(BBC) Many thousands flock to hear Pope Benedict in Croatia

Pope Benedict XVI has celebrated Mass, focusing on family values, before tens of thousands of people in the Croatian capital, Zagreb.

He spoke of the “disintegration” of the family, and urged couples not to give in to a “secularised mentality” of living together instead of marrying.

He later visited the tomb of a controversial wartime cardinal.

This is Pope Benedict’s first visit to the staunchly Catholic nation and he has received a warm welcome.

Read it all.


Posted in * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Croatia, Europe, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

3 comments on “(BBC) Many thousands flock to hear Pope Benedict in Croatia

  1. TACit says:

    As could be anticipated, marvelous under-reporting, mis-reporting and non-reporting from the BBC in coverage of things Catholic……though it was this [i]Pope’s[/i] first visit to Croatia, Ratzinger had been there 3 times previously, and Pope JPII had visited at least once. Other reports of the attendance I have seen are from ‘300,000’ to ‘approaching half a million’ people at the Hippodrome for this papal Mass at 10AM Sunday. These numbers could all be inflated, but the place certainly looked filled with people and neither ‘many thousands’ nor ‘tens of thousands’ quite does justice to some hundreds of thousands, does it, now. Perhaps as many came to Mass as typically attend a horse race there? It was clear from the coverage of the Sat. vigil how sport-loving young Croatians are, as their worship-style included lots of cheering! Nevertheless, by the moment of Benediction complete silence fell among the 25,000 reported in the square.
    No mention, that I’ve seen yet, in the English-language press of the sustained applause and ovation so long it had to be halted by B16 himself with help from Msgr. Guido Marini, at Vespers after the homily the former delivered in the Cathedral of Zagreb to the packed congregation of religious and ordained.
    A seeming omission from this article is the information that Cardinal Stepanic was pressured by the Communist government, because he already had the loyalty and adulation of his people following WWII, to set up a National Church – where have we heard that theme before, I wonder? And he refused and for that spent the remainder of his days, 14 -16 years, under some type of imprisonment or house arrest.
    The Pope might have been optimistic as he encouraged the young people of Croatia to marry and not settle for co-habitation, as he seems to have had a major success in that area: Prince William and Kate became engaged within a month of, and announced it two months after, B16’s Sept. visit to the UK last year, after living together during part of their 8-year courtship. Perhaps they already were planning to be married the following spring – [i]sure[/i] 😉 – but I reckon those few elapsed weeks were just enough time for Granny Elizabeth II to sit the heir-apparent-apparent grandson down for a family chat, encourage him to propose and explain how the wedding would help the Family Firm, as well as providing an actual Christian basis for the relationship such as the visitor from Rome, that pesky foreign Bishop, had been reminding the entire nation about, from Westminster Hall that September…..

  2. CPKS says:

    In the BBC’s own story they offer an attendance figure of 400,000. It certainly looks like the headline writer didn’t want to appear to gush.

  3. TACit says:

    That seems a fair comment, #2, and I went looking for the BBC’s ‘own story’ though haven’t found it. I had been intending to say above but it got too long, that Catholic Voices may have an agenda. Vatican Radio eventually published the 400,000 count, in excess of the anticipated 300,000 attendance.
    It seems there are numerous groups using this recognition of Stepinac to try to re-open debate about whether he was too cozy with the Nazis before he was against them, but it is also apparently well established that he refused to let the Communists manipulate him into becoming head of a National Church, and that he was likely poisoned over time in his last 15 years of life. The Wikipedia entry on him is informative.