Chronology of Catholic Dioceses:Notes on the Apostolic Prefecture of Yuzhno Sakhalinsk 2002

In 1932, at a time when the southern part of Sakhalin island was ruled by Japan, the Apostolic See detached that area from the diocese of Sapporo (on the island of Hokkaido, then Iesso, in Japan) and erected the Mission "sui iuris" Karafuto. Karafuto is the Japanese name of the island. In 1938, it was elevated to apostolic prefecture. After the Second World War, the Soviet Union reclaimed all of the island. The apostolic prefecture of Karafuto became a merely theoretical construct, a relic of history, due to the harsh persecution of Catholics in the Soviet Union as well as the near absence of Catholics omn Sakhalin. Until 2001, the archbishops of Sapporo were de iure but merely in theory apostolic administrators of the prefecture. In 2001 this was changed, and the bishop of the apostolic administration of Eastern Sibiria, Msgr. Jerzy Mazur, was made apostolic Administrator. But the name was not changed.

In 2002, Russian authorities expressed their displeasure with the Japanese name. The Vatican then swiftly changed the name into Yuzhno Sakhalinsk (meaning Southern Sakhalin; it seems the change was made at about 16. april) and Russian authorities informed. On 19 April 2002, bishop Mazur (now Ordinary of the diocese of St. Joseph in Irkutsk, as well as Ap. Administrator of Yuzhno Sakhalinsk) was turned back at the Moscow airport upon reentry from Poland, and his visa cancelled.


av Webmaster publisert 08.09.2004, sist endret 08.09.2004 - 12:11