Pope will go to Croatia

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican spokesperson, Father Federico Lombardi, confirmed reports that Pope Benedict XVI has accepted an invitation by the Croatian government and the church to visit the Balkan nation.

Priests pray around the glass sarcophagus of Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac in the cathedral of Zagreb. (file photo Oct. 1998)

Priests pray around the glass sarcophagus of Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac in the cathedral of Zagreb. (file photo Oct. 1998)

Although there are no set dates, it’s expected he will travel to the capital, Zagreb, sometime in the spring.

He will also visit the tomb of Blessed Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac.

The cardinal served as archbishop of Zagreb and metropolitan of Croatia during both World War II and Marshal Tito’s term of dictatorship.

He strongly opposed the communist regime and was convicted in 1946 by the Yugoslavian communist government on charges he was a Nazi supporter. He died in 1960 while under house arrest. Those charges have been consistently denied by Croatian Catholics.

The church has said the cardinal was persecuted because he refused to break the Yugoslavian church’s allegiance to the Vatican by setting up a national Catholic Church.

Pope John Paul II declared him a martyr and beatified him in 1998.

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11 Responses to Pope will go to Croatia

  1. Marin says:

    …..and the church to visit the Balkan nation…

    Sory but we arent Balkan nation.
    Dear Earth, dear World– Croatia is not in Yugoslavia, Croatia is not on Balkan. If Croatia is on Balkan, than Wien is also on Balkan.
    Thanks very much.

  2. Brian says:

    I truly hope that the Pope directly addresses the charge that Stepinac supported the pro-Nazi government–if not him, then one of the priest and bishops who assist in his trip. That’s a very serious charge and one that undermines the Church’s witness to the Gospel of Life. If Stepinac did in fact oppose both Nazism and Communism, then I can accept that the Communist regime accused him falsely.

  3. Kat says:

    Term “The Balkans” and its adjective “The Balkan” that come from a Turkish and thus non-European(!!) word “Balkan” (for vast majority of Turkey is situated on the territory known in the whole world as “Asia(!!) Minor”; thus Turkey is in Asia and simply cannot be in Europe nor European country, no matter what) and is used for European(!!) countries have, expectedly, long had a non-geographical, negative, pejorative and highly insulting meaning for countries and people in southeastern part of Europe. Expectedly since Europe has always been and considered itself much more civilized and much more advanced than Asia.

    Thus this expression for Croatia as “The Balkan nation” is a very uncivilized misdeed and certainly a sin, hopefully venial, for the author of the text and Catholic News Service.

  4. Jim Lackey says:

    Gee, I hope it wasn’t the Vatican spokesman who referred to it as Balkan. I’ve been a reporter long enough to know that sometimes you take the official’s word for it as “gospel.”

  5. Gordon says:

    My wife is Croatian and does not view the term Balkan as offensive though I doubt she knows is historical significance. The Pope has been well received during his Papal visits and I hope this one is a blessing for him and all Christians.

  6. Gordon says:


    You presume much in declaring sin even venial in others. I would remind you to be attentive to your sin and be charitable in your dealings. I truly wonder how you think this statement could be mortal sin. Either way anothers sin is neither yours to declare or forgive so let us all mind own business. I know the log in my eye obstructs my vision frequently.

  7. Kat says:

    The term is highly offensive as I explained and is naturally viewed as such by many people from southeastern Europe. What anyone thinks isn’t necessarily true as is sadly the case with your wife regarding use of the term “Balkan” for countries and people from SE Europe.

    The fact that this term is offensive and is viewed as such by many is pretty known and the journalist should know what he writes. I believe it was just a rash statement, unfortunately offensive to many and thus a venial sin against one’s neighbor.

    Calling someone “a Balkan” can be mortal sin if one knows it is offensive and yet deliberately uses it to ridicule his neighbor i.e. God, provoke him i.e. God etc. For Jesus Christ said “Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40)

    Since apart from God’s grace (that makes men just but only some Christians i.e. Catholics are in it) every man is a sinner then, according to your comment, all men shouldn’t pass any judgment whatsoever on anyone’s deeds, what is contrary to reason, to the Holy Scripture and to the history of The (Catholic) Church. For The (Catholic) Church has judged and condemned many false teachings and their obstinate preachers while in 1 Corinthians 2:15 it is written: “But the spiritual man judgeth all things: and he himself is judged of no man.”.

  8. Kat says:

    From every good Christian i.e. Catholic prayer book:

    The 9 Ways We Participate in Others’ Sins:
    By counsel
    By command
    By consent
    By provocation
    By praise or flattery
    By concealment
    By partaking
    By silence (!! – Gordon)
    By defense of the ill done.

    The 7 Spiritual Works of Mercy:
    To counsel the doubtful
    To instruct the ignorant
    To admonish the sinner a.k.a. fraternal correction (!! – Gordon)
    To comfort the sorrowful
    To forgive all injuries
    To bear wrongs patiently
    To pray for the living and the dead.

    Gordon, this is a very serious issue, how do you not participate in sins of others by silence and how do you not omit spiritual works of mercy called fraternal correction, which participation and/or omission is sometimes venial sin and sometimes mortal sin, if you don’t judge other men’s acts nor speak about them when it seems there is good possibility that the sinner be corrected by it?

    What I did above was fraternal correction, spiritual work of mercy, so that the authors don’t sin any more by writing The Balkans, Balkan etc. for that part of the world and for people from it and don’t accumulate Divine and likely human punishment (e.g. if you tell a man from southeastern Europe that he is a Balkan or to a black man that he is a nigga etc. and he dislikes it and is not a good Catholic he could immediately strike you for that big insult) for that big insult.

  9. CNS Moderator says:

    Kat, you are skating fairly close to a violation of our comments policy in your questioning of Gordon’s good will.

    But we hesitate to close the comments on this post, particularly because Gordon is trailing Kat three comments to two.

    Any future comments will be judged more closely, and comments on this post may be closed if this gets too out of hand.

  10. Kat says:

    I forgot to mention that southeastern Europe isn’t a part of Turkey nor its people are Turks or of Turkish origin. Thus it is wholly inappropriate to name them with a Turkish name. Especially since the same southeastern Europe suffered great violence, destruction, backwardness and retrogression from the Turks for several centuries when they attempted by force to establish their rule over it. Thus this Turkish term “Balkan” is naturally seen by many as an attempt to Turkicize, Asiatize, put behind, relegate etc. southeastern Europe.

    And since Turkish word “Balkan” means “wooded mountain” or “chain of wooded mountains” (different sources give different translations but mountain is the common denominator) calling a man from southeastern Europe “a Balkan” is the same as calling him “a mountain-dweller”. What is not only highly insulting for most of such men since a usual mountain-dweller is not well-versed in urban life nor is well-educated etc. but is also very false for vast majority of people from southeastern Europe, where the most populated areas are bigger or smaller cities and towns. I don’t know of any such city or town being built on the slopes of any mountain, especially wooded mountain (not on a plateau) on the whole Earth.

    Unfortunately there are even institutions in this world who officially use this highly pejorative and highly insulting term “Balkan” for southeastern Europe and its people. It is hard to believe that they are so bad in history, languages and thinking. Thus the punishment for this will surely come to them.

    I’m done if Gordon or someone else doesn’t challenge me again to defend what I have written.

  11. Devcic says:

    While it differs greatly from other Balkan countries, Croatia is part of Balkan peninsula! Nothing to be ashamed of. instead of embracing their identity, which is as wonderful and rich as any, mediocre people fight it because they have a need to be closer to Austria, Italy or … . Be proud of your identity, don’t run from it! Make something of it, so your children don’t have to look up to others.

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