Origins of Catholicism in Transcarpathia


Roman churches we had to operate in Transcarpathia in difficult conditions. It was associated with foreign oppressors, services in Latin were incomprehensible to the local population, and Catholic holidays and customs were perceived as foreign. They were opposed by Orthodox priests, and eventually by the progressive part Uniate clergy and intellectuals.

However, it is worth noting the positive impact of Catholicism on the introduction of Transcarpathia to the heritage of European culture. Catholic monastic orders opened schools where students studied the so-called Trivium (grammar, rhetoric, and logic). Knowledge of the Latin language opened access to European universities.

In the XIII century, the Hungarian kings were invited to the lands of Transcarpathia ravaged by the Tatars colonists from Germany, most of whom were Saxons. Together with them, priests and monks of the Latin rite moved to the region. German colonists received land, the right to self-government, built churches, opened schools, and tried to catholicize local Rusyns. About those processes testifies Serednyansky castle, built by the monks of the knights Templar (Templars).

The position of Catholics in the region significantly strengthened in the beginning of the XIV century, when the government of the Hungarians the Anjou dynasty came. The new king Charles Robert to strengthen his position invited Western European magnates to Transcarpathia the most famous of which were the counts The Drugets.

It is the Universities that play the main role in the spread of Catholicism in our region. Thanks to them, a large number of Catholic churches were built, and in Uzhgorod from the Slovak city Kumanovo was moved to a Catholic Jesuit College, which became the first institution of higher education of Transcarpathia.

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