The dislocation of the Bosnian diocese from Bosnia to Đakovo, on the territory of Hungary, had its own half-century of history and represents the culmination of religious relations with a political background in the triangle formed by the Bosnian and Hungarian rulers and the Roman pope. It was an event that had the greatest consequences in the domain of religion in the Bosnian state. Dislocation is by its very nature the result of events and processes from the first half of the 13th century and represents a continuation of events from the period of Ban Kulin and the accusations related to receiving heretics in Bosnia. In this set of circumstances, the crusade was waged against Bosnia, and as a result, the institutional framework of the Catholic Church disappeared in Bosnia and a new religious organization was established – the Bosnian Church. We can gain a better understanding of this period of time and events by studying a large number of similar documents – papal letters addressed to Bosnian bishops and the Hungarian court. The clear stance expressed by the Roman Curia at the IV Lateran Council held in 1215 marked a merciless fight against all those who in any way do not acknowledge the positions of the official pope as the only valid and correct ones, and highlighted the importance of serving the liturgy in Latin. The course of Roman policy towards Bosnia also took a turn in this direction, which got its kind of beginning in the letter of Pope Honorius III (1216-1227) addressed to the legate Acontius in December 1221, in which he mentions the heinous actions and delusions of the Bosnian heretics. The precise plans of the Roman Curia were expressed in May 1225, when Honorius III openly invited the Archbishop of Kalocsa, Ugrin, to a crusade against Bosnia. However, an actual military confrontation did not occur this time.
The pontificate of Pope Gregory IX (1227-1241) for Bosnia represented a period of strong propaganda campaigns that resulted in crusades on the territory of the Bosnian state. A famous denunciation was made against the Bosnian bishop Vladimir from 1232, who, according to the pope, was illiterate, did not know the rite of baptism, lived in the countryside with heretics, and his own brother was a heresiarch. Then followed the mission of legate Jakob Pecorari who was supposed to investigate these accusations, which led to the Pope making the last diplomatic move in October 1233, which was conveyed in letters addressed to Ban Matej Ninoslav (1233-1249), the Bosnian Dominicans and Herzog Koloman. In the midst of the papal investigation, the new Ban Ninoslav came to power in Bosnia and made the transition from heresy to Catholicism and loyalty to the Roman Church. In parallel with these events, the Dominican Ivan de Wildeshausen was installed as the Bosnian bishop, but he did not remain in that position for long. On the ground, the situation was evidently much more complex than Gregory’s letters indicated, and the appointment of a foreigner to the position of bishop only contributed to the disruption of Bosnian religious life. Bosnia and Rome’s relations collapsed as a result of the obvious resistance of Bosnian rulers and other factors towards Latinization of the Bosnian diocese. The break in the series of domestic bishops of the Slavic ministry along with the severing of ties between Ragusa and the Bosnian diocese proved to be a fateful move. As early as February 1234, the Pope hints at a crusade against heretics in Bosnia, and a few months later he permits Bishop Ivan to grant indulgences to those who oppose them. The culmination of religious relations imbued with political ambitions came at the beginning of 1238 when the Pope took the Bosnian diocese under his direct jurisdiction and appointed the Dominican Ponsa as the new Bosnian bishop. Duke Koloman’s military attack on the Bosnian state began concurrently with these activities, and in his letters from December 1238, Pope Gregory IX praised his success in suppressing heretics and heretical teachings. To ensure the success of this crusade, the pope encouraged neighboring church dignitaries to send additional crusaders and funds to Bosnia in order to eradicate heresy there. In the beginning of 1438, the crusader army under Herzog Koloman stayed in Bosnia and did their best to provide space for the elected bishop’s activities. As can be seen from the Pope’s letter from the end of 1239, in which he still calls for fighting in Bosnia, these campaigns failed to achieve significant success. Along with the Crusades in Bosnia, another historical endeavor was evident at this time – the involvement of the Curia in the construction of a cathedral in the area of Vrhbosna. Ban Ninoslav’s position is demonstrated in his second charter to Ragusa in March 1240, which demonstrates how he managed to regain complete control over his country.
The relations of Pope Innocent IV (1243-1254) towards Bosnia also moved in this direction, since he obviously had no mechanisms to fight against the Bosnian ban. The Pope organized a mission in July 1246 in response to Bishop Ponsa’s proposal to join the Bosnian diocese to the Archdiocese of Kalocsa, which was justified by the wrong moves of the Ragusan archbishop regarding the situation in Bosnia. The pope yielded to Hungarian ambitions and agreed that the Hungarians would have the main say in future moves towards Bosnia in an effort to motivate King Bela IV and the Archbishop of Kalocsa to continue fighting heresy in Bosnia. Parallel to these events, probably in 1247, the Archbishop of Kalocsa was given authority over the Bosnian diocese. Hungarian rulers were ambitious in their attempts to obtain patronage over the Bosnian diocese and its rulers, whom they attempted to make their vassals. During that time, the Curia made it clear that it does not expect Bosnia to return to church unity of its own accord, and that even all efforts have not succeeded in preserving the country in its religious purity.
