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Updated:  Aug 12, 2013
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Archdiocese of Zara

In Dalmatia

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Errata* for Archdiocese of Zara:

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* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.

Zara (JADERA), Archdiocese of, in Dalmatia. Zara has been a diocese since A.D. 381 and since 1146 an archdiocese. Its succession of bishops numbers eighty without noteworthy interruption. Bishop Sabinianus is mentioned in the "Register" of Gregory the Great. In one of his letters John VIII names St. Donatus as patron of Jadera. Archaeologists find in Zara many traces of ecclesiastical sculpture with German characteristics dating from the migration of the German tribes. The Church of St. Donatus is the most important structure of its period preserved in Dalmatia. The massive dome of the rotunda is surrounded by a vaulted gallery in two stories which also extends around the three apses to the east. Zara was the capital of Byzantine Dalmatia, but the fact that an example of Carlovingian architecture is found there shows that Zara must once have belonged to the Franks and explains the visit of Bishop Donatus to Charlemagne in Dietenhofen. Since Zara belonged to Venice the bishops of Grado have exercised patriarchal jurisdiction over it. In 1276 Patriarch Aegidius summoned Archbishop John with his suffragans to the Council of Grado where they were, however, represented by deputies. Archbishop Nikolaus III of Zara was present at the synod convened by Cardinal Guido of St. Cecilia at Padua in 1350. Twenty constitutions were published, chiefly against the evil life of the clergy and the power of the laity as used against the clergy and church property. Worthy of high respect was Aegidius of Viterbo who governed the archdiocese for two years. In the first session of the Fifth Lateran Council he says: "Homines per sacra immutari fas est non sacra per homines" (Man must be changed by what is holy, not what is holy by man). He had also the courage to address the following words to the warlike Julius II, who sought to increase the possessions of the Church. "That the states of the Church number a few thousands of inhabitants more or less, matters not, but it does matter greatly that its members be pious and virtuous. The Church knows no weapons other than faith, virtue, and prayer". Archbishop Godeassi attended the Synod of Vienna in 1849. Peter Alexander Maupas was present at the Vatican Council. The Archdiocese of Zara has: 86,000 Catholics, 150 secular priests, 5 religious houses for men with 20 inmates, 4 religious houses for women with 23 inmates.


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