Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Pope Francis Discusses Canonisation of Alojzije Stepinac, Praises Serbian Patriarch

On Tuesday, Pope Francis said that history still has to be being studied before Croatian Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac can be declared a saint. In reply to a question by Večernji List reporter Silvije Tomašević while returning from visits to Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia, the Pope commented on the discussions with the Serbian Orthodox Church regarding the canonisation process, reports Večernji List on May 8, 2019.

“There are historical issues between our churches. Some of them are old. For example, President of Northern Macedonia Ivanov told me today that the schism began in Macedonia. And now the Pope is coming for the first time to bring the schism together? I do not know,” said the Pope at the start of the conversation.

“The historical case is the canonisation of Stepinac. Stepinac is a man of virtues. The Church has announced this with his beatification. People can pray to him. He has been beatified. But at a certain moment in the process of canonisation unclear points appeared. These are historical points. And I, who needs to sign on the canonisation, have prayed, contemplated, sought advice and then realised that I needed to seek the help of Irinej (patriarch of Serbian Orthodox Church). Irinej is a great patriarch. And Irinej helped me. We established a historical commission together. We worked together. Because both Irinej and I are interested only in the truth, we must not make a mistake. What purpose would a statement of holiness serve if the truth is not clear? It would serve nobody. We know that Stepinac is a good man, but to make this step, I have asked Irinej for his help to do the truth. We are studying it. First, a commission was established to give its opinion. But now other points are being studied. Some points are being deepened so that the truth would be clear. I am not afraid of the truth. I am not scared,” said Pope Francis. This was the answer of Pope Francis regarding the situation surrounding the Stepinac canonisation.

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 communist regime. Pope Francis established a special commission of Croatian Catholic and Serbian Orthodox officials who investigated the case. In Croatia, it is widely expected that Cardinal Stepinac will eventually be canonised.

More news on Alojzije Stepinac can be found in the Politics section.

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Pope Francis Becomes a Member of Hajduk!

“Only God and Hajduk live forever” goes one of the most famous sayings about the beloved Split football club. Thus, it would only make sense that the one closest to God became Hajduk’s newest member.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Pope Francis Names Croatian as New Apostolic Nuncio to Ivory Coast

ZAGREB, February 2, 2019 - Priest Ante Jozić of the Archdiocese of Split and Makarska has been named archbishop and Apostolic Nuncio to the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire by Pope francis, the press office of the Holy See reported on Saturday.

Ante Jozić, born on 16 January 1967 in the Dalmatian town of Trilj, was ordained a priest in June 1992.

He has been included in the Vatican's diplomatic services since 1999 and has been working in the top-level diplomatic missions of the Holy See in India, Russia and the Philippines to date.

Jozić speaks Italian, Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, German, Russian, Chinese and Polish.

More news on the Catholic Church can be found in the Politics section.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Pope Francis to Replace Zagreb Archbishop Bozanić?

Croatian bishops have completed their visit to the Vatican. They were received as a group by Pope Francis, who also met separately with two bishops. One of them is the current Zagreb Archbishop, Cardinal Josip Bozanić, and the other is Bishop of Poreč-Pula, Dražen Kutleša. The meetings follow months of rumours that Cardinal Bozanić will leave his post and that Kutleša is his most likely replacement, reports Večernji List on November 19, 2018.

“This confirms everything that could be heard even before the bishops went to Rome, which is that Cardinal Bozanić could leave his post by Easter,” say church sources.

Rumours about Bozanić’s departure started shortly after he became the archbishop in 1997, with many believing that the post was just a stepping stone for his Vatican career. A year and a half ago the rumours got louder when Cardinal Bozanić virtually completely withdrew from the public activities due to illness. Since the illness coincided with the news that he and six other cardinals allegedly had about 25 million kuna deposited on an account at the Vatican Bank, many linked this issue with his possible departure. The arrival of Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to Croatia a year ago just reinforced the rumours, with sources claiming that he came to Zagreb to dismiss Bozanić. However, nothing happened.

Cardinal Bozanić's health got better, so he began to appear in the public more. However, the rumours about his departure did not cease. An affair with Church property earlier this year restarted the rumours. The names of bishops who could replace Bozanić as the Zagreb Archbishop began to circulate. One of the potential candidates mentioned at the time was the bishop of Poreč-Pula.

Sources now agree that it is possible that Pope Francis has offered to Cardinal Bozanić a position as the head of one of Vatican’s congregations, which has been mentioned as a possibility for some time. “That outcome is also possible. First, it was rumoured that he would leave due to illness, but this option was also open. We will see very soon,” said a source.

Another topic of interest for the Catholic Church in Croatia is the canonisation of Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac. Pope Francis did not give a concrete answer to Croatian bishops about the issue. Asked about Stepinac’s canonisation, the president of the Croatian Bishops' Conference, Archbishop of Zadar Želimir Puljić, answered that the Pope said that he hoped Croatia would soon get a new saint, which shows that the issue of the canonisation of Cardinal Stepinac is still open, most likely due to the question of relations with the Orthodox Church.

Therefore, all those who expected to hear the definite date for the canonisation will have to wait a bit more, just like we will all have to wait for the official confirmation about the possible departure of Cardinal Bozanić and the arrival of a new Zagreb Archbishop.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Darko Pavičić).

For more on the Catholic Church in Croatia, click here.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Pope Francis Annuls Marriage of a Too Well-Endowed Croat

Unlike Henry VIII, the Croat presented a well-supported argument.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Pope Francis Issues Ban to Croatian Friar Accused of Paedophilia

The friar has been accusing of molesting five boys.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Pope to Appoint New Zagreb Archbishop?

Major changes are allegedly coming to the Catholic Church in Croatia.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Pope Francis, Trump, Putin and Others Congratulate Croatia’s Statehood Day

ZAGREB, June 24, 2018 - On the occasion of Croatia's Statehood Day, observed on June 25, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović has received congratulations to all Croatian citizens from numerous statesmen, including Pope Francis, US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the heads of several European states, her office said on Sunday.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Pope Francis Appoints New Bishop of Hvar

ZAGREB, March 9, 2018 - Pope Francis has appointed Reverend Petar Palić as the new bishop of Hvar after he accepted the withdrawal of Palić's predecessor, the 77-year-old Slobodan Štambuk, the Vatican press office reported on Friday.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

"Only God and Hajduk Live Forever": Pope Francis Gets Another Introduction to Religion of Dalmatia

This is not the first time Pope Francis has been introduced to Hajduk Split.

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