Croatia: Towards the Conclusion of the Commission on Cardinal Stepinac

Last Catholic-Orthodox Meetings Initiated by the Pope

Card. Alojzije Viktor Stepinac / Wikimedia Commons - Unknown, Public Domain

The mixed Serbo-Croatian Commission, instituted at the initiative of Pope Francis a year ago to study the historical truth on Croatian Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac (1898-1960), will publish its final document at the end of the summer, states the trusted news source of the Holy See, Il Sismografo.

The last meeting of the Commission, made up of five representatives of the Catholic Church of Croatia and five representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church, under the presidency of Father Bernard Ardura, President of the Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences, took place at the Vatican this Wednesday, July 12, 2017.

In the final document, the experts will pronounce themselves on the role of Cardinal Stepinac during the Oustachi [name of a secret Croatian society] dictatorship of Ante Pavelic, leader of the independent State of Croatia during World War II. For several decades the accusation spread that the Cardinal collaborated with the Pavelic dictatorship, close to Hitler. For the Church of Croatia, the accusations levelled against Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac were calumnies propagated by the Communists.

The Commission was charged with carrying out historical research based on Serbian, Croatian and Vatican archives. The experts have not studied the question of the Cardinal’s Beatification: the recognition of his martyrdom by John Paul II in 1998 sparked the controversy.  

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