A Cautionary Epistle To Pope Francis In Relation To Serbia’s Fabrications Against Croatia’s Blessed Alojzije Stepinac

Sarcophagus of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac in Zagreb, Croatia

Sarcophagus of
Blessed Alojzije Stepinac
in Zagreb, Croatia


Papal power is not absolute. The Pope does not have the power to change teaching (or) doctrine. The Pope does not have the power to reverse the Beatification of Croatia’s Blessed Alojzije (Aloysius) Stepinac but, uncomfortably as it may sit with many, the Pope can slow down the process of Canonisation of Blessed Alojzije (Aloysius) Stepinac as Saint in the Catholic Church.
There has been much uneasiness spreading within the 85% Roman Catholic Croatian population about the visit on Friday 11 September 2015 of Serbia’s president Tomislav Nikolic to the Vatican, to meet with Pope Francis and enter into issues relating to the canonisation of Alojzije (Aloysius) Stepinac – or rather Serbia’s views on it – as one of the talks agenda. Furthermore, President Nikolic and Pope Francis have reportedly discuss the establishment of a joint commission of the Serbian Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches that will study “historical facts related to WWII and Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac’s role in the Independent State of Croatia (NDH).”

Blessed Alojzije (Aloysius) STepinac

Blessed Alojzije (Aloysius) STepinac

It is well known that both the Serbian Orthodox Church and Serbian state oppose the canonisation of Blessed Stepinac, accusing him unjustly of supporting the Fascist regime in Croatia, which they say was responsible for the deaths of Serbs in Croatia in World War II. The commission would study historical evidence to determine his role, which is and has been widely disputed. Serbia and its political allies say that he supported the Fascist regime aligned with the Nazis while many Croats (guided by factual findings through research of archives, such as that of Dr. Esther Gitman) oppose the communist Yugoslavia picture concocted about Stepinac, still actively promoted by Serbs and some former communists in Croatia. The facts are that Blessed Alojzije Stepinac saved and rescued many lives of Jews, Serbs and Roma.


Does Pope Francis truly understand Europe if Serbia’s president Tomislav Nikolic is one of his advisers on the canonisation of Croatia’s Blessed Alojzije Stepinac – asked journalist D. Likic on Croatia’s news portal Maxportal. In continuance of such a sentiment of doubt, one truly wonders whether Pope Francis understands the past role President of Serbia actually played in the tragic and genocidal war of Serb aggression against Croatia in 1990’s? One truly wonders whether the Pope realises the terrifying significance for Croatian people Tomislav Nikolic’s incitement to hatred and crimes against Croats has and had? One truly wonders whether Pope Francis realises that Serbia’s President is one of the powerful personalities who keep denying and hiding the terrible role WWII Serbia played in the perpetration of the Holocaust – by May 1942, 94% of Serbia’s Jews were exterminated so that Serbia could announce it was one of the first European countries to be free of Jews. Serbia’s powerful keep telling the world that it was the occupying Nazis who exterminated all those Jews in Serbia – wrong! Serbia’s government and people who supported it collaborated with the Nazis, marked the Jews for extermination and brought them to extermination camps.
If the Pope realises all that, then perhaps the commission formed between the Catholic and Serbian Orthodox Church has and will discuss all the historical facts of WWII, including those relating to the role of the Serbian Orthodox Church and this role meant peril and death to Jews, Croats and others. Including the fact that, judging from its past behaviour and statements, the Serbian Orthodox Church has no intention or morality to accept the true facts about the Blessed Alojzije (Aloysius) Stepinac and his deeds of rescue and saving of persecuted people. So, why would one want someone who has proven himself to be so biased and hateful against Croats in advance on a commission or committee deciding on facts in WWII Croatia?
Truly baffling! Truly disquieting!
According to Serbia’s news agency Tanjug, following the meeting with Pope Francis, Nikolic told Tanjug that he had had a very open discussion with the Pope about Cardinal Stepinac during which he had told the Pope that Cardinal Stepinac had played a very bad role in World War II.

He (Stepinac) should at least not have remained silent when someone is killing … citizens just because they are not of (Roman) Catholic faith,” Nikolic said.

