Archbishop Alojzij Šuštar Collection
The collection illustrates Alojzij Šuštar's theological and pastoral work as a priest and archbishop who led the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Ljubljana despite the restrictions on freedom imposed by institutions under the communist government’s control. The Collection includes books, original manuscripts, Šuštar’s published articles and his correspondence and polemics, which demonstrate his critical stance toward Slovenia’s communist regime in the late years of the regime and in the period of transition to democracy.
Ljubljana Krekov trg 1, Slovenia 1000
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Name of collection
AAL 336 Bishop Alojzij Šuštar Collection
Provenance and cultural activities
The collection was established by Ljubljana Archbishop Alojzij Šuštar throughout his lifetime to serve as a repository of documents and memorabilia, and the earliest items are from his childhood. The collection itself was in the process of being assembled until 1991, so it did not exist then in completed form, and it became conditionally available only after the archbishop's death. It was acquired by the Archdiocesan Archives after Archbishop Šuštar’s death in 2007 from the St. Stanislaus Institute, where the retired archbishop resided for the last 10 years of his life. Sister Mira Rožanc systemized the collection, which is the largest of the diocesan collections in the Archdiocesan Archives in Ljubljana. The collection has been conditionally available since 2008, and it will be fully opened to the public in 2057, because of the provision that 50 years should pass between the bishop’s death to the opening of the collection.
Bishops Anton Jamnik, Šuštar's personal secretary from 1990 to 1994, and Jernej Vrtovec used the collection for their books. Their argument was that the collection was important to Slovenian national history because Archbishop Šuštar was the most prominent Slovenian clergyman of his time and deserves much of the credit for Slovenia gaining its independence from Yugoslavia. In his religious and social activities, Šuštar advocated national reconciliation in Slovenia, respect for victims of all totalitarian regimes and the introduction of democracy at the end of 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s. In a special statement made on national television on 20 December 1990, he invited Christians and all others to attend the plebiscite and vote for an independent and democratic Slovenia. He furthermore sent numerous letters to important politicians and church dignitaries abroad to appeal for recognition of Slovenia.
The collection is important for international cultural history because Bishop Šuštar’s activities were a part of the complex relationship between the Yugoslav Communist authorities and the Catholic Church. His attitude toward the authorities was a model for the activities of the Slovenian Catholic clergy. Currently the collection is conditionally open for research, exhibitions, public events and publication in line with restrictions pursuant to law.
Description of content
The content of the collection illustrates the functioning of the most important Catholic Church leader in Slovenia in the period between 1980 and 1997. It includes outlines of Šuštar's sermons, correspondence with the clergy of his archdiocese and with the state authorities and data about the police and judicial persecution of his clergy. Also, it includes the information about his education in Slovenia and Rome, his life and work in Switzerland, his memberships in various European bodies and correspondence with numerous communist and anti-communist politicians and ecclesiastical dignitaries as well as cultural personalities.
The Collection reflects the fact that Archbishop Šuštar fought for national reconciliation in Slovenia through his religious and social activities and also for dignified remembrance of all victims of totalitarian regimes and for the introduction of democracy and civil liberties in Slovenia in the 1980s and 1990s. Since Archbishop Šuštar was the focal point of cultural opposition to the regime emanating from the Catholic Church ranks that makes his collections extremely important. The collection itself was in the process of being assembled until 1991, so it did not exist then in completed form, and it became conditionally available only after the archbishop's death in 2017 and the completion of systematization in 2008.
- grey literature (regular archival documents such as brochures, bulletins, leaflets, reports, intelligence files, records, working papers, meeting minutes): 1000-
- photos: 10-99
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
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Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- parts are closed to the public
Author(s) of this page
- Bagarić, Petar
Bauer, Marjan. „Vsem želim veliko močnega i trdnega zaupanja – Intervju z Alojzijem Šuštarjem“, („I want a lot of mighty and hard trust to everybody – Interview with Alojzij Šuštar“), Dolenjski list, 27.12.1990.
Dolinar, France Martin. Ljubljanski nadškof Alojzij Šuštar in demokratične spremembe v Republiki Sloveniji (Archbishop of Ljubljana Alojzij Šuštar and democratic changes in Republic of Slovenia), Ljubljana: Kulturno društvo Trebnje, 2011.
Jurkovič, Ivan. „Dejavnost Svetega sedeža za mir v Srednji in Vzhodni Evropi“ („Holy See Activity for Peace in Central and Eastern Europe“), Bogoslovni vestnik. Glasilo teološke fakultete, 61 no. 2 (2001), 221-243.
Lesjak, Miran. „Portret dr. Alojzij Šuštar – Politični bonton za duhovnike“ („Portrait dr Alojzij Šuštar – political bonton for priests“), Mladina, 27.4.1990.
Petrič, Franci. „Mojih pet škofov – Pogovor s škofom Leničem“ („My five bishops – talk with bishop Lenič“), Družina, 18.11.1990.
Šuštar, Alojzij. „Izpod Triglava“ (Below Triglav), Misli. Informativni mesečnik za versko in kulturno življenje Slovencev v Australiji (Thoughts. Religious and Cultural Monthly in Slovenian language). January/February 1983.
Šuštar, Alojzij. „Zakaj? Razmišljanja nadškofa in metopolita dr. Alojzija Šuštarja“, (Why? Thoughts of archbishop and metropolite dr. Alojzij Šuštar). Družina, 7.7.1990.
Vrtovec, Jernej.Vloga nadškofa Šuštarja pri osamosvojitvi Slovenije (Role of archbishop Šuštar in the process of Slovenia's independence). Celje: Celjska Mohorjeva družba, 2016.
Otrin, Blaž, interview by Bagarić, Petar, July 13, 2017. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection