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Tuesday, June 7, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 4 JUN 2011 (VIS) - As is traditional on international apostolic journeys, Benedict XVI granted a brief interview to the journalists who accompanied him on the flight to Croatia.

  The first question was: Your Holiness, you have already been to Croatia on other occasions and your predecessor travelled there three times. Could you speak of a particular relationship between the Holy See and Croatia? What are the most meaningful reasons for and aspects of this relationship and this visit?

  The Pope responded that he had travelled to Croatia on two other times, "the first for the funeral of Cardinal Franjo Seper, my predecessor at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who was a great friend. ... Later I visited again at the invitation of his personal secretary, Capek, who was also a man of great joy and great goodness, to take part in a celebration at a Marian sanctuary. There I witnessed the people's piety, which, I have to say, is similar to that of my own land. ... Thus I saw and experienced how Croatia, with its millennia-old Catholic history, is always very close to the Holy See and naturally with its prior history of the ancient Church".

  Holy Father, Croatia may soon be united to the other 27 nations that make up the European Union. Recently, however, a certain skepticism toward the European Union has been growing among the Croatian people. In this situation, will you carry a message of encouragement to the Croatians, so that they might see Europe not solely from an economic prospect but also a cultural one and from Christian values?

  Benedict XVI pointed out that Croatia "is a people who are at the center of Europe, of its history and of its culture. I think in this sense that it is logical, right, and necessary that they join the European Union. ... It is understandable that there might be a fear of an overly powerful centralized 'bureaucracy' or of a rationalistic culture that does not take its history sufficiently into account or the richness of that history and the richness of historical diversity. It seems to me that this could be precisely a mission for this people who are now entering: to renew, in unity, this diversity. European identity is precisely an identity of the richness of its different cultures, which converge in the Christian faith and in the great Christian values. It seems to me that it is also precisely a mission of the Croatians, who are now joining, to make this visible and efficient again: to reinforce the historicity of our cultures and the diversity that is our richness, against a certain abstract rationalism. In this sense I encourage the Croatians: the process of entering into Europe is a reciprocal process of giving and receiving. With its history, with its human and economic capacity, Croatia gives, and naturally it receives, thus broadening its horizon and living in this great commerce that is not only economic but above all cultural and spiritual as well".

  The last question was: Many Croatians were hoping that, on the occasion of your visit, Blessed Cardinal Stepinac would also be canonized. What importance today, from your point of view, does his figure hold?

  The Pope responded that "the cardinal was a great pastor and a great Christian as well as a man of exemplary humanism. I would say that Cardinal Stepinac had to live during two opposing dictatorships, which were however both anti-humanist. First, the Ustashe regime, which seemed to embody the dream of autonomy and independence, but which in reality was an autonomy based on a lie because it was used by Hitler for his own ends. Cardinal Stepinac understood this very well and defended true humanism against this regime, defending Serbs, Jews, and gypsies. ... Then there was the opposite dictatorship of communism, under which he again fought for the faith, for the presence of God in the world, and for the true humanism that is dependent on God's presence. Only if the human is an image of God does humanism flourish. This was his destiny: to fight in two different and opposing battles. It is precisely his decision for the truth against the spirit of the times, for this true humanism that comes from the Christian faith, which is a great example, not just for Croatians, but for us all".
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  1. The Pope should be encouraging Croatians to stand firm in their faith, and stay out of the evil European Union, which is the Internationalists European Branch of the New World ( communist/ atheistic ) Order. Instead, he browbeats them into submission to an evil tyrant-- the EU and the Central Bankers .

  2. Hugeman, the Holy Father doesn't tell Croatia to submit to the EU. Instead he speaks of chances and dangers. As a citizen of a country which is member of the EU I will welcome Croatia and hope that their politicians will work for a free and just Europe of Nations.


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