The problem with this statement from Nikolic and all Serbia’s political and church leaders is that they choose, with evident intentional malice, to ignore the facts discovered (e.g. by research conducted by Dr. Esther Gitman) after government archives were opened in late 1990’s/early 2000’s when communist Yugoslavia finally fell. These facts irrefutably point to the absolute truth that Cardinal Stepinac, organising rescue missions and actions that would save lives also protested in writing against any killings done under the WWII regime, he became aware of, but his protests fell on deaf ears just as they are falling on deaf ears of Serbia today! Serbia’s Nikolic would like us to think, it seems, that an Archbishop (Stepinac) in WWII was more powerful that the country’s governmental leadership! Why else would he ignore Stepinac’s protests of which he is well aware?

Pope Francis speaks with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, during a private audience at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. (Claudio Onorati/Pool photo via AP)

Pope Francis speaks with
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic,
during a private audience at the Vatican,
Friday, Sept. 11, 2015.
(Claudio Onorati/Pool photo via AP)

Serbia’s president Nikolic boasted that the Pope had told him at one point that he was in no rush to declare the cardinal a saint. If that is true, it is sad and pathetic.

I think that I have come across a man who knows a great deal and who understands everything and who has accepted almost every statement and suggestion I put to him. This was a meeting between people who understood each other straight away,” Nikolic boasted further to the Serbian media.
God forbid! God forbid if Papal belief should be so easily filled!
Perhaps in the context of this commission established between the Catholic and the Serbian Orthodox Churches, and in the context that Serbia’s leaders and its Orthodox Church have been and still maliciously insist that Blessed Alojzije Stepinac is guilty of WWII crimes he had no part in committing or power to prevent, Pope Frances will find a way to point a revealing light on actual WWII facts for Serbia and wipe once and for all the foul drivel flowing out of Serbian political and religious leaders’ mouths for decades.
Pope Francis’ path so far has shown him as a kind of a revolutionary man; a man who only last week broadened the power of priests to forgive women who commit what Catholic teachings call the “mortal sin” of abortion during his newly declared “year of mercy” starting in December. On last Sunday, 6 September, he called for “every” Catholic parish in Europe to offer shelter to one refugee family from the thousands of asylum-seekers risking all to escape war-torn Syria and other pockets of conflict and poverty. He repeatedly has denounced unrestrained capitalism. His attacks on “compulsive consumerism” and industrial damage to the world’s ecology came to a head during a fiery July speech in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. He said poor nations shouldn’t be mere sources of raw materials and cheap labor, and called the unfettered pursuit of money “the dung of the devil”:

Once capital becomes an idol and guides people’s decisions, once greed for money presides over the entire socioeconomic system,” he said, “it ruins society, it condemns and enslaves men and women, it destroys human fraternity, it sets people against one another and, as we clearly see, it even puts at risk our common home.”

Pope John Paul II Praying at the body of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac in Zagreb Croatia

Pope John Paul II
Praying at the body of
Blessed Alojzije Stepinac
in Zagreb Croatia

Many of the 265 popes before Francis championed serious causes. Most recently, John Paul II crusaded against communism and beatified Croatia’s Cardinal Alojzije (Aloysius) Stepinac, and Benedict XVI decried moral drift that devalued human lives. Now comes Pope Francis’ determination to help people by the hundreds of millions escape destitution. Excellent. Perhaps during his visit to the United States this coming week he’ll discuss how market economies already have let other hundreds of millions prosper, and bless capitalism for its saving grace. Give credit where credit is due for in this day and age, without capital or money, there can be no welfare and no humanitarian aid. Perhaps, at some point he will publicly reflect on the meeting with Serbia’s Tomislav Nikolic and loudly pronounce that Nikolic’s malicious fodder cannot and will not stain the blessed and saintly soul and deeds of Cardinal Stepinac. That would match the courage and the leadership the Pope has shown in many instances so far. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb);B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


  1. Reblogged this on Eyes of the Mind.

  2. I think we can relax. I think the Vatican is just doing its due diligence. In fact this entire process will only fortify the official favorable stance regarding Stepinac. No serbian quasi-historical factoids will sway Franjo or the Vatican. With all the contrived logical fallacies and forged premises, I’m certain that yet another serbian leader has only managed to lead his people into another losing battle. I remember when Mother Teresa passed away, a Serbian-American journalist wrote a piece about how everything she did was motivated by greed and lust for power. The logic being that she just wanted to be “ahead of the line” when she met her maker. Of course the general public, (save a few rabid atheists and Catholicism haters) recognized the warped logic and he soon after started flipping burgers instead of writing bullshit. I can see Nikolic going in the same direction.

