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Strossmayer, Joseph George

STROSSMAYER, JOSEPH GEORGE [Join- JURAJ STROS- MAJER] (1815-1905), Croatian bishop and politician, was born at Esseg in Croatia-Slavonia on the 4th of February 1815. Strossmayer was of German descent and his parents had emigrated from Linz in Austria. He was educated at the Roman Catholic seminary of Djakovo, in his native country, and at Budapest, where he studied theology. In 1838 he took holy orders, and during the next ten years became lecturer on theology at Djakovo, chaplain to the Austrian emperor, and director of the Augustinian body at Rome. In 1849 he was consecrated bishop of Djakovo, with the official title " Bishop of Bosnia, Slavonia and Sirmium." He fostered the growth of Slavonic nationalism in Croatia-Slavonia, in Dalmatia, and among the Slovenes of south Austria, aiding the Ban JellaCic in his campaigns against Hungary (1848-49), and subsequently becoming a recognized leader of the opposition to Hungarian predominance (see CROATIA-SLAVONIA). Besides being foremost among the founders of the South Slavonic Academy in 1867, and of Agram University in 1874, he helped to reorganize the whole educational system of Dalmatia and Croatia-Slavonia. He built a palace and cathedral at Djakovo, founded a seminary for the Bosnian Croats, presented the South Slavonic Academy with a gallery of valuable pictures, and published collections of national songs and tales. He also aided Augustin Theiner, then librarian at the Vatican, to compile his Vetera monumenta Slavorum meridionalium historiam illustrantia (Rome, 1863). As a theologian, Strossmayer became prominent by his energetic opposition to the dogma of infallibility at the Vatican council of 1870, and by his denunciation of the Jesuits, while they in return charged him with allowing Roman Catholics to adopt the orthodox Greek confession. For years he refused to accept the doctrine of infallibility, but ultimately he yielded. Despite this attitude, he enjoyed the confidence of Pope Leo XIII. He headed the Slavonic deputations which visited Rome in 1881 and 1888, and won for them the retention of a Slavonic liturgy by the Roman Catholics of Illyria. Strossmayer withdrew from political life in 1888, in consequence of a rebuke administered to him by the emperor for his public expiession of sympathy with Russia and his consistent hostility to Hungary. He died in his ninety-first year, on the loth of April 1905. He was a count of the Holy Roman Empire, a bishop of the pontifical throne, and a member of the theological faculties of Budapest and Vienna. By Leo XIII. he was decorated with the archiepiscopal pallium.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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