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Statement from the Sixty-Second Session of the Croatian Conference of Bishops

Zagreb (IKA)

The members of the Croatian Conference of Bishops assembled at the Sixty-Second Plenary Session of the CCB, chaired by the President of the CCB, Archbishop Želimir Puljić of Zadar, and held in Zagreb at CCB headquarters on April 13 and 14, 2021.  

The Apostolic Nuncio in the Republic of Croatia, Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, participated in the beginning of the session. Bishop Petar Palić of Mostar-Duvno, who is also the Apostolic Administrator of Trebinje-Mrkanj and the Diocese of Hvar, participated in the session as the delegate from the Bishops’ Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The newly appointed Bishop of Hvar, Msgr. Ranko Vidović, was participating in the session for the first time. At the beginning of the session, Archbishop Puljić greeted everyone present, congratulated Msgr. Vidović on his appointment and welcomed him to the Croatian Conference of Bishops.

The bishops discussed some issues regarding religious education and catechesis in connection with the new religious education textbooks and discussed support for teachers of religious education in their work, for which they received mandates from their local bishops.

The bishops devoted particular attention to a discussion of spiritual ministry to the Croatian armed forces, in response to a request for more intensive spiritual guidance in accordance with the specific nature of their needs. The bishops issued guidelines for the Croatian armed forces and in the future will attempt to become more involved in the pastoral life of the individual parish communities.

In the current situation, marked by the pandemic, the suffering of the people and the destruction of material goods caused by the earthquakes that have gravely affected the territory of the Archdiocese of Zagreb and the Diocese of Sisak, Caritas Croatia and the diocesan branches of Caritas have once again come to the fore. Familiar with the work of Caritas during these particularly challenging times, the bishops expressed their gratitude to Caritas Croatia and its branches in the Diocese of Sisak and the Archdiocese of Zagreb, which do good on behalf of the Church and have been able to help everyone in need.

The importance of the Church’s ecumenical efforts, in which the bishops participate through various initiatives, was noted.  In the wake of the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis redintegratio, the Bishops consider every initiative to be of great value, particularly toward members of the Orthodox Church.

At the session, reports on the activities of the individual commissions, councils and committees of the CCB were submitted by their presidents. There was also discussion about the structure of individual bodies within the CCB as well as mandates in the individual councils and institutions.  Thus, Bishop Tomislav Rogić of Šibenik as chosen as the new President of the Committee of the CCB for the Young, and Auxiliary Bishop Mijo Gorski was chosen as the new President of the Committee of the CCB for the Social Media. Mandates were extended for the President of the Bishops’ Commission for Relations with the State, Archbishop Coadjutor Dražen Kutleša of Split Makarska and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Poreč and Pula, as well as other members of the Commission for new five-year terms. Furthermore, Military Ordinary Jure Bogdan’s mandate was extended as the President of the Commission of the Croatian Conference of Bishops and the Bishops’ Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina for Croatian Martyrology.

A plan was presented for the organization of the Sixth Croatian Social Week, to be held October 22 to 24, depending upon the pandemic situation.

The next regular plenary session will be held from October 20 to 22, 2021.

Secretariat of the Croatian Conference of Bishops