Slovenian Episcopate Sees a Rising Anti-Catholicism

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia, AUG. 24, 2003 ( The Slovenian episcopate publicly criticized acts of intolerance against the Catholic Church in the country.

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«Numerous acts of religious violence in Slovenia have taken place, especially in relation with the Catholic Church, Christian values and sacred buildings,» a statement of the bishops’ Justice and Peace Commission disclosed.

Among other incidents, the statement mentions the Ljubljana municipality’s prohibition of the ringing of bells on Aug. 15, solemnity of the Assumption and a public holiday.

It also refers to the profanation of churches and religious statues, and the burning of a crucifix, and laments that «none of the representatives of power explicitly condemned these actions.»

«What is more, much of the media has humiliated and condemned representatives of the Catholic Church for the condemnations expressed following offenses to several places of worship,» the commission said.

The panel said the reasons for this growing intolerance must be sought in «the many problems of the relation between the state and the Church which have remained unresolved» in this former Communist country of 1.9 million.

The statement calls for the intervention of the country’s president, of the government, of the Human Rights Commission, and of media directors to halt the rise of intolerance against Catholics.

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