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Between Repression and Defence

The Condition of the Catholic Church in Communist Yugoslavia from relationes ad limina (1946-58)

Ivan Portelli    Istituto di Storia Sociale e Religiosa, Gorizia, Italia    



In post-World War II Yugoslavia, the issue of relations with the Communist state becomes central to the Catholic episcopate. The defence of the ecclesial presence and the preservation of the faith in the face of the repression carried out with force by the political authorities is a dominant aspect in the relationes sent by the bishops to the Holy See. In the complex and articulated Yugoslav reality, where different religious and national identities are intertwined and oppose each other, the bishops note that religious sentiment is still quite alive among the faithful, even in a political-social context dominated by socialist materialism, sustained by the state, and in this, the first instances of a kind of practical materialism also appear.

Dec. 13, 2022
Nov. 2, 2022
Sept. 3, 2022

Keywords: MaterialismReligious practiceAnti-religious repressionYugoslaviaNational identityCommunismRelationes ad limina

Copyright: © 2022 Ivan Portelli. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.