    • Good stuff, Brankec – we want Francis not to take Nikolic at his word for much hateful garbage lies behind them and that’s no fantasy! He manufactured it himself.

      • In my opinion the fear of public “examination” of the past is not good. So, bilateral commission is a very good way to go. Catholics and Orthodox do not agree, so what? Let it be! If Vatican see that Serbian side does not accept the scientific evidence, arguments, records..etc, then the argument in favor of canonization is stronger, isn’t it? Then the other side will not be able to say…”bla, bla, bla” because Vatican will say:…You had your chance, but refused. So, my prediction is that SOC (Serbian Ortodox Church) will NEVER accept an invitation to participate. As long as they don’t, they can try to “sell” a fake arguments !

      • Your reasoning is good, Ivo – it just so hurts to listen to Serb lunatics gallivanting across the globe with their bags of malice and lies just so that most Serbs can appear what they were not in WWII and after and before.

  3. I liked your arguments very much. But having not your competencies I would only say that Pope Francis is one of the most truthful, unaffected and honest Pope we’ve had ever. On one hand he is trying to simplify Vatican and its obsolete way of doing and deciding, on the other hand he has to face clergy’s conservative attitudes. They take strenght from laws and rights-codes written in centuries which let them stay anchored to an out of time vision of Catholicism. I think that the dramatic opening of Vatican mentality to people real life problems is one of the biggest change done by him. Day after day he also would put hands on more complicated issues like this.
    Thank you very much for your post which I found very much interesting.
    Have a nice day, Pietro

  4. From Facebook comments: It might be a positive thing in that finally the truth about WWII (in a small part) comes to light and is acknowledged by Serbian leaders …which might hopefully lead to the dis-assembly of the Serbian nation’s fictitious beliefs to date, and thus future peace in the area.

    • Indeed, Anne, Pope Francis has an excellent opportunity to play a part in establishing the truth in the world’s mind for what it was, what it is – not like what some say or some don’t.

  5. I think there can be no fears of the Vatican being wrongly influenced by who ever on this or any other issue in the world. Pope Francis will give careful thought to every information he gets, check and cross-check before he decides.It is praise worthy that you are playing an excellent role of making sure that the other side gets to the world. May nothing but the truth prevail!

  6. For canonisation, I understand that there must be attested miracles. Are you aware of such miracles?

    • Yes Clare, in Stepinac case beatification included one and the second still in church proof process as far as I understand. He was also venerated/decreed martyr. Cheers

  7. Perhaps leaders should be picked that have no stake in the outcome of the investigation. Perhaps leaders from the UN. It seems like a just way to sort fact from fiction. Hugs, Barbara

  8. Reblogged this on IdealisticRebel's Daily View of Favorites.

  9. Thanks for visiting ! 🙂

  10. Mr. Nikolic was a member of the Serbian Radical Party. He has repeatedly called for the creation of a Greater Serbia. In other words, wiping out non-Serbs to create a united Greater Serbian entity on the lands and graves of others. He has also denied the Serb massacre of more than 8,000 Bosniak men and boys at Srebrenica, Bosnia. Now he suddenly claims his views are no longer what they were 10 minutes ago. He is a reformer. He has seen the light. A democrat at heart.
    Utter nonsense. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing…worse.
    I would like to know what he was doing between 1991 – 1995 when the Yugoslav army and Serb troops attacked Slovenia, then Croatia, followed by Bosnia-Herzegovina, and then Kosovo in the late 1990s.
    Where was Mr. Nikolic?
    Quite frankly, I am disappointed in the Holy Father. This nonsense of hearing the ‘Serb side’ of Blessed Stepinac’s tale is akin to asking Germans about whether or not Himmler was really a bad man, or perhaps asking for the Russian view about the Ukrainian Holodomor.
    It is insulting to the Croatian nation and in this case, Blessed Stepinac’s memory. There is more than enough evidence that clearly proves Blessed Stepinac is worthy of sainthood, after all, the rigorous process to beatification has already passed.
    For a good read on the Serbian obsession with their mythology and the creation of their church I highly recommend Branimir Anzulovic’s book Heavenly Serbia.
    The Holy Father is all about ecumenism. This is a noble idea but he needs to be reminded that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, for example, is not the Serbian Orthodox Church.
    Sadly, the Serbian Orthodox Church was a very enthusiastic supporter of the violent aggression against Croatia and Bosnia.

