The Slovenia Times

New Maribor Archbishop to be Installed


The 59-year-old Jesuit priest will take the job after overseeing the financial rescue of the archdiocese as its acting chief economist over the past three years.

Cvikl's appointment was announced in mid-March by Pope Francis, only a fortnight after the Maribor Archdiocese announced it had reached a debt restructuring deal with banks, unofficially involving liabilities worth over EUR 26m.

Maribor has been without an archbishop since July 2013, when the pope accepted the resignations of the archbishops of Ljubljana and Maribor, Anton Stres and Marjan Turnšek. The resignations had been prompted by the pope after the financial collapse of the Maribor Archdiocese.

The news that the Maribor Archdiocese had run up EUR 800m in debts was first broken by the Italian weekly L' Espresso in January 2011, while the Holy See had allegedly known about it since as early as 2007.

The diocese managed its financial operations through the company Gospodarstvo rast, which controlled holdings Zvon Ena and Zvon Dva. All three firms later entered receivership, with creditors registering a total of more than EUR 1.7bn in claims. The biggest creditor was the NLB bank.

In an interview with the STA only days after the news of his appointment was broken, Cvikl said that his priority would be to take the archdiocese back to basics to rely as it had decades ago on the generosity of churchgoers and local parishes.

While the new archbishop of Ljubljana, Stane Zore, was appointed in early October 2014, the Maribor archdiocese remained without its spiritual leader until now.

Numbering some 355,650 believers and spanning over 3,700 sq kilometres, the Maribor Archdiocese was founded in April 2006 with Franc Kramberger as the first archbishop. The other Slovenian archdiocese is the one seated in Ljubljana.


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