|Croatian Archbishop Stepanic maybe 'Blessed' in the Vatican fantasy world, but in the real world he's a war criminal.|
It has been a very very long time since our Catholic leadership has really sent me over the emotional edge. Mostly they make me angry in the 'here we go again' sense, but this time Benedict has turned the pilot light to full bore blazing torch. Of course the article came from CNA. It is part of CNA's coverage of Benedict's trip to Croatia.
Pope pays tribute to Blessed Cardinal Stepinac of Croatia
.- The Pope has hailed Blessed Aloysius Stepinac, the late Cardinal Archbishop of Zagreb in Croatia, as “a great pastor and a great Christian.” The Pope made his comments during an in-flight interview with journalists as he traveled to Croatia for a two-day visit. (This is the same man under whose Catholic rule, Croatia experienced a full bore Roman Catholic led genocide. The numbers of murdered at the hands of Catholic clergy alone are staggering.)
Cardinal Stepinac was the leader of the Catholic Church in Croatia during the Second World War when the country briefly regained independence under a Nazi puppet regime, the Ustase.
After the war, the Nazis were replaced with the communists. An outspoken critic of the regime, Cardinal Stepinac was imprisoned following a show-trial in 1946 and later died under house arrest in 1952.
Pope Benedict described both regimes – Nazi and communist – as “anti-humanist.”
The Ustase regime, he said, “seemed to fulfill the dream of autonomy and independence, but in reality it was an autonomy that was a lie because it was exploited by Hitler for his own purposes.” (It was the other way around. Even hardened Nazi military officers were appalled with the actions of the Ustache.)
The Pope said that in the midst of this turmoil, Cardinal Stepinac was a courageous defender of those oppressed by the Ustase, including Serbs, Jews and gypsies. (This is an utter lie. Stepanic was the Ustache's great enabler along with the Vatican, and one of Dictator Ante Pavelic's biggest supporters and benefactors.)
Cardinal Stepinac stood up against “the dictatorship of communism, where he again fought for the faith, for the presence of God in the world, the true humanity that is dependent on the presence of God,” the Pope concluded, calling the Croatian cardinal “a great example not only for the Croats, but all of us.”
Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac was declared a martyr and beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1998. (An unbelievable step which put fuel on an already burning sectarian fire in the Balkans.)
When Pope Benedict arrived at the Zagreb Airport, he urged all Croats to pray to Blessed Aloysius Stepinac.
“In view of the challenges confronting the Church and civil society today, I invoke upon this land and all its inhabitants the intercession and assistance of Blessed Aloysius Stepinac, the beloved and venerable Shepherd of your people.”
“May he accompany the young generations as they strive to live by that charity which prompted the Lord Jesus Christ to give his life for all people.” ( I would strongly encourage those young people to read Stepanic's true story, not the revisionist history this pope is using to mask the Vatican's direct participation in the Ustache genocide.)
For readers who are interested in a well researched introduction into the Ustache genocide which occurred in Croatian territory under Nazi occupation, I strongly encourage you to follow this link. This article, written by frequent commenter Betty Clermont, is a brilliant synopsis of the truth of this period of history and Stepanic's place in it. For those who need more info, the list of footnotes and links at the end of the article will give you all you could want. It is not for the faint hearted Catholic afraid to deal with some very hard Catholic truth about the aims and politics of the papacy and the Vatican.
The following quote from Betty's article is from historian Avro Manhattan's book "The Vatican Holocaust." It will gives an idea of what things were really like during the Archbishop Stepanic backed Ustache regime.
"It is an historical fact. Rabid nationalism and religious dogmatism were its two main ingredients. During the existence of Croatia as an independent Catholic State, over 700,000 men, women and children perished. Many were executed, tortured, died of starvation, buried alive, or were burned to death. Hundreds were forced to become Catholic. Catholic padres ran concentration camps; Catholic priests were officers of the military corps which committed such atrocities. 700,000 in a total population of a few million, proportionally, would be as if one-third of the USA population had been exterminated by a Catholic militia."
Two investigators to the Ustasha arrival into Zagreb in April 1941 wrote that Archbishop Stepinac immediately “offered his congratulations to Pavelic” and held a banquet to celebrate the founding of the new Nazi puppet state. He also ordered the proclamation of the independent state to be delivered from all pulpits of the Catholic Church in Croatia on Easter Sunday and arranged Pavelic’s audience with Pope Pius XII. Stepinac issued a Pastoral Letter ordering the Croatian clergy to support the new Ustasha state:
God, who directs the destiny of nations and controls the hearts of Kings, has given us Ante Pavelic and moved the leader of a friendly and allied people, Adolf Hitler, to use his victorious troops to disperse our oppressors…Glory be to God, our gratitude to Adolf Hitler and loyalty to our Poglavnik, Ante Pavelic. 
Oh and guess who held the office of Supreme Military Apostolic Vicar of the Ustasha Army--the now Blessed Martyr Archbishop Stepanic. No wonder JPII did away with the office of Devil's Advocate. It would have been far more difficult to accomplish mission 'whitewash' if one had to deal with a legitimate fact based look at Stepanic's career during WWII.
This inventifacting thing the Vatican has done to white wash the Catholic history in Croatia makes me furious. Part of that is because I have Slovenian and Croatian blood in my veins. When I researched the history of Catholic Croatia in WWII, I was appalled and sickened. In retrospect this research instigated the shattering loss of my innocence when it came to my Catholic Identity. I can see why Benedict would want to completely white wash this truth, especially in view of his repeated stressing of Catholic Identity as the antidote to secular relativism. That was the whole idea behind backing the Ustache--Catholicism coupled with Catholic fascism as the antidote to godless communism. It was a policy that failed horribly, but rather than learn any lessons, the Vatican has insisted on attempting to repeat the strategy, and that has called for outright deceit about the truth of it's failures.
If this is the Vatican's idea for the long term survivability of Catholic influence and power, not only can I be counted out, but I will be actively opposing it.