Nume: CARJA Ion

Tema: Elitele transilvane şi patronii lor: strategii sociale, opţiuni politice şi structuri comunitare (secolele XIII-XX)

Partener: Academia Română, Filiala Cluj, Institutul de Istorie George Bariţiu – Centrul de Studii Transilvane, Cluj-Napoca

Proiect: Transylvanian Ecclesiastical Elites in the Central European Context. The Holy See and the Appointment of Cardinals in the Greek-Catholic Churches of the Austro-Hungarian / Habsburg Empire in the Second Half of the 19th Century

Date de contact


CÂRJA ION, Lecturer, PhD, with the Faculty of History and Philosophy of Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca. BA in History (1995), MA (1996), PhD (2006) on the topic Church and Society in Transylvania during the Pastorate of Metropolitan Ioan Vancea of Buteasa (1869-1892). Research and specialisation stages in France, Italy, Austria, Hungary; recipient of the “Vasile Pârvan” scholarship at Accademia di Romania in Rome (2002-2004). The author of 45 studies on issues of ecclesiastical history, the history of the imaginary and of mentalities, as well as of 10 books (sole author, co-author, coordinator, editor). Responsible for study programmes run by the Faculty of History and Philosophy: Archival studies, the Programme for Rural Education, the Programme of Professional Conversion, Specialised Practice. A participant in over 30 scientific symposia in Romania and abroad. I was awarded the “George Bariţiu” prize of the Romanian Academy (December 2009).

Transylvanian Ecclesiastical Elites in the Central European Context. The Holy See and the Appointment of Cardinals in the Greek-Catholic Churches of the Austro-Hungarian / Habsburg Empire in the Second Half of the 19th Century

The decision making process that led to our opting for this particular research theme can be best explained by the endeavours comprising the scientific investigation we have been conducting over the course of the previous years in the Church history domain. The scientific investigation we have hitherto conducted has also revealed information that is both fascinating and utterly unknown as far as Romanian historiography is concerned- one such example would comprise of the series of facts pertaining to the existence (starting with the year 1869) of a project conceived by the Hungarian government with the purpose of appointing a Cardinal from the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church. This case would not have been as unusual as it might seem, as far as the Uniate Churches incorporated in the Austrian (and later Austro-Hungarian) Empire were concerned, if one were to consider the fact that Rome had already appointed in 1856 (in what constituted a pioneering decision), the first Cardinal from the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church- namely Mihail Levyckyj, the former Archbishop of Leopoli (Lemberg); moreover, Levyckyj was followed, in 1895, by a second prelate of the Ukrainian Church- Archbishop Sylvester Sembratowicz. These actions of ecclesiastical politics can certainly be seen as the common ground between the interests of the State and those of the Church; it is here where the intersection of different views and options of a political and ecclesiastical nature can occur. As all these aforementioned aspects have so far been scarcely or not at all approached by the Romanian historiography, this current project intends to study them in a systematic manner, shed light on the novel plan of appointing the first Romanian as Cardinal (with all the subsequent implications of this intention), extend this scientific investigation with the aid of the information gathered from archive funds, and, last but not least, corroborate the findings of the „Vancea Case” by presenting the results of the research conducted on the Cardinal appointments that occurred within the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church (a subject also deprived of its fair share of attention from the part of the ecclesiastical historiography of the period), during the same time frame. Thus, the chosen subject aims for a foray into the history of the Romanian Greek-Catholic ecclesiastical elites, over the course of the second half of the 19th century; however, this foray is to be done without losing sight of the broader context of the evolutions taking place within the Greek-Catholic Churches of the Austrian (and later Austro-Hungarian) Empire, as well as the papal strategies and politics concerning the Uniates of this region.

In conclusion, the research theme that we bring forward continues, in a natural manner, the scientific investigation we have already completed, and is based on a thorough knowledge of the archive funds and of the bibliography that will play an essential part in fulfilling the aforementioned objectives of this project. What we propose is bringing a contribution to the history of the Romanian ecclesiastical elites during Modern times; moreover, we propose such an addition to the history of the relations between Church and State, as well as of those between the Central European Greek-Catholic Churches and the Holy See, over the course of the 19th century.

Main publications:

  • 1. Biserica Română Unită la Conciliul Ecumenic Vatican I(1869-1870), (coautor), Presa Universitară Clujeană, Cluj-Napoca, 2001, 695 p.

  • 2. I Romeni e la Santa Sede. Miscellanea di studi di storia ecclesiastica ,(coord.), Editura Scriptorium, Bucarest-Roma, 2004.

  • 3. Biserică şi societate în Transilvania în perioada păstoririi mitropolitului Ioan Vancea (1869-1892), Presa Universitară Clujeană, Cluj-Napoca, 2007, 406 p.

  • 4. L’immagine dell’Imperatore Carlo I (IV) presso i romeni della Transilvania, in Andreas Gottsmann (coord.), Karl I. (IV.), Der Erste Weltkrieg und das Ende der Donaumonarchie, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien, 2007, pp. 231-246.

  • 5. Per una storia delle élites ecclesiastiche romene nella Transilvania dell’Ottocento. Alcune considerazioni in Rita Tolomeo (coord.), Vecchie e nuove élites nell’aria danubiana balcanica del XIX secolo, Rubbettino Editore, Soveria Mannelli, 2011, pp. 53-74.