Dear blog readers,
Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!
2015 was an interesting year for the Catholic Church in Croatia. And in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We’ve had the amazing (and highly emotional) Pope Francis’ visit to “the Jerusalem of Balkans” in June. Before that, on March 22nd the ordination of the new Bishop of Krk took place. We also marked the 300th anniversary of the Shrine of Our Miraculous Lady of Sinj and the 300th anniversary of the coronation of the miraculous painting of Our Lady of Trsat. Which leads us to the biggest news of 2015: Pope Francis proposing the formation of a working group composed of Catholic and Orthodox experts, which will examine disputed issues concerning the person of Cardinal Stepinac. See my post on it here. And the statement of the Croatian Catholic Bishop’s Conference about it here.
These are just some of the news. This New Year 2016 is going to be a big news year. A key year for the Church in Croatia, dare I say.
First of all there is the Jubilee of Mercy. Every Croatian diocese opened at least one Holy Door of Mercy. Here is the list of all the churches where you can get plenary indulgence. Just in case you decide to come on a holiday here this year.
The first big event this year is the ordination and installation of the new Military Ordinary mons. Jure Bogdan. A man of impresive biography and with a lot of connections in the Holy See since he is the rector of the Pontificial Croatian College of Saint Jerome. Mons. Bogdan will be ordained a bishop on Saturday March 27th in St. Peter the Apostle co-cathedral in Split, his diocese. And mine.
Three of bishops are expecting Pope’s decision on their retirement. It is rumoured that two of them, bishops Bogović (diocese Gospić-Senj) and Ivas (diocese Šibenik-Krk) will know their successors until the end of this month.
First up is the Bishop of Gospić-Senj who is 76 and waiting for his retirement for already a year now. In an interview in August 2014, when he sent his letter of resignation, he said he noticed his strenght diminishing and hopes the Pope will send someone to take over soon. Next in line, who turned 76 on St. Stephen’s Day, is Bishop of Šibenik. Last one, who turns 75 on March 1st is bishop of the 3 islands Hvar, Brač i Vis mons. Štambuk.
There’s also Cardinal Stepinac’s canonization. It is halted because of the above mentioned commission, but I believe it will happen this year. The commission’s work should not be long. I hope. Maybe even the Holy Father decides not to wait for the commission to finish and canonize him soon.
The biggest news of 2016 will definitely be Pope Francis’ decision on Međugorje. It will be 2 years on 17 January since the ‘Ruini Commission’ finished its work. Hopefully we find out the decision soon. We’ve been waiting for too long.