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Archdiocese of Scopia
Archdiocese, ancient residence of the early Servian rulers is the modern Uscub (Uskub, Ushkup, or Skoplje), a city of 25,000 inhabitants, situated on the left bank of the Vardar in Macedonia. The first known bishop is Perigorius, present at the Council of Sardica (343). Scopia was probably a metropolitan see about the middle of the fifth century.
After 553 we have no notice of bishops of Scopia till 882. The Bulgarian wars in the tenth century caused a temporary suppression of the see, but when the Bulgarians were converted a century later it again became a metropolitan see. Scopia has also long been a Greek schismatic archiepiscopal see, subject to the Servian Patriarch of Ipek (or Pec); in 1717 it became, as it is now, a suffragan of Constantinople (Jirecek, "Geschichte der Bulgaren", p. 102). In 1346, Greek schismatic bishops held a national council under the patronage of the Servian ruler Dusan (1331-55), (Markovic, "Gli Slavi", ed. i, Papi II, 371). Catholic bishops continued to govern the See of Scopia during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. After 1340 Scopia had only titular bishops until 1656 when it became again a residential see. Since 1700 the bishops of Scopia bear the title of Apostolic administrators or of archbishops immediately dependent on the Roman See. Until 1860 the Catholic archbishops had an uncertain residence in the mountains of Macedonia or Albania, owing to the hostility of the Turks. They now reside in Uskup. Scopia was the birthplace of the famous sixteenth century Minorite, John Bandilovic, a Croatian theologian and writer whose "Pistoloje i Evanglelja" (Epistles and Gospels) was printed at Venice in 1613, and often reprinted. Worthy of mention among the archbishops of Scopia are the Franciscan, Urbanus Bogdanovic (d. 1864), and Darius Bucciarelli (d. 1878). The archbishopric extends over parts of Rumelia, Albania, and Old Servia, and numbers 11 parishes with a Catholic population of 19,473. Its ecclesiastical candidates are educated at the central seminary of Scutari. The school at Prizren and the archbishops of Scopia are subsidized by the Austrian emperor as well as by the Propaganda.
GAMS, Series episcoporum, p. 417; LE QUIEN, Oriens christianus, II, 309. sqq., III, 1138; WERNER, Orb. terr. Cath., 124.
Anthony Lawrence Gancević.