Friday, June 17, 2011


I have not begun regularly posting to this blog. Please email me at and I will alert you once I begin to do so. Many thanks for your interest.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Croatia-bound (cont'd)

The Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, whom Pope Benedict will honor in Zagreb on Sunday, certainly has his defenders, who say that he saved Jews and protested the persecution of Serbs during World War II.

But if this report from 1998 is any indication, Benedict should expect his weekend visit to stir up some Balkan tensions.

UPDATE: The Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Irinej said in April that Benedict's visit to Stepinac's tomb could "cast a shadow" over Catholic-Orthodox relations. Considering Benedict's zeal for reconciling East and West, that would seem to make it even more likely that he will address the historical controversies surrounding Stepinac and the Ustashi.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Pope Benedict goes to Croatia this weekend, where it's possible that he will somehow refer to the Ustashi, the local brand of fascists, who under the Nazis did their bit to kill Jews, Muslims and Serbs.

Given that a fanatical Catholicism was a basic component of the Ustashi ideology, and given the pope's own tangles with Nazism, it might seem odd if he doesn't address this ugly part of the country's history in some way.

On Sunday afternoon, Benedict will pray before the tomb of the Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, the WWII-era archbishop of Zagreb, who was beatified by Pope John Paul II as a martyr to the Communists, but whom Orthodox Serbs accuse of having been an Ustashi sympathizer.

According to the Tablet, a Croatian Catholic bishop has told a German radio station that Serbian Orthodox bishops have written to the pope protesting his visit to Zagreb.