.- According to Bishop Djuro Hranic, Auxiliary Bishop of Djakovo, “there is a springtime for the Church” in Croatia. The bishop told Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) that while obstacles remain, the future of the Croatian Catholic Church looks bright.
“With a very active laity, the Catholic Church has a good reputation among the people, also because – under the communist regime – it was a ‘sign’ of resistance,” Bishop Hranic said. “Now, there is a ‘thirst for faith’ in Croatia.”
“The Church has survived very bad times always committing itself to the truth, to freedom and human rights,” the bishop told ACN. “Also, its social commitment has strengthened the Church’s reputation.”
“On the other hand, there are strong anti-Church tendencies in the media: The Church’s campaign in favour of Sundays free of work is being misunderstood as if the Church was only interested in church-goers. What the media do not see is the Church’s concern for women and families. There is no Church without healthy families. And whenever the bishops make a public statement, the media coverage is large, but widely critical,” Hranic lamented.
Regarding the returning of Church property which was stolen under communist regimes, the bishop said little is being done. “There is no political will on the part of the government to give back what was confiscated by the communists,” he said.