The roots of the most long-lived Catholic weekly newspapers in Bosnia and Herzegovina go back to 1922., and the complex of social and political movements will bring to its banning twice and its publishing under three names:  Nedjelja, Križ and Katolički tjednik.

First number of Nedjelja    

The foundation of Catholic weekly newspapers was announced by msgr. Ivan Šarić on November 20th 1921. in Vrhbosna, the official papers of Vrhbosna archdiocese, and that announcement soon became reality. Already on January 1st 1922. the readers were presented with the first issue of Nedjelja, that was published, as the newspapers name said, on Sunday, and was published by Hrvatska Tiskara d.d. publishing house in Sarajevo. After just a few published issues, Nedjelja had about 3 000 subscribers. By the beginning of 1924., that number was up to 5 000 and just a year after there were 6 000 constant subscribers, which was a respectable number for those circumstances marked with high analphabetism.

  

Censorship, prohibition and revival

Because of opinions and attitude represented in Nedjelja, the state's authorities of the Kingdom of SHS, censored some of the content, and the editor published them that way, leaving blank space in the disputable places in the text[1]. The authorities have many times confiscated the newspapers, and in May in 1925. finally forbid its publishing, primary reason being a long dispute of the newspapers with then prime minister of religions dr. Vojislav Janjić, who was also a Orthodox priest[2].  

Nevertheless, it did not stagger the enthusiasts surrounding Nedjelja, and they as soon as next week published new weekly newspaper under the name Križ. However, it too was abolished after only one issue. This state remained until September 6th 1925. when these newspapers came out under the name Katolički tjednik. This name will stay recognizable until 1945., when the communist authorities banned it's publishing. Last issue was published on Easter 1945. That was, as the ones who know best may say, for this Catholic weekly newspapers, a Good Friday, because the next 57 years became the time of forced hibernation, and „resurrection“, revival that is, was on November 24th 2002., when with the encouragement of archbishop metropolit Vinko card. Puljić, Katolički tjednik was published again.

            By counting all published issues we come to a nominal number of 1 199 weekly issues of Katolički tjednik that were published in periods from January 1st 1922. to May 31st 1925. (Nedjelja), then from June 7th 1925. (Križ) and from September 6th 1925. to  April 1st1945.(Katolički tjednik). To that number of course, should be added the new, 15 year long publishing of the renewed weekly newspapers that was never discontinued.

Continuity of Katolički tjednik

Even though it was forced to be published under different names, this weekly newspapers kept it's continuity of thought and had recognizable character. A bit changed circumstances, mostly thank to different self-perception of Catholic Church, stated in Second Vatican council (1962. – 1965.), contributed to a different relation towards reality that can be read on the pages of modern Katolički tjednik.

It is important to point out that Katolički tjednik that emerged in 1925. continued the tradition of Nedjelja and while being „out there“ had a significant place, not only in the Catholic media space but outside of it as well. When we are talking about preserving tradition, we should mention that the sign of a cross, with a role of a logo on the first page of the old weekly newspapers, became guiding light to the modern look of the newspapers. Besides that, the content of the papers points out to the continuity in the period from 1922. to 1945. Said facts advise that Nedjelja, Križ and Katolički tjednik shouldn't be seen as three different, but as one  Catholic newspapers that got its modern version in 2002.

The fact that Katolički tjednik is considered as a logical continuance of Nedjelja is witnessed by the flow of later texts that were pointing out to its prior many years existence.

Unofficial newspapers of Vrhbosna archdiocese

            The first format of the newspapers was A4, and it was published on 12 to 16 pages. That trend of appearance was continued until 1928., when the papers got a format of A3 and later had eight, and sometimes 24 pages for Christmas, Easter and Pope's day, once it was even published on 28 pages[3]. However, through 1945., it was published on only four pages, except twice as big last issue.  

New Katolički tjednik, took A4 format and mostly has 40 pages. Sometimes it is published on 44 pages, and rarely on 36, while dedicated issues have 48, 56 and 64 pages. The new revived newspapers was firstly published in 10 000 issues, however the number was cut by half in time.  

