DAILY CATHOLIC     TUESDAY     September 29, 1998     vol. 9, no. 190

from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO


          ZAGREB (CWNews.com) - Croatia's president on Sunday rebuffed attempts by international groups to block this week's beatification of a wartime cardinal, defending his support of the Nazi-backed Croatian World War II government.

          Croatian President Franjo Tudjman told the Catholic magazine Mi in an article published on Sunday that Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac did not support the Croatian government's fascist tactics. "Stepinac supported the right of the Croatian people to have their own state," Tudjman said. "But he decisively opposed ... fascist methods."

          While the cardinal initially backed the government of Ante Pavelic, by 1942 he was denouncing its genocidal policies and repression of freedoms. His own journals, and current studies, detail his efforts to save the lives of Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies targeted by the government.

          The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Paris last week called on Pope John Paul II to delay his planned beatification of the cardinal, scheduled for this weekend, until now-closed Vatican archives can be examined by a third-party. The Vatican has in the past refused to open its secret archives, saying they contain details of private, sacramental matters. Some Serbs and Jews continue to view Cardinal Stepinac as a war criminal, and after the war he was tried by Yugoslavia's Communist government and sentenced to jail. He died under house arrest in 1962.

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

September 29, 1998       volume 9, no. 190


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