Sunday, January 31, 2016

Aloysius Stepinac and a Pope in Serbia

The visit of a Pope of Rome to Serbia has been discussed for the last few years now. There is no small distrust and ill-will by many in the country against the pontiff as a representative of the Catholic Church both for theological and historical reasons. The recently discussed "in pectore" canonization of Aloysius Stepinac (who is seen to have been complicit in the forced conversion of Orthodox to Catholicism) further enflames and complicates the talks.

(Catholic Culture) - Pope Francis met with a delegation from the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate on January 16.

According to a Serbian television news report, the patriarchate’s delegation expressed opposition to the possible canonization of Blessed Aloysius Stepinac (1898-1960), a Croatian prelate whom St. John Paul II beatified as a martyr in 1998.

The delegation also said that Patriarch Irinej would not object to a papal visit to Serbia in his capacity as head of state but that “other forms of his visit require the green light of the Moscow Patriarchate,” according to the report.

Serbia, a nation of 7.2 million people, is 85% Orthodox, 6% Catholic, and 3% Muslim.
And also...
ROME (inSerbia) – Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic had a meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican which discussed the migrant crisis, Serbia’s opposition to admitting the so-called ‘Republic of Kosovo’ to UNESCO and other important issues.

Nikolic and Pope Francis also touched on proposals to set up a joint commission of the Serbian Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches to analyze the historical facts related to World War II and the role Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac played in the Independent State of Croatia.

During his visit, Nikolic presented Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of the Holy See, with a Republic of Serbia decoration for his outstanding contribution in building and strengthening friendly relations and cooperation between Serbia and the Holy See.

Nikolic also visited the Vatican Apostolic Library, the Serbian president’s press office said in a release.

“In the cordial discussions, the good existing relations between the Holy See and the Republic of Serbia were demonstrated, and the parties considered issues of mutual interest,” the Vatican said in a press release obtained by Tanjug from the president’s press office.

The Serbian president and the Pope also touched on Serbia’s progress towards full integration in the European Union, as well as various regional and international events, including the problems facing the Syrian and Iraqi refugees and displaced persons and the importance of reaching a joint solution to the current crisis.


  1. The Catholic Church has asked forgiveness for wrongs committed against Orthodoxy in the past. Forced conversion from Orthodoxy to Catholicism was (and is) wrong. Voluntary not so much. I wish the Orthodox would do the same and apologize for wrongs committed in the past towards Catholics, including forced conversions during the communist years. Only when we can all be honest about our past sins, can we make any progress in resolving the theological positions that divide us.

  2. Sigh. I do wish we'd stop poking a stick into the hornet's nest

  3. Why does the MP need to give the green light to the Serbian Patriarchate for the Pope to visit in the the capacity of a prelate? Can't the Patrisrch of Serbia make a decision with his Synod?

  4. Because the Russian church is the Church of the superpower protecting Serbia. And it isn't permission, but fraternal dialogue.

    Why does every papist needs Rome's permission to even attend a papist church, of equal dignity, but of different rite?! And why does Rome seldom allow members such permission to abandon its protestant novus ordo rite?

    Now, the intentional religious counterfeit of Unia will never be accepted in Orthodox lands. Never. And it will be ended. We don't accept three dollar bills from the Vatican. Unia has no future. Let's get history straight. Unia was imposed by rapine, lynchings, murders, deception, imprisonments, theft, mutilations. It had no legitimacy from the beginning. What happened in "Communist countries" was a policy aimed at fighting the historical wrong of Unia by educating Uniates and then giving them the choice of 1). Return to Orthodoxy, the authentic Catholic Church OR 2). Remaining papal Christians of the papal, Roman rite. 90%+ majorities FREELY rejected papal Christianity when it was offered without religious counterfeit. That says everything we need to know about the legitimacy of Unia.

    The Vatican propagated (and propagates) both Unia and Croatian Catholicism through genocide and ethnic cleansing. Apologies with a wink turning blind eyes to evil even now without remediation are empty. If Rome wants to be taken seriously and have its apologies accepted, first steps would be to 1). End the Unia asking Uniates to choose between Orthodoxy and Papal Rite papism. That way everyone's conscience will be respected. 2). Excise the filioque for the entire papal church: then documents stating you meant "through the SON" WILL MEAN SOMETHING. 3). Condemn Croatian and Ukrainian NAZI collaboration, condemning Slipy, Kontzevich, Sheptytsky, the synods of Brest and Uzhgorod, Stepinats, Pius XII, SS Divisions, Fatima mythology, Russicum proselytization, etc. 4). Adoption and standardization of the Orthodox Paschalion. Real steps make apologies wort- h mentioning.

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