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IN-BETWEEN EMPIRES: NIKOLA STANISLAVICH, BISHOP OF NIKOPOL AND APOSTOLIC ADMINISTRATOR OF OLTENIA (1725–1739)

Radu Nedici, University of Bucharest

Abstract: The emergence of the Habsburg Monarchy as a major player on the Lower Danube in the late-seventeenth century created new opportunities for the Catholic communities in the Balkans. Focusing on the career of Nikola Stanislavich and on his efforts to persuade both the emperor and the pope to support his plans for revitalizing Catholicism in Oltenia, this article aims at a comparative understanding of the environment under which missionaries operated in the territories that changed hands between the Ottomans and the Habsburgs. The slow pace of negotiations for acknowledging full jurisdiction over Oltenia, the tensions that characterized the relationship of the bishop with the Franciscan friars there, together with the fact that Catholics remained a minority in the province meant that the initial expectations were never met.

Keywords: Bulgarian Catholics, Franciscan Friars, Ottoman Balkans, Roman Curia, Habsburg Monarchy, Church Union, Missionary Conflict