Croatian bishops welcome papal visit, lament threats to family
February 03, 2011
The bishops of Croatia have issued a pastoral letter welcoming “with great joy” Pope Benedict’s upcoming apostolic visit to the nation.
Noting that “his main reason for coming to visit us will be the celebration of the National Encounter of Croatian Catholic Families,” the bishops encouraged families to pray and read Sacred Scripture together and lamented threats to family life:
We cannot, therefore, avoid mentioning the obvious and sorrowful difficulties through which the Croatian family is passing today, the consequences of which threaten the future of the entire nation. Let us note the large number of young people who are postponing marriage due to unemployment and unresolved housing issues, unemployment and social problems, the rising divorce rate, addictions and domestic violence, the increasing prevalence of living together in temporary "trial marriages" without obligations, as well as the strong pressures that deny and even openly attack the value of marriage and family.
89% of the nation’s 4.5 million people are Catholic, according to Vatican statistics.