Politics

Vatican Praises Its Contracts with Croatia

By 11 October 2018

ZAGREB, October 11, 2018 - The Holy See Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, held a talk in Zagreb on Wednesday on the 20th anniversary of the Vatican-Croatia agreement on economic matters, saying it should be interpreted in a somewhat more nuanced way than what a strictly practical interpretation allowed.

The archbishop recalled that the agreement was ratified 20 years ago after three previous bilateral agreements signed on 19 December 1996, on legal matters, cooperation in culture and upbringing, and the spiritual guidance of Croatia's Catholic believers, soldiers and police officers.

Gallagher mentioned two articles from the agreement on economic matters, one on the inclusion of priests, monks and nuns in the state pension system, and one on the inclusion of locations for the construction of churches and its buildings in physical plans. For that to be achieved, the Church must resort to spiritual as well as material means, he said.

The talk was open to the public and was attended, among others, by the Archbishop of Zagreb, Cardinal Josip Bozanić, members of the Croatian Catholic University academic community, Croatian political, public and cultural figures, representatives of the diplomatic corps and other religious communities.

Cardinal Bozanić said the history of Holy See-Croatia relations began 13 centuries ago, although diplomatic relations were actually established on 8 February 1992 after Croatia gained independence and international recognition.

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