The fact that these papers were not a product of a few accidental enthusiasts but a fruit of thought through pastoral strategy, is evident in its first issue where next to the editor's word was published a recommendation to the readers (firstly to the priests and orders) of archbishop Ivan ev. Šarić, and with the revival in 2002., his recommendation gave archbishop Vinko card. Puljić. Both of them, as influencers of their time, helped these papers, that were with its content, which will be elaborated in further text, a unofficial papers of Vrhbosna archdiocese, in many ways.

Owner and publisher

From its beginning, Katolički tjednik is in the ownership of Vrhbosna Ordinary that is named as a co publisher as well. Publishing of Nedjelja in 1922., was in the name of Ordinary entrusted to the prebendary msgr. Stjepan Hadrović.

Ordinary, for the purposes of publishing, started its own media center – Academy Regina Apostolorum in 1931., under the guidance of priest dr. Marko Alaupović, with the goal of all-purpose support and promotion of Catholic publishing in Sarajevo. Under the wing of Apostolorum (that published the official papers Vrhbosna and illustrated monthly magazine Katolički svijet), Katolički tjednik was placed on January 24th 1932. Just more than a year, before the state law, this Academy was represented by dr. Smiljan Čekada, and as of August 27th 1933., until 1943., in that place was his brother dr. Čedomil Čekada, „ideologist“ and most fertile author in Katolički tjednik.  Rest of the time, until the communist ban of the newspapers and the institution that was publishing it, at the head of the Academy was editor  Franjo Kralik.

After the renewal of Katolički tjednik in 2002., owner and publisher was Vrhbosna archbishop's Ordinary, and Banja Luka bishop's Ordinary was a co publisher until 2012.

Modeled by Regina Apostolarum, on October 30th 2006., Media center of Vrhbosna Archdiocese was formed, who then took care of publishing of Katolički tjednik. At the head of this institution is priest Miroslav Ćavar.

The profile of Katolički tjednik (1922.-1945. i 2002.-2012.)

In definition of content and the path of the weekly newspapers, that originates in 1922. as Nedjelja and was banned as Katolički tjednik in 1945, and then revived in 2002., we have to start from the fact of complex social-political and religious circumstances in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They were the ones that influenced the apologetic-defense attitude? on the pages of Katolički tjednik up untill 1945.

   Since the revival in 2002., the situation is somewhat different and in that sense, the continuity from 1922., could not be followed, especially when it comes to the relation to the ones that are different religion.

New Tjednik emphasizes more, the need of comprehensive spiritual renewal of the society and individuals based on Christian principles of moral and humanity. Besides that, the difference from the old one, the „revived“ one emphasizes the need of coexistence and tolerance.

Even though it is un-doubtable that Katolički tjednik lives marked with two terms: Catholic and Croatian, through it, the dimension of Bosnian is mirrored. Among the newspapers' tasks is the making of, or becoming conscious, of Croatian identity rooted in Bosnian and Herzegovinian biotype. That is one of the main goals directed to staying and survival of Catholics in these areas.

Right in the beginning one could see that the orientation of these newspapers is Croatian and Catholic (Stadler's Starcevicism) marked with words of st. Paul: „Unite all things in Christ!“   (Eph 1,10)[4].

            This is also well illustrated in the first editorial under the title What does Nedjelja want?, and it mirrored the original editorial policy that did not change until 1945. The goal is to spread and defend Christ's principles and away from everyday politics, to acquaint people with the truths and beauties of the Catholic faith. Also, it can be said that the struggle to preserve the purity of the Catholic faith and the struggle against those who attack or undermine it, is actually the original intention of Nedjelja.

Columns in Katolički tjednik (1922.-1945.)    

            Katolički tjednik from the beginning offers a variety of content, which is visible through its columns that have changed, filled up, and were abolished through time. At the very beginning (1922.) there were several rubrics that remained until 1945, and in a certain way continued to live in a revived newspapers. Those are, in the first place: Editorial word, Sublist, From the Holy Mass, Thinking Thoughts, Salvation Examples, News, From Book of the Books, Our Correspondence, Strong answers, and Prosvjeta. Some rubrics until 1945. were edited and guided by people who were not in Sarajevo, and their names and author's articles were in principle not signed, which was then a usual practice.         

