Nadbiskup Želimir Puljić
On Wednesday, January 8, the President of the Croatian Conference of Bishops, Archbishop Želimir Puljić of Zadar, sent a letter of congratulations to the President-elect of the Republic of Croatia, Mr. Zoran Milanović.
We present Archbishop Puljić’s letter in it entirety:
“With this letter, dear Mr. Milanović, I congratulate you upon your election as President of the Republic of Croatia by the majority of the Croatian citizens. Their trust provides you, together with your associates, with a good opportunity to contribute to the strengthening of democracy, as well as promotion of the general good and the fundamental values upon which every healthy and advanced society is based. These are respect for the dignity of each person, promotion of the freedom and equality of all people, and protection of national, religious and family values. A healthy and advanced society, moreover, does not forget those who are weak and vulnerable, who are “at the margins” as Pope Francis often says, and need the help and support of society.
“The phrase ‘festival of democracy’ is often used for elections. In this respect, it was commendable when, at the end of the vote count and announcement of the winner, that the spirit of a “festival of democracy” was apparent when you and the current President of the Republic of Croatia, Ms. Kolinda Grabar Kitarović, congratulated and thanked each other. Moreover, you did not permit whistling among the public. This was a wholesome, honorable, correct and educational message that you, as the responsible holder of a state office, and the current President, sent to the Croatian public.
“I congratulate you on your election to the office of the President of the Republic of Croatia. This entails honor, obligation and responsibility in cooperation with other state office holders to make wise and prudent decisions for the well-being of all the inhabitants of our beautiful homeland. In your responsible office and undertakings for the good of all the people of our country, you will be accompanied by the prayer of the Church, which regularly includes heads of state, so that “by the grace of God the well-being of the nation, secure peace and freedom of religion can be achieved.” Ths is how the Church prays during the general prayers of the Good Friday liturgy.
“With greetings and good wishes that you, in the service of the common good, never tire of promoting truth, justice, dialogue, peace and tolerance, as the fundamental values of every healthy and advanced society.”