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Pope appoints members of commission to study cause of Cardinal Stepinac

March 08, 2016

Pope Francis has named five Catholics-- three bishops and two academics-- to a joint Catholic-Orthodox commission that will explore the wartime record of Blessed Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac.

The Serbian Orthodox Church had already named its members to the commission. The group will be asked to resolve claims that Cardinal Stepinac supported fascists groups in their fight against Serbian nationalists. 

Cardinal Stepinac, who became the target of persecution in what was then Yugoslavia after World War II, was beatified as a martyr by St. John Paul II in 1998. Serbian Orthodox leaders had asked Pope Francis to explore the Communist propaganda claims against him thoroughly before proceeding with the cause for his canonization.

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