|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.
Benedict XVI seems to have a leaning toward factlacking history. He puzzled many last year with his reference to atheistic Naziism. He outraged a million South Americans with his description of the natives having been silently longing for Christianity, apparently forgetting or ignoring the slaughter, slavery, and suppression of native religion that came with it. In England, he was a bit selective on Christian history, including blithely ignoring the rise of secularism that allowed him to even be there. History clearly isn't his field. It's too bad he can't get any help.ReplyDelete
Jack, Benedict has left me furious on more than one occasion, his take on the indigenous longing for Catholic domination was another one that momentarily sent me over the edge. The common denominator in his inventifacting is this only happens when justifying the collusion of the Catholic Church with autocratic and fascist dictatorial regimes who simultaneously give lip service to their Catholicism and preferential treatment to the Catholic church. Even Hitler had enough sense to sign Pacelli's concordat. He recognized a willing bed partner when he saw one.ReplyDelete
"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. "ReplyDelete
Oh, I know the anger and the frustration!!!! You definitely have a way with words, Colleen -
"turned the pilot light to full bore blazing torch."
My sentiments exactly!!!
It's is criminal the very minds that side with fascists!!
I should have said: It is a criminal mind that would side with fascists!!ReplyDelete
" long term survivability of Catholic influence and power" - great phrase. Throughout history, it has almost always been about this with the Vatican and has caused so much suffering.ReplyDelete
It doesn't have to be like this - it's not what Jesus taught nor what the best people have modeled. It seemed that after the Vatican's complicity in evil in WWII, they were ready to try another path with John XXIII, then backed off quickly when they found they were losing power and control.
Thanks Butterfly. I think what sent me over the edge is comparing Finn to Stepanic. People are rightly demanding Finn's resignation over two abusive priests.ReplyDelete
Stepanic over saw hundreds of priests directly involved in slaughtering 700,000 Serbs, Jews, Moslems, and Roma and in spite of all the direct evidence, Stepanic has been declared "Blessed". And then we wonder why the Vatican hasn't acted to remove the bishop enablers of sexually abusive preists. I can't wait until Law dies and he becomes a "Blessed Martry" for the faith.
MaryH, Your point about Vatican II coming directly from the experience of WWII is one I make frequently to younger Catholics. VII was not the result of John XXIII fevered imagination. It had real antecedents and was to be an antidote for some horrendous truth about Catholic complicity in more than one genocidal attempt in WWII.ReplyDelete
Except that 'godless communism' card worked so well for the power and influence of the Vatican, they had to keep playing it, but since VII had it's socialist aspects about the Church being the 'People of God' and all, that socialist kind of thinking had to be curtailed--and all that nonsense about the supremacy of the individual conscience. No fascist state would want that kind of thinking percolating on their shores.
Interesting tidbit: Avro Manhatten disappeared from his home in 1990 together with both computers, all his files, and both hard copies of his yet to be published book linking the CIA, MI6 (and others) to the assassinations of John Paul I and Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro. Such linkages have been labeled as conspiracy theories, and perhaps so. But I've always been haunted by the image of Avro's study doors leading into his garden left wide open in the night. Wikipedia lists his death as "1990" but not the month or day. No one knows. So many dark secrets in the Vatican, who can fathom them.ReplyDelete
Just read John Allen's article on the pope's visit to Croatia.ReplyDelete
I know his writing gives him access to power in the Vatican, but how does he sleep at night?
I read Allen's piece as well, and of course popped off in the comments section.ReplyDelete
I imagine he sleeps at night by convincing himself he's just the messenger not the message.
Jayden, I've always found it fascinating how some conspiracy theorists wind up missing in action. Leads me to believe they were discovering real conspiracy truth not engaging in conspiracy theories.ReplyDelete
What was even worse about the whole Stepinac/Ustasha business was that certain Vatican officials enabled some prominent Ustasha and Nazi officials, like Ante Pavelic, to escape to Spain or other parts of the world. Pavelic wound up assassinated, but others escaped justice.ReplyDelete
I think you'd better find out a little bit about Avro Manhattan. Or do you want to change the title of this blog from 'Enlightened Catholicism' to 'Bigoted Protestantism'?ReplyDelete
Manhattan's work does need to be taken with a pinch of salt. His work tends to be peddled by the Jack T. Chick types. Benedict's historical amnesia is appalling, but that does not mean that Manhattan's work is flawless. I tend to get cranky when I hear conspiracy theories regardless of ideology. They are a sign of lazy thinking.ReplyDelete
Ecce Homo, there is nothing in the quote from Avro Manhattan that can't be verified from numerous independent sources. I really don't care what his conspiracy theory self postulated elsewhere, his synopsis of the Ustache genocide is identical to many other respected historians.ReplyDelete
You may consider his facts bigoted protestantism, but then truth hurts.
Stepanic was a war criminal who demonstrated little desire to control his priests in their slaughter of Jews, Serbs, Moslems and Roma. That Benedict is trying to pass him off as a Christian defender of these populations is utterly abhorent. Not to mention an outright lie.
I am not anti Catholic or pro protestant, I am anti Vatican clericalism. I don't happen to think Vatican clericalism has one thing to do with Christianity, but it does have a lot do with temporal power. If that makes me a protestant, I'm in very good company.
Several years ago I read the speech that Cardinal Stepinac read to the court at the time he was convicted by the Soviet Judge. He was very upset that he was called simply Stepinac or the cleric Stepinac and said many times Don’t you know that you are speaking to the Cardinal of the great city of Zagreb. He discussed the historic significance of this city in detail. The narcissistic injury projected by this man foretells the feelings of clerics today under Benedict and what I refer to as the Clerical Crisis. A crisis of disbelief that the Holy Spirit speaks equally to the People of God as she does to the clerics. A crisis of clerics believing that they indeed are infallible in their statements and beliefs when Roman Robes to not signify Christ or even Christianity.ReplyDelete
Conspiracy theories? Many Popes, Prime Ministers and Presidents were assassinated throughout history, some were clandestine and some not. I traveled Italy shortly after the death of JP1 and the whispers on the street at that time was that he was poisoned because he wanted to “clean up the Vatican Bank.” Sometimes the street gossip is correct! At any rate JPII never mentioned the majors Banking issues of that day with so many murders or suicides of the men involved in running Banco Ambrosia. I find this fact curious since it was one of the major agendas’ of his immediate predecessor. Sign me a little SUSPICIOUS.
Finally all the conservative papers at the time of the Papal visit to Zagreb had articles about this “Blessed Man” while all the Jewish articles and at least one Zagreb radio station pointed to a more realistic history. dennis
Thanks Dennis. That is very fascinating first hand information about Italy after JPI's death. I also find it interesting that the first thing JPII did was put the Vatican Bank directly under his sole authority. Must have been inspired by the Holy Spirit.ReplyDelete