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Catholicisation refers mainly to the conversion of adherents of other religions into Catholicism, and the system of expanding Catholic influence in politics. Catholicisation was a policy of the Holy See through the Papal States, Holy Roman Empire, Habsburg Monarchy, etc. Sometimes this process is referred to as re-Catholicization although in many cases Catholicized people had never been Catholics before.[1]

The term is also used for the communion of Eastern Christian churches into the Roman Catholic Church; the Eastern Catholic Churches that follow the Byzantine, Alexandrian, Armenian, East Syrian, and West Syrian Rites, as opposed to the Roman Catholic Latin Rite.

Historical examples[edit]

Catholic priest Sidonije Šolc rebaptizing Serb Orthodox people in Bosanska Dubica in August 1941

All Albanians were Orthodox Christians until the mid-13th century[2] when the Ghegs converted to Catholicism as a mean to resist the Orthodox Serbs.[3]

Serbs are predominantly and traditionally Eastern Orthodox. Since the many migrations into the Habsburg Monarchy beginning in the 16th century, there has been efforts to Catholicize the community. The Orthodox Eparchy of Marča became the Catholic Eparchy of Križevci after waves of conversion in the 17th and 18th centuries. Notable individuals active in the Catholicisation of Serbs in the 17th century include Martin Dobrović, Benedikt Vinković, Petar Petretić, Rafael Levaković, Ivan Paskvali and Juraj Parčić.

A recent example is the conversion of hundreds of thousands of Serbs during World War II in Croatia.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Peter Hamish Wilson (2009). The Thirty Years War: Europe's Tragedy. Harvard University Press. p. 357. ISBN 978-0-674-03634-5. 
  2. ^ Hugh Chisholm (1910). Encyclopædia Britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information. Encyclopædia Britannica. p. 485. Retrieved 18 July 2013. The Roman Catholic Ghegs appear to liave abandoned the Eastern for the Western Church in the middle of the 13th century [better source needed]
  3. ^ Leften Stavros Stavrianos (January 2000). The Balkans Since 1453. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. p. 498. ISBN 978-1-85065-551-0. Retrieved 17 July 2013. Originally, all Albanians had belonged to the Eastern Orthodox Church... Then the Ghegs in the North adopted ... to better resist the pressure of Orthodox Serbs.