The end result of the Hungarian pressure and the demonstration of the imagined right to the Bosnian state was the relocation of the Bosnian diocese in Đakovo to the territory of Hungary, with which the relations between Bosnia and the Roman Curia were completely broken, and the main obstacle to their development in the following centuries became the Hungarian kings. Considering the lack of sources, it is likely that the relocation was conducted within the time-frame of the information mentioned in relation to the future affiliation of the Bosnian diocese with the Kalocsa Archdiocese in August 1247 and May 1252, when the bishop of Trebinje already knew that the Bosnian bishop had resided in Đakovo. A kind of translatio sedis of the diocese represents one of the turning points in the history of medieval Bosnia, the consequences of which left a deep mark on the religious and political events and processes of the following centuries. As a result of the dislocation of the Bosnian diocese, the centuries-old Catholic Church’s institutional activities in this region were abolished, creating the ideal conditions for establishing a separate and specific institution religious organization known as the Bosnian Church.
Sources and literature:
- Basler Djuro, “Ungarn und das bosnische Bistum (1181/85-1247)”, Ungarn Jahrbuch, no. 5, 1973, 14.
- Džaja Srećko M.i Lovrenović Dubravko, “Crkva bosanska (Ni bogumilska, ni dualistička, nego šizmatička i državna crkva)”, Jukić, no. 38-39/2008-2009, Sarajevo 2009, 244-245.
- Fejer Georgi, Codex diplomaticus Hungariae exxlesiasticus ac civilis, vol. III/I, Typis typogr. regiae universitatis Ungaricae, Budae 1829, 196-197.
- Fine John V.A, Bosanska crkva: Novo tumačenje, Bosanski kulturni centar, Sarajevo 2005, 149-158.
- Jalimam Salih, Djelatnost dominikanaca u srednjovjekovnoj Bosni, IPP Hamidović, Tuzla 1999, 68-74.
- Klaić Nada, “Iz problematike srednjovjekovne povijesti”, Prilozi no. 14, Sarajevo 1978, 48-58.
- Kujundžić Juraj, “Katedrala sv. Petra u Vrhbosni”, Nova et Vetera, no. XXVIII/1-2, Sarajevo 1978, 295-303.
- Lovrenović Dubravko, “Utjecaj Ugarske na odnos crkve i države u srednjovjekovnoj Bosni”, in: Zbornik radova Sedam stoljeća bosanskih franjevaca 1291-1991, Franjevačka teologija Sarajevo, Samobor 1994, 52-57.
- Lovrenović Dubravko, “Modeli ideološkog isključivanja – Ugarska i Bosna kao ideološki protivnici na osnovi različitih konfesija kršćanstva”, Prilozi, no. 33, Sarajevo 2004, 12-15.
- Lovrenović Dubravko, “Translatio sedis i uspostava novog konfesionalnog identiteta u srednjovjekovnoj Bosni – I”, in: Zbornik radova Franjevački samostan u Gučoj Gori, ed: Velimir Valjan, Kulturno-povijesni institut Bosne Srebrene, Guča Gora-Sarajevo 2010, 114-115.
- Majnarić Ivan, “Papinski poslanik Akoncije u Dalmaciji i Hrvatskoj 1219.-1223. godine”, in: Humanitas et litterae Zbornik u čast Franje Šanjeka, ed. Lovorka Čoralić i Slavko Slišković, Kršćanska sadašnjost, Zagreb 2009, 91-95.
- Miklosich Franz, Monumenta serbica spectantia historiam Serbiae, Bosnae, Ragusi, Apud Guilelmum Brauműller, Viennae 1858, 28-29.
- Moore John, Pope Innocent III (1160/61-1216): The Root up and to Plant, Brill, Leiden 2003, 237-250.
- Rabić Nedim, “In toten Winkel der Geschichte. Johannes von Wildeshausen als Bischof von Bosnien 1233/34-1237”, in: Die deutschen Dominikaner und Dominikanerinnen in Mitelalter, ed. Sabine von Heusinger, Elias H. Fűllenbach, Walter Senner i Klaus-Bernward Springer, De Gruyter, Berlin-Boston, 2016, 53-69.
- Salih Jalimam, “Dominikanci u srednjovjekovnoj Bosni”, Croatica christiana periodica, vol. 12, no. 22, Zagreb 1988, 77-81.
- Smičiklas Tadija, Codex diplomaticus regni Croatiae, Dalmatiae et Slavoniae, vol. III (1201-1235), Academia scientiarum et artium slavorum meridionalium auxilio regiminis Croat., Dalm. et Slav., Zagrabiae 1905, 54-57, 361-361, 379-380, 388-390, 397-398.
- Smičiklas Tadija, Codex diplomaticus regni Croatiae, Dalmatiae et Slavoniae, vol. IV (1236-1255), Academia scientiarum et artium slavorum meridionalium auxilio regiminis Croat., Dalm. et Slav., Zagrabiae 1906, 56-57, 64-68, 94, 297-298, 310-311, 322-323, 494-495.
- Stojanović Ljubomir, Stare srpske povelje i pisma I/1, Beograd-Sremski Karlovci 1929, 7-8.
- Šidak Jaroslav, “Ecclesia Sclavoniae i misija dominikanaca u Bosni”, in: Studije o „Crkvi bosanskoj“ i bogumilstvu, Zagreb 1975, 182-205.