Controversial Croatian Cardinal


#1

An acquaintance of mine claims that Pope John Paul II was evil because he beatified Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac in 1998. His objection is that in about 1939 the Cardinal blessed Croatian troops who then went out and massacred 70,000 Serbian men, women and children, thereby the Holy Father was condoning this act.
I see from some internet sites that Cardinal Stepinac was vilified by the communists when they took over because he refused to sever ties between the Catholic church and Croatians, in fact his communist led trial was rigged. I also see that the Serbs protested his beatification. But am wondering if anyone knows anything of this blessing the troops incident.


#2

[quote=Viki59]An acquaintance of mine claims that Pope John Paul II was evil because he beatified Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac in 1998. His objection is that in about 1939 the Cardinal blessed Croatian troops who then went out and massacred 70,000 Serbian men, women and children, thereby the Holy Father was condoning this act.
I see from some internet sites that Cardinal Stepinac was vilified by the communists when they took over because he refused to sever ties between the Catholic church and Croatians, in fact his communist led trial was rigged. I also see that the Serbs protested his beatification. But am wondering if anyone knows anything of this blessing the troops incident.
[/quote]

I do not know anything about this Cardinal.

That being said, I have a couple of comments -

  1. The Cardinal blessed Croatian troops. That was a good thing. The troops then went out and massacred 70,000 people. That was a bad thing. Is there any link between the two? The only one I can think of is that without that blessing they might have massacred twice that number! Clearly a blessing does not give anyone permission to do evil.

  2. The Pope only beatifies someone after an extension investigation into their life and writings. The examining body must be satisfied that the person led a good life (particularly in the last 10 -15 years of their life - after all, there have been saints who were terrible sinners and then changed their lives), and, finally, there must be a miracle after their death. Therefore, it follows that if that Cardinal was beatified, he met all the criteria. How does that make the Pope evil?


#3

There has been another thread on this cardinal on these forums someplace. The “information” that has been going around comes from a fictitious “Jesuit”, Alberto Rivera, who is extremely anti Catholic.
I do not know anything other than this about the cardinal. However, the source of the info is suspect, to say the least. And, has been pointed out, there was a careful investigation of him before his beatification…


#4

OK, just got back…Try googling “Cardinal Stepinac”. I brought up over 6000 results–& that was just in English. Most of it was positive. There is a certain amount of controversy…I would have to see a lot more than I have seen before I could come to a personal opinion, but I have to say that Joan’s point still holds: What is the connection between a member of the clergy praying for/blessing the troops of his country, & anything they do once they are out of his control??
(Besides, how does the fact that JP2 beatified him make JP2 “evil”?)


#5

most of the controversy seems to stem around his trial for colaborating with the nazis. here is what i found on another site:

In 1985, his trial prosecutor Jakov Blazevic admited publically that Cardinal Stepinac’s trial was entirely framed, and that Stepinac was tried only because he refused to sever thousand year old ties between Croatians and the Roman Catholic Church. Cardinal Spelman commented on Stepinac by stating that : “the only thing Cardinal Stepinac is guilty of was his love for God and his homeland”.

for more info, here’s the site:
hr/darko/etf/stepinac.html

i would ask for some serious scholarly work with citations to rebutt this - more than likely, the acusations are anti-catholic garbage.

RyanL


#6

I found the other thread & gave it a bump…“Archbishop Stepinac”…I have to say that a lot of the “anti” stuff sounds like either (A) politics; (B) anti Catholic garbage; or © both…


#7

Thank you for the sites.
I think my acquaintance is just looking for excuses to dislike John Paul II. He believes everything he reads – told me there was a female pope, which all reputable scholars know is hogwash – but would not listen to my explanations.
Still, this makes me feel better. One more good reason why bearing false witness is a serious sin.


#8

Here are a couple of links with additional information about Cardinal Stepinac.

papa.hr/pope/english/stepinac/11_eng.html

aloysius-stepinac.biography.ms/


#9

Jim, those 2 links are excellent…They shed some clear light on the subject. When I discovered he had been tried by the communists, I suspected there was a kangaroo court that had brought charges. That was/is the pattern for dictatorships…
I assumed from the start that the investigation done before he was beatified would have found the truth about him. It is good to read something from reliable sources. Thanks!!


#10

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