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Beatification of Aloysius Cardinal Stepinac

Juraj Batelja ; Katolički bogoslovni fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Zagreb, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 8.827 Kb

str. 209-232

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The beatifcation of the Archbishop of Zagreb, Alojzije Stepinac was, according to Pope John Paul II, »an historic event« in the life of the Church and the Croatian people. The historic nature of the event is based upon the fact that Alojzije Stepinac, through his virtuous life and martyrdom was united to Christ, the »Divine Master and model of all perfection«.
This unification with Christ is the foundation of Stepinac's spirituality. He united himself to Christ not only according to the principles of Christian spirituality: patiently, freely and zealously, but to the begree of faithfulness in which he held the Lord as his only gain in his life (Phil 3:7). In his final remarks at his trial on Octaber 3, 1946, he did not defend himself but rather the fundamental truths of the Christian faith when he said: »Know that Jesus Christ is God! We are ready to die for him, yet now some are teaching that he never even existed!«.
It is therefore evident that the components of his spiritual life are Christological, both in the celebration and worship of the Eucharistic mystery, in the veneration of the Mother of God in whose honour he prayed all three mysteries of the rosary every day, as in the faith of the Catholic Church, which according to Christ's mandate is visibly led by the popes, the successors of Peter in Rome. These Chrisfological guidelines in the faith and convictions of blessed Alojzije can be recognized in all stages of his life. The communist persecutions of the Catholic Church in the 20th century did not darken them. On the contrary, the Christian witnessing of blessed Alojzije, a disciple of Christ faithful unto death, offers a great contribution to the renewal process of European civilzation. Hence the beatification of Cardinal Stepinac is an invitation towards the healing and the rebirth of Christian culture in Europe. This rebirth is necessary for the establishment of a new Europe. He spoke on this topic with these words: »European culture can only heal on the condition that it's soul be restored to her, that Jesus Christ be brought back to her!«
Stepinac gained strength from his biblical orientation, for his decisive and courageous declarations against the persecution of people, against the nazi, fascist and communist dictatorships which gravely violated and tranpled upon human rights and freedoms in the 20th century. He did not lose his human nor episcopal dignity even when German, secret agents denounced him to Hitler as a »friend of the Jews« (»Judenfreund!«), or »a German hater« (»Germanofob«) nor when the comunists branded him as »an enemy of the people« or as »a traitor of the nation«. Instead he repeated the words of Christ from the cross; »Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!« and he encouraged others to pray for their persecutors the enemies of the Church in the hope that they would recognize their error and save their souls.
Alojzije Stepinac lived for the Church. To him she is a divine institution, God's work, in her, Jesus Christ is present, active and the guarantee of her faithfulness. Only He is the guarantee of her freedom, her truths and principles. »Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus! - Outside the Church there is no salvation«. Being convinced of this teaching of Cyprian, he rejected the offer of the communist authorities for the establishment of a national church in Yugoslavia, which would be separated from Rome, since »that type of Church would be unworthy of the name of Christ's Church«. Faithful to this belief, he made the ultimate sacrifice of love for the unity of the Catholic Church.
The beatification of Archbishop and Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac is an event, a message and encouragement, which according to his question of 1938: »Quo vadis, Europa?« - Where are you going Europe?«, actualizes his answer which excludes the paths of bolshevism, racism, sectarianism, teofism, adventism, spiritism, because these paths lead to ruin!
From his faith in God, he points to the fact that the pragress of Europe (mankind) and of the Croatian nation from which he descends, is found in their »return to God«, in respecting every man made in the image of God, in the harmony of the family unit based upon Christ's love, and in the development of social circunastances which through the acceptance of the values of the gospel, enable every person a sure journey on this earth towards the glory of heaven.

Ključne riječi

A. Stepinac; beatification; spirituality; Church; resistance to dictatorship

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