    • Yep Veronika, keeping or creating peace between religions is fine but I too see no value in asking another religious group etc what they think about the proposed sainthood of another. Serbian Orthodox Church should play no role in this por Serbia’s leaders – facts must speak for themselves

  11. Bring on a fair commission, but one whose mandate is to look at Serbia and it’s Orthodox church’s role in WWII, and while they are at it look that their role in the homeland war. Here’s My quote for Serbian media on the role of Serbian leaders and people during the homeland war: He (Nikolic) should at least not have remained silent when someone is killing … citizens just because they are not of (Serb) Orthodox faith, or Serb ethnicity,” Sunman said.

  12. …regardless of anything else, why would Serbia even mention the canonization of Cardinal Stepinac or, for that matter, Elvis Presley?..that is NONE of their business to involve themselves in someone else’s business!…but gypsies and Byzantines have NO shame!

    • Serbia it seems, Tempus Fugit, would like to dictate to others on matter that doen’t concern them with intent of “looking good and good-meaning”when in fact foul motives usually action them – it’s good much of the world isn’t blind

  13. ..a footnote….SKY NEWS 16 September 2015
    …”Serbian preparing to take refugees to Croatia by bus”

    …God damn these gypsies, they never stop giving Croatia a hard time! If that silly “prophecy” of Lady of Fatima (or maybe Medjugorje) has any truth in it, then God should destroy this satanic country…once and for all time, as what these serbs can’t do with frontal assault, they do “under the table”! Please, God don’t let them! I will volunteer my time!

    • That was to be expected as Hungary closed its borders so Serbia will push refugees to Croatia in order to accommodate that they want to go to Germany etc but Serbia should insist they stay put in Serbia and apply for asylum from there

      • Zoran Nosic says:

        As much as I would like to see Serbia infested with the radical Muslim element that is embeded within these hoards of migrants, your suggestion Ina is not a solution for them. Serbia is not a EU member hence of no use to the migrants.

      • Yes, Zoran – exactly – but the UN convention or regulation regarding seeking asylum is that one does it in the first safe country one enters whilst fleeing. EU is only where they want to go but they do not want to wait to be processed and wait for where they are then sent…the same is for Greece, which is an EU and Schengen member – it should have been the first to take action

  14. Zoran Nosic says:

    Great piece as usual Ina.

    Firstly, I haven’t heard any rebuttal from Croatian church or political leaders. They have not reacted in any organized manner to play the public relations game that will influence many in this showdown. I am not really surprised by that but did expect some opposition leaders to form a collective stand on the issue.

    Secondly, I am shocked that the Pope would concede to even address this issue with Nikolic on several levels. Least of which is that this is a Croatian and CATHOLIC issue. He has no business meddling in these areas, especially on an offical state visit!

    Sadly, Serbia stills seems to be the darling of the Balkans despite the painful evidence that their “victim” narrative has been exposed repeatedly.

    • I guess Nikolic has every right to visit the Pope, like all statesmen – but he has no right in having an input into the canonisation of Stepinac for the latter is done on set criteria. It is disappointing that the Pope even contemplated talking to him about it, I find it offensive to Croats but we might yet live to see that the Pope is a wise man after all, ignore Serb lies and stick to truth

  15. Great post Ina added to news room here at 15.54 GMT on this


  1. […] – in the Catholic Church’s canonisation decision-making and that element has to do with what Serb and Serbia (who are predominantly of Orthodox Church) think about Stepinac being proclaime…. What an outrage! One finds it most difficult to comprehend why opinions are sought from […]

  2. […] seems – in the Catholic Church’s canonisation decision-making and that element has to do with what Serb and Serbia (who are predominantly of Orthodox Church) think about Stepinac being proclaime…. What an outrage! One finds it most difficult to comprehend why opinions are sought from Tito’s […]

  3. […] seems – in the Catholic Church’s canonisation decision-making and that element has to do with what Serb and Serbia (who are predominantly of Orthodox Church) think about Stepinac being proclaime…. What an outrage! One finds it most difficult to comprehend why opinions are sought from Tito’s […]

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