Thursday, June 28, 2007

Is the Church at Odds With the President?

By boycotting mass at Zagreb Church of St. Marko on Statehood Day, Croatian President Stjepan Mesic sent out a clear message he did not wish to tolerate attacks of certain priests, writes the latest issue of the Globus weekly.

Although this the first open conflict of the state president with the Catholic Church top in Croatia, as the Globus weekly states in the “Church is at odds with Mesic” article, relations between Kaptol and Pantovcak have never been too idyllic.

President Mesic commented his absence from mass on Statehood Day by saying he could not have been there due to “laws of Physics”, i.e. he was at another place at that time.

Former Catholic Press Agency director Antun Soljic writes in his regular commentary “Vecernji brevijar”, published in today`s Vecenji list daily, that seeing how the president did not give any explanation for not coming to mass, but he tried to get out of it by an expression “Physics”, therefore it seems that journalists were right to state president was offended by the name certain priests called him, which would shame some street vagabonds, as Suljic points out.

-Everything can be solved by sending a delegation if this a protocol obligation, the president was below the level of his service, just as the mentioned clergy members, even the episcope who refused to attend Mesic`s New Year`s reception- Suljic claims.

At the same time, he objects the president because he “brushes off” the Church every now and again, thus a part of the hierarchy criticises him and a part permanently by-passes him so there is “constant tension” between the Church and Mesic.

General vicar of the Split-Makarska Archdiocese Ivan Cubelic said that the Church did not issue a book called “The Red One is Red” by don Josip Coric, which is mentioned as a reason of president`s absence from mass on Statehood Day.

He claims that this book was printed in author`s personal edition without any help of church structures.

The main vicar says he has not read the book and that the Split-Makarska Archdiocese should not fence itself from the book.


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