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.

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