Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Preview: Pope Benedict’s apostolic journey to Croatia

Catholic World News - June 03, 2011

On June 4, Pope Benedict will begin a two-day journey to Croatia, his nineteenth apostolic journey outside Italy. Blessed John Paul visited the nation three times following its 1991 independence.

According to Vatican statistics, the nation of 4.5 million is 89% Catholic. Some 2,315 priests minister in 1,571 parishes, and there are 3,624 sisters and 433 seminarians.

Despite the heavily Catholic population, the Church faces challenges, the Croatian-born Archbishop Nikolas Eterovic, who heads the office of the Synod of Bishops, told Vatican Radio. Only 20-30% of the Catholics attend Sunday Mass regularly, he said, and that figure is lower in the cities. Divorce is becoming more common, and the influence of secularism is growing.

Following a 90-minute flight, Pope Benedict will speak at a welcoming ceremony in Zagreb, the nation’s capital and a city of 685,000. After separate meetings with President Ivo Josipovic and Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor, the Pope will spend most of the afternoon at the apostolic nunciature before addressing political, academic, economic, and cultural leaders at the historic Croatian National Theatre. At 7:30 in the evening, Pope Benedict will address an estimated 40,000 young people taking part in a prayer vigil.

On June 5, the Pontiff will offer Sunday Mass at the Zagreb Hippodrome on the occasion of the National Day of Croatian Catholic Families; the proper prayers of the Mass, as well as the offertory, preface, and Eucharistic Prayer, will be said in Latin. At the conclusion of the Mass, he will deliver his Regina Caeli address.

After meeting with the nation’s bishops, Pope Benedict will preside at Vespers in Zagreb’s neo-Gothic cathedral. The Pope will then pray at the tomb of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac (1898-1960), described by Blessed John Paul in 1998 as “one of the outstanding figures of the Catholic Church”:

The Cardinal Archbishop of Zagreb, one of the outstanding figures of the Catholic Church, having endured in his own body and his own spirit the atrocities of the Communist system, is now entrusted to the memory of his fellow countrymen with the radiant badge of martyrdom.

Following a private meeting with Cardinal Josip Bozanic, the 62-year-old Archbishop of Zagreb, Pope Benedict will deliver a farewell address at Zagreb’s airport. He is scheduled to arrive back in Rome at 9:15, less than 36 hours after his journey began.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our July expenses ($21,532 to go):
$35,000.00 $13,467.95
62% 38%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Making Moral Progress? July 3
Vatican statement clarifies duties of Catholic faithful after Obergefell decision July 2
Political battles vs. sacrificial service: The Brooks paradox revisited July 2
A Baptist leader with a message the Synod of Bishops should hear June 30
'Helpful' advice for social conservatives: ignore causes, deal with effects June 30

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope approves process for holding bishops accountable in abuse cases CWN - June 10
Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical released (includes link to full text) CWN - June 18
US Supreme Court rules all states must recognize same-sex marriage CWN - June 26
Archbishop Nienstedt, auxiliary bishop resign CWN - June 15