Editing policy and editors (1922. - 1945.)

            Significant, if not the most significant part of life of Katolički tjednik was given by its chief editors - the protagonists of creating newspaper editorial policy. Through their actions, one can see the relationship of these newspapers towards the Church and society, especially the Church's relationship with state authorities and non-Catholics.

Since the launch of the newspaper (1922.) until their ban (1945.) six editors changed. Except for the first Msgr. Karlo Cankar (who at the age of 55 became editor) they were mainly younger priests: rev. Dr. Dragutin Kamber (25), rev. Dr. Smiljan Čekada (27), rev. Dragutin Jurić (32), rev. Andrija Kordić (26) and rev. Franjo Kralik (32).

Reflecting on the decades of the history of Katolički tjednik, it can be said that all editors have given their seal with their selfless and sacrificial work to this new media. There were such intriguing intellectual figures – one of them even became Archbishop - whose life stories, in a way, reflect the life context in which Katolički tjednik was published.      

The life of renewed Katolički tjednik (2002. – 2012.)

The first editor-in-chief, after the revival of the newspaper (November 24th 2002.) was dr. Ivo Balukčić, who served in this function until the end of October 2006. Firstly, thanks to him, a recognizable style was built and the foundations for restoring the reputation of Katolički tjednik as it had before the World war II. The newspaper premises were initially housed in the Vrhbosna Ordinary's premises, until 2009. when it was moved to its own premises where Katolički Tjednik was once printed, at Pruščakova 13 in Sarajevo.

In September 2004, Katolički tjednik also got a director – priest of Vrhbosna rev. Jakov Filipović, who worked hard in the financial aspects of publishing, and the role of the director and editor in chief on October 29th 2006. was taken over by rev. Dr. Zdenko Spajić, while Catholic layman Brane Vrbić became the editor in chief. At this period, due to the accumulated financial difficulties, there was a change in Katolički tjednik, which meant among others that it changed to significantly less quality paper and reduced the edition numbers.

From July 8th 2007. (No. 27/2007), the duties of the director and the editor in chief was taken over from Dr. Spajić by rev. Miroslav Ćavar who has been in that function until today.

Editor-in-Chief from October 1st 2007 until today is MA. rev. Josip Vajdner, and along with constant ones, the newspapers have several external associates and correspondents, among which are people of different profiles - from theologians and journalists to professors and writers.

Today as well, this newspaper introduces recognizable content - through news and topics related to the Church with Croat's and the Catholic Church in general, through scientific and cultural texts, to meditative articles and life stories.

Continuing the tradition and at the same time breathing in the spirit of opportunity and achievements of this time, Katolički tjednik, as its current subtitle says, strives to act as a "voice in the service of the new evangelization."

Contacts

Adress:

Medijski centar Vrhbosanske nadbiskupije

Pruščakova 13

71 000 Sarajevo

Telephone:

Administration: +387 33 22 55 19

Editorial staff: +387 33 20 64 54

E-mail:

uprava@katolicki-tjednik.com

urednistvo1@katolicki-tjednik.com


[1] Nedjelja was firstly censored, and then confiscated for its text „Snatching of Church properties“ (15/1925.,page 5). That is why the editors asked their friends and good doers „to remember their 'fund'“. The same thing happened after text „New assassination of freedom of Catholic church. Interdenominational law“ (21/1925, page 3). Katolički tjednik was once again confiscated, „And the reason? Every time the same: a serious violation of public morality and provoking hatred against the country as an entirety“ (22/1925, page 5).

[2] The state's minister Janjić, accuses Nedjelja that it is not only anti Serbian but anti state. With this he prepared the terrain for request of banning of these newspapers. Comp. „Sarajevo: A unusual recognition to Nedjelja“, in Nedjelja 22/ 1924, page 5.

[3] Example Katolički tjednik, no. 51/1935.                                                                                   

[4] Comp. VUKŠIĆ, TOMO, Katolički tjednik (1922.-1945.) and his best editor in chief Čedomil Čekada  JOSIPOVIĆ M.-ZOVKIĆ M. (prepared), Life int he service of word – Čedomil Čekada, Sarajevo, 1997., page 142.