The Slovene Bishops and the Occupation


  • France M. Dolinar Arhiv Republike Slovenije, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Zvezdarska 1


Second World War, Slovenia, occupation, Roman Catholic Church, diocese, administration


As a result of the collapse of the Habsburg Empire and the bartering between the victor countries in the wake of the First World War, the Slovene ethnic territory was radically carved up. Within the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the Slovene Roman Catholic Church consisted of two dioceses. The Diocese of Ljubljana was shepherded by Dr Gregorij Rožman from 1930 and the Diocese of Maribor by Dr Ivan Jožef Tomažič from 1933. The two bishops, whilst not ignoring the threat of the looming war, were unprepared for it. Their different conduct during the occupation of Slovenia was conditioned by the varying circumstances and treatment by the occupiers in the respective areas of their homeland rather than by differences in their character. Under the extreme conditions created by the occupation, both bishops recognized the legitimacy of the occupying regime, on the principle that any other attitude would provoke intolerable anarchy in the country, endangering both the moral and physical existence of the Slovene people.