Pope Francis to Delay Canonization of Cardinal Stepinac?

By , 14 Mar 2017, 18:40 PM Lifestyle

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According to latest reports, the Pope might let his successor decide.

Croatia’s “Globus” weekly in its latest issue brings a story from journalist Darko Hudelist, about whether Pope Francis will canonize Croatian Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac during his pontificate, reports Jutarnji List on March 14, 2017.

Here are the highlights of his report:

Most people with whom the reporter spoke during the past week do not believe that Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac will be canonized during the current pontificate of Pope Francis. One well-informed Vatican insider said: “I think that the current Pope will not make the final decision, but will delay it. He took upon himself quite a risky move, and now – whatever he decides – there will be protests. I think he is very aware of this. If he believes that there could be even more conflicts between the two churches [Catholic Church and Serbian Orthodox Church], he will not dare to decide either way. He is brave in many ways, but this would now be more political than ecclesiastical courage. I would be pleasantly surprised if he decided – one way or the other. In any case, he is unpredictable and he has his own style...”

Last Yugoslav Ambassador to the Holy See Ivica Maštruko also does not believe that canonization could take place any time soon. “The Pope does not want to provoke further confrontations, and he will likely delay the canonization of Stepinac. As for the joint commission of the two churches, there will be no common position, except that both sides will agree on the assessment about unacceptable conduct of the authorities in imposing the court sentence against Stepinac in 1946. Otherwise, both will remain anchored in their positions”, said Maštruko.

Fr Bono Zvonimir Šagi is firmly convinced that Stepinac will be canonized – whenever, even if it happens in a more distant future – but he admits that Pope Francis, after the joint commission tells him its views, may wait to make the decision “forever”.

Former Croatian Ambassador to the Holy See Filip Vučak said that, during his farewell audience with the Pope in October 2015, he informed Pope Francis about reactions in Croatia regarding the delay in the canonization of Cardinal Stepinac, as well as about the possible exploitation of Pope’s generosity regarding the establishment of the joint commission. He warned that such moves could eventually lead to the worsening rather than to an improvement in relations between Catholics and the Orthodox, and also between Croatia and Serbia, which is precisely what the Pope tried to avoid by establishing the commission.

Other important insiders also believe that it is unlikely that the canonization could happen in a near future, but also warn that the work of the commission cannot be properly carried out within a year, particularly given the fact that members of the commission will in April see for the first time some specific historical documents related to the Stepinac case.

Alojzije Stepinac was the Archbishop of Zagreb from 1937 to 1960. While the Serbian authorities claim that during the Second World War he cooperated with the Ustasha regime in the Independent State of Croatia, the majority of Croats consider him to be a saint who helped those who were persecuted at the time. After the Second World War, Stepinac was imprisoned by the ruling communist regime. Pope Francis has established a special commission of Croatian Catholic and Serbian Orthodox officials who are investigating his case. In Croatia, it is widely expected that Cardinal Stepinac will eventually be canonized.

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  • Due to smoke and reduced visibility on the A1 motorway between Gospić and Sveti Rok junctions the driving speed has to be reduced to 80 km/h. During the day difficulties can be expected in roadwork areas. On the A6 Rijeka-Zagreb motorway one lane is free only in Vršek and Lučice tunnels (on the section Ravna Gora-Delnice) in direction Rijeka tonight (23 March) 10pm-6am. In Učka tunnel in Istria one lane is free only every night 10pm-6am till 24/25 March. Tonight (23 March) 8pm-5am traffic is suspended on the A2 Zagreb-Macelj motorway between Trakošćan and Krapina junctions in both directions, detour: DC1 state road. Drivers are invited to keep distance and to adjust the speed to road conditions. The headlights have to be on during the day as well. One lane is free only/traffic is flowing in reduced lanes on the following motorways:-A1 Zagreb-Split-Ploče at Božići viaduct in both directions, in Sveti Rok tunnel in both directions till 24 March (driving speed limit of 80 km/h); -A2 Zagreb-Macelj between Zaprešić and Zabok junctions 20th-18th km in both directions; -A3 Bregana-Lipovac between Kutina and Novska junctions 118th-121st km in both directions; -A4 Zagreb-Goričan at Kraljevečki Novaki junction 93rd-94th km in both directions, in Hrastovec tunnel in both directions; -A6 Rijeka-Zagreb at Svilno viaduct 78th-80th km between Orehovica and Čavle junctions in each direction till 1 June, on the section Vrata junction-Vrata tunnel in direction Rijeka till 24 March; -Rijeka detour road in the exit lane of Rujevica junction in direction Rupa; -A8 in Istria on the section Lupoglav-Učka tunnel. Roadworks on the A4 Zagreb-Goričan motorway (Zagreb detour road): - till 9 June traffic is suspended in the entrance lane of Kraljevečki Novaki from direction Sesvete and Dugo Selo towards Ivanja Reka junction, there is a local detour; - till 26 April traffic is suspended in the exit lane of Popovec junction from direction Goričan towards Popovec, detour for direction Vrbovec-Popovec: Sveta Helena junction (A4)-Sveta Helena-DC3 Goričica-Belovar-Žerjavinec-Soblinec-Popovec junction, for direction Goričan (A4)-Sveta Helena: Komin junction (A4)-DC3-Sveti Ivan Zelina-Donja Zelina-Žerjavinec-Soblinec-Popovec. Lepenica rest area (at 57th km) on the A6 Rijeka-Zagreb motorway is closed till 15 June, the previous rest area and petrol station is the one Ravna Gora (at 30th km), the next one Cernik-Čavle (17,8 km away from Lepenica). Due to roadworks traffic is suspended: -on the DC1 state road in Lučko and Stupnik (Zagreb); -on the DC8 Adriatic road at Posedarje till 10 April; -on the DC6 state road, section Glina-Dvor border crossing, detour: Glina (DC37)-Petrinja-Hrvatska Kostajnica-Dvor; -on the DC25 Lički Osik-Karlobag state road (at 40th km) 8am-3pm till 24 March. Traffic is regulated by traffic signals/one road lane is free only:-on the DC1 state road at Tušilović and Mostanje; -on the DC1 Sinj-Klis Grlo state road at Dicmo; -on the DC8 Adriatic road at Poličnik, on the section Kaštel Stari-Kaštel Gomilica, at Podstrana, on the section Zaton Doli-Bistrina, at Srebreno; -on the DC66 Pula-Most Raša state road; -on the DC75 Poreč detour road, section Vrvari-Bijela; -on the DC62 Veliki Prolog-Metković state road at Most Metković. 15 November 2016-15 April 2017 winter equipment is mandatory on the winter sections of the state roads in Croatia (it includes four winter tyres or four summer tyres with chains ready for use).
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