received the title of Bishop of Koron. Similarly, the Italian Franciscan Francesco Antonio Frascella da San Felice (d. 1653), formerly a missionary in both Istanbul and Hungary, was sent to India and Japan as apostolic vicar with the title of Archbishop of Myra.

The apostolic vicars of Moldavia were the Franciscan missionary archbishops of Marcianopolis in eastern Bulgaria, while the Franciscan missionary Archbishop of Sofia in western Bulgaria looked after the Catholics of Wal-lachia as apostolic vicar. The Archbishop of Sofia held his seat in the Franciscan monastery at Ciprovci, rather than in the city of Sofia (where hardly any Catholics were living and where the Turks had converted the old church into a mosque). The Catholic population in southern Serbia was steadily growing due to the constant influx of Catholic Albanians. The papacy therefore established two new missionary archbishoprics: Ohrid (in Macedonia) on the Albanian border became a missionary archdiocese in 1647, while Skopje (currently the Macedonian capital) became a missionary archdiocese in 1656; here too, the missionary archbishops were usually Franciscan friars.

The sultanic capital ofIstanbul also received a missionary bishop. There had been a Catholic patriarch of Constantinople alongside the Orthodox patriarch dating from the crusade of the thirteenth century, but since the reoccupation of the city in 1261 by Byzantium he had not been permitted to reside there. Since that time, an official ofthe Roman curia had held the office. The patriarch's vicar was generally a missionary living in Istanbul, the Guardian of the Conventual Franciscan monastery in Constantinople and at the same time the Provincial of the local Franciscan province. However, he was not a bishop and could not consecrate churches or ordain priests; he merely had rights of supervision visa-vis clerics in Istanbul. Amongst these vicars we find Italian missionaries who had earlier been sent to Hungary: for example, Angelo Petricca da Sonnino and Andrea Ridolfi. From 1652, however - parallel to the papacy's attempts to send apostolic vicars to all missionary areas from the Portuguese colonies to Transylvania - the former vicars were replaced by apostolic patriarchal vicars. The similarity in name concealed an enormous difference: the new apostolic vicars were consecrated bishops; they could therefore ordain priests, and had the power of bishops, just like the other apostolic vicars sent to the Balkans or to Hungary.


Islam was the ruling ideology of the Ottoman Empire and the sultans stressed repeatedly in their letters that, by conquering Christian kingdoms and fighting

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