Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Croatian and Bosnian Bishops Call for Equal Status of BiH Croats

ZAGREB, 15 Feb 2022 - Croatian and Bosnian bishops met on Tuesday in Mostar to warn that Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina are outvoted and that they should be equal to the other two main ethnic groups, with Croatian Bishops' Conference (HBK) head Želimir Puljić voicing satisfaction with Croatia's improved care for them.

"Unfair laws enable the outvoting of the less numerous ones by the majority, with the Croats suffering most frequently,"  Sarajevo Archbishop Tomo Vukšić said at the meeting.

He added that the Church is constantly reminding the BiH authorities that they need to respect the rights of every man and the collective rights of every ethnic group. He called for "changing unfair legal solutions and adopting and implementing just laws." Addressing a press conference in Mostar, Archbishop Vukšić explained that as an "individual from the rank of Croats," he expected equal rights for all ethnic groups.

Zadar's Archbishop and HBK president Puljić said that he understands the frustrations of Croats in BiH, and that he is "happy to feel that Croatia is caring for its people in BiH."

"Seeing that it is a signatory to the Dayton Accord, Croatia has an obligation to care for the Croat people and in doing so, it cares about the entire country, which has been blocked for a long time," Puljić underscored. He said that he hoped BiH would soon "see the prospect of European Union membership," and that its EU membership bid was strongly supported by Croatia.

"I hope that Croatia will help BiH, notably Croats, to join the community of peoples as soon as possible," he added.

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Croatian Bishops Warn against Conspiracy Theories, False Rumours about COVID

ZAGREB, Sept 17, 2020 - The Iustitia et Pax Commission of the Croatian Catholic Bishops' Conference (HBK) said on Thursday that the general public had the right to know about decisions made by the authorities, however, disseminating conspiracy theories and negating one's own responsibility was unacceptable.

"Pope Francis has underlined in his speeches on several occasions that the experience of the (COVID-19) pandemic has shown us that no one can be saved alone." the Commission says in its statement on the topic of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and actions taken to curb it.

The Commission points out the importance of solidarity and brotherhood in these times.

The epidemic of coronavirus has raised many ethical and legal issues, and it is evident that some extraordinary measures imposed by countries for the sake of the protection of public health have restricted human rights.

However, those restricted rights are not absolute, and therefore the states can restrict them for the protection of some other rights.

Croatian bishops say that it obvious that the protection of public health is above the unlimitedness of freedoms and some other rights of individuals, and in this context, they quote the European Convention on Human Rights.

The bishops find the position of the Croatian Constitutional Court on the matter very important in the context of the further activities of the relevant authorities and recall that the Court has confirmed the fact that legal regulations define the boundaries of the ethical and legal responsibility of citizens.

The bishops call for public support for the work and dignity of the Croatian national COVID-19 crisis management team and of all workers in the healthcare system.

"Disseminating conspiracy theories and panic as well as ignoring one's own responsibility and neglecting the rights of others as well as ignoring the scientific knowledge and the obvious reality is unacceptable because it only creates havoc, which we do not need at all," the bishops say, calling on every individual to behave responsibly.

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Wednesday, 17 June 2020

GLAS: Bishops Should Clearly Tell Voters To Vote For HDZ

ZAGREB, June 17, 2020 - The GLAS party said on Wednesday that in its election message, the Croatian Bishops Conference (HBK) was again prevailing upon voters who to vote for in the parliamentary election, i.e. the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ).

"The Croatian Bishops Conference has not disappointed in this election either, giving voters before the official opening of the campaign detailed instructions on who they should vote for," the party said in a press release.

The HBK is instructing citizens to vote for options that advocate marriage as a union between a man and a woman, "the culture of life" and education based on Christian morals, GLAS said, adding that this time bishops also pushed for non-working Sundays.

Given that the HDZ recently put up posters on that topic all over Croatia, "it's clear who the bishops mean. Just as we have warned, the HDZ used the coronavirus epidemic to curry favour with and accommodate the Church, and now, of course, the favour is being returned."

It was not by chance that the Sunday work ban was in force for all but religious gatherings nor was the fact that the government did not appeal to the Church for solidarity and savings, GLAS said, adding that the HBK should "stop being embarrassed and clearly tell voters what it actually wants to say - vote for the HDZ."