Catholic Church Issues Thinly-Veiled Criticism of Prime Minister

By 18 June 2018

ZAGREB, June 18, 2018 - The Croatian Bishops Conference's (HBK) Iustitia et Pax commission on Monday warned that freedom of conscience was being increasingly encroached upon in the social and political sphere, mentioning in that context the vote on the ratification of the Istanbul Convention in the Croatian parliament.

Đakovo-Osijek Archbishop Đuro Hranić told a news conference that lately bishops are feeling that, in the political sphere, freedom of conscience was being increasingly encroached upon, and that "non-freedom of conscience" was being advocated in expressing opinions or in voting.

He stressed that parliamentary deputies "must enjoy freedom of expression."

Asked if he was referring to Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, who demanded that his MPs should support the ratification, Hranić said "the commission's statement is not aimed at anyone in particular, but at everyone together, namely at this problem in society."

The prime minister has a thing or two to read in the statement and draw a message for himself, but I don't want this to be interpreted as a statement against him, the archbishop said.