Archd., 1; dioc., 2; card., 1; abp., 1; bp., 3; parishes, 282; priests, 582 (237 dioc., 346 rel.); sem.,116; bros., 15; srs., 508; bap., 5,824; Caths., 461,000 (12%); tot. pop. 4,070,000.
Independent republic in southeastern Europe; formerly part of Yugoslavia; capital Sarajevo. During the three years of fighting that erupted after Bosnia-Herzegovina declared its independence, some 450,000 Catholics were driven from their homes; many fled to Croatia or southern Bosnia. Sarajevo Cardinal Vinko Puljic, named a cardinal in 1994, has led the bishop in call for the safe returns of all refugees from the war and acknowledged that in some areas Croatian Catholics were responsible for atrocities. In 1999 the Vatican and Franciscan officials formally agreed to the hand over of seven parishes in the Diocese of Mostar, but the agreement was greeted in some areas with violence, and Church officials said many local people did not immediately accept the situation. The parish in Medjugorje, site of alleged Marian apparitions in 1981, remained the responsibilities of the Franciscans.
(The above exert comes from Our Sunday Visitor's 2004 Catholic Almanac and is used on this web site with the publisher's permission.)