Croatia Seals Church's Right to Educate

ZAGREB, Croatia, MAY 25, 2011 ( The Holy See and Croatia sealed a treaty to implement an agreement on Catholic schools in the country.

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Archbishop Marin Srakić, president of the Croatian Episcopal Conference, and Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor, confirmed the agreement Monday at the episcopal conference headquarters, reported the bishops’ news agency. The agreement was signed 15 years ago and will now be implemented.

The document recognizes the Catholic Church’s right to establish schools of all types and grade levels and specifies the respective obligations of the state, including regarding teachers’ salaries.

It fixes norms for enrollment, the type of instruction offered, the appointment of directors and the approval of the statutes of Catholic primary and secondary schools.

The agreement notes the Catholic schools presently at work in the country: two primary schools and 12 secondary schools. The Church also runs almost 50 daycares.

In her address during the signing ceremony, Prime Minister Kosor stressed the importance of the agreement, arrived at on the eve of Benedict XVI’s apostolic visit to Croatia, which is scheduled for next week.

In his intervention, Archbishop Srakić pointed out that Catholic schools are not exclusive to the faithful. He mentioned the example of Kosovo, where 90% of the students of Catholic schools are Muslim.

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