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Archdiocese of Bukarest
(BUCARESTIENSIS; Rumanian, Bucaresci "City of enjoyment")
Comprises the Kingdom of Rumania, of which Bukarest is the capital, excluding Moldavia, and contains, according to the archdiocesan year-book for 1907, about 56,000 Catholics of the Latin Rite, 4,000 to 5,000 Uniat Rumanians, chiefly immigrants from Transylvania, Banat, and Bukowina, and a few hundred Uniat Armenians. In the city of Bukarest which in 1905 had 285,445 inhabitants there are about 202,000 Orthodox Greeks and 43,000 Jews. The city is situated in a swampy plain on both sides of the Dimbobitza which is here crossed by about a dozen bridges. It is noted for many stately edifices, and the semi-Oriental appearance of its older quarters is heightened by the numerous gardens and the bright domes of its Greek churches. The Catholic cathedral chapter consists at present of 4 canons, 1 honorary canon, and 4 honorary canons outside the diocese. There are in the archdiocese 40 priests (in addition to the archbishop), including 2 Passionists, 1 Benedictine, and 1 Dominican; 24 parishes, one of the Greek-Rumanian Rite; 45 churches including 23 parish churches. The training of the clergy is provided for in the archiepiscopal seminary at Bukarest, which has four professors and nineteen seminarists; six seminarists are being trained outside the diocese. The opposition of the Rumanian Government has hitherto rendered the establishment of a Catholic college impossible. Catholic primary schools exist in all parishes. In the city of Bukarest are twenty-six Brothers of the Christian Schools who conduct three schools, with an attendance of 1,028. The English Ladies, numbering about 252, have two houses in Bukarest, one each in Braïla, Craiova, and Turnu Severin, and conduct five boarding schools with 705 pupils, eight primary schools for girls with an attendance of 1,493, and one orphanage with 20 children. The Dames de Sion have one foundation in Bukarest, with thirty-seven sisters and conduct a boarding school with an attendance of 133; the Sisters of Mercy one foundation with four sisters. The Hungarians have established nine Catholic schools (two in Bukarest), attended by about 945 children. In addition to the above-mentioned orders, the Passionists have one house with four members. The most important churches are: the cathedral, dedicated to St. Joseph, a three-naved Gothic edifice, the largest Catholic church in the country, which was completed in 1884; and the Baratsia, an early church of the Franciscans, destroyed by fire in 1848 and since rebuilt.
For the history of the Catholic Church in the territory now comprised within the Archdiocese of Bukarest see RUMANIA. The present archdiocese was erected by Pope Leo XIII, 27 April, 1883. Bukarest, however, had previously been the residence of Catholic bishops, viz., the Bishops of Nicopolis, Bulgaria, who were also Administrators Apostolic of Wallachia, and had resided at Rustchuk. Bishop Paulus Davanlia (1777-1804) left Rustchuk and lived at the Franciscan monastery at Bukarest (1792-93), where he also died. His successor, Franciscus Ferreri transferred his residence to Cioplea, a village near Bukarest founded in 1812 by Bulgarian refugees, but he was prevented from entering Bukarest by the opposition of the Greek orthodox bishop. Only in 1847 was Bishop Josephus Molajoni able to establish his residence in Bukarest. His successor, Angelus Parsi, restored the episcopal palace, which had been destroyed by fire in 1847, and in 1852 brought to Bukarest the English Ladies, and in 1861 the Brothers of the Christian Schools. In 1863 Bishop Parsi was succeeded by Josephus Pluym, since 1869 Patriarchal Vicar of Constantinople, who in turn was followed by Ignatius Paoli. After the establishment of Rumania as a kingdom, a movement was set on foot by the Government to release the Catholic subjects from dependence on a foreign bishop, and negotiations were begun with Rome. In 1883 Pope Leo XIII erected two dioceses in Rumania immediately subject to the Holy See, the Archdiocese of Bukarest and the Diocese of Jassy. The first archbishop was Ignatius Paoli, succeeded in turn by Paulus Josephus Palma (1885-92); Otto Zardetti (1894-95), who was the second Bishop of St. Cloud, Minnesota, U.S.A. (1889-94), when he was transferred to Bukarest. He resigned this last office in 1895 and died in Rome, on 9 May, 1902; Xaverius Hornstein (1896-1905), who built a new episcopal residence and for the second time called the Brothers of the Christian Schools to Bukarest; Raymundus Netzhammer, O.S.B., born at Erzingen, Baden, 19 January, 1862, professed in the Benedictine monastery at Einsiedeln, 1881, and consecrated Archbishop of Bukarest 16 September, 1905.
Schematismus Archidiœcesis Latinœ Bucarestiensis (Bucharest, 1907); it contains also a history of the archdiocese with a bibliography and other items of interest.