DAILY CATHOLIC FRI-SAT-SUN March 12-14, 1999 vol. 10, no. 50
NEWS & VIEWS
SPECIAL VATICAN EDITION HONORS CARDINAL STEPINAC
VATICAN (CWNews.com) – With a group of 18 Croatian bishops making their ad limina visit to Rome this week, the Vatican newspaper has published a special supplement on the life of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, the Croatian cardinal who was beatified last year.
The extraordinary 86-page special in L’Osservatore Romano traces the life story of Cardinal Stepinac, who was imprisoned for 16 years by the Communist regime in Yugoslavia. It also includes testimonials from his fellow victims of Communist persecution.
Cardinal Franjo Kuharic, who now leads the Zagreb archdiocese which was the See of Cardinal Stepinac, was in Rome along with the other Croatian bishops when the special issue of L’Osservatore was published. He recalled the day of his own priestly ordination in 1945. Cardinal Stepinac, who performed the ceremony, warned the newly ordained priests that they were stepping into a dangerous situation, in which the government sought to eradicate Catholicism, and the young priests might be called to martyrdom.
Cardinal Kuharic said that the special edition devoted to Cardinal Stepinac
should "help men of good will to understand the truth" about the newly
beatified Croatian hero. The legacy of Cardinal Stepinac is often
misunderstood, he pointed out, because of "the long and incessant
propaganda campaign" against him. That propaganda campaign was
originally launched by the Communist regime to distract attention from the
true reason for the criminal charges which were lodged against Cardinal
Stepinac: his refusal to break ties between the Croatian Church and the
Vatican. Cardinal Stepinac was imprisoned and eventually killed, Cardinal
Kuharic said, because of "his attachment to Peter’s successor, and his refusal
to split off from Rome."
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NEWS & VIEWS