries: Sisak, Dubica-Kostajnica and Glina-Petrinja.
The Archdeaconry of Turopolje encompasses the following deaneries: Velika Gorica-Odra, Pokupje-Vukomerec, Samobor-Okić and Sveta Nedelja.
The Archdeaconry of Zagorje encompasses the following deaneries: Krapina, Stubica, Tuhelj-Pregrada, Zaprešič and Zlatar-Belec.

The new form of the new Vrbovec-Cirkvena Deanery did not take hold. Instead, it has been divided into two deaneries since 2002: Cirkvena and Vrbovec. A similar thing happened to the Čazma-Ivanić-Grad Deanery, which remained in the Čazma Deanery and the Ivanić-Grad Deanery, as decided at the Synod in 1925.

In this way, 34 deaneries in 7 archdeaconries finally took hold. They were named: The Cathedral Archdeaconry with 8 deaneries, the Archdeaconry of Bjelovar-Kalnik with 5 deaneries, the Archdeaconry of Čazma-Moslavina with 5 deaneries, because a new Dugo selo deanery was established and merged with this archdeaconry, the Archdeaconry of Karlovac-Gorica with 4 deaneries, the Archdeaconry of Sisak-Gora with 3 deaneries, the Archdeaconry of Turopolje with 4 deaneries and the Archdeaconry of Zagorje with 5 deaneries, because 2 deaneries from the Cathedral Archdeaconry were merged with it: Zaprešić (Susedgrad) and Stubica. Since the Decree was enacted on May 10, 2001, the Archbishop appointed archdeacons (SVZN, No 3./2001, p. 107-112).
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