JUNE 6 2011 15:43h
Among seven hundred notabilities in Croatian National Theatre who had the honour to meet with Pope Benedict XI., ex Croatian president Stipe Mesic was absent. Why?
The opinion of Croatian Episcopal Conference is that Mesic had not deserved to be present in the meeting. Their conclusions go even further to accept, for example, pop singer Marko Perkovic Thompson as more creditable character for Croatia and Croatian society.
There is a posibility they find Thompson's performance with huge cross on his chest more important than accusations against him, when he took half million euros from Ivo Sanader (actually Sanader's agents) just not to sing in other political campaigns.
And what about ex-president Mesic whose mandate lasted for ten years, and who as Croatian president has invited pope Benedict XVI. for visit to Croatia?
Obviously Mesic hasn't built any churches as Thompson had built one in his hometown Cavoglave. Mesic hasn't concluded any formal contracts which would strengthen the position of Church in Croatia as opposed to Jure Radic who worked actively on the Vatican Treaty. He didn't attend Sunday Mass, he hasn't lived religious life, he didn't put a cross in his presidential office, he hasn't flattered Church Authorities...
Quite the opposite, Mesic frequently argued with the clergy. So in September 2008. he turned to Vatican to inform against Military Ordinary and Bishop Juraj Jezerinac and their interference in politics. As proof to Vatican's officials, Mesic attached Jezerinac's public appeal from the end of 2007. In that speech about election campaign Jezerinac considered states and visions of certain politcal parties as satanic. He obviously refered to left-wing politicians led by SDP. At that time, SDP rised up against religious teaching in schools and pawned for decriminalisation of soft drugs. In August 2009 Mesić demanded for crosses removal from military barracks and other state institutions.
Just a few days later, as beeing unsatisfied with reactions of Church Authorties, he provoked a bit further by proposing for church taxes. Therefore Church could only exist over taxes of Catholics, not Orthodoxes, Muslims, agnostics, atheists....As they all pay taxes for a State Budget.
Mesic didn't spare those who weren't like-minded. He reported Bishop Slobodan Štambuk to Apostolic Nuncio for violating constitutional values. The reason for that kind of accusation was Bishop Štambuk's speech during presidential campaign - for Bishop it seemed normal that Croatia, mainly populated by catholic population, should have a president who is catholic not only by his birth cetrtificate but his religious way of life as well. Mesić found those states as direct action against agnostic Ivo Josipović. He warned Apostolic Nuncio that Bishop was discriminating Croatian population based on their religion beliefs. Mesić also stood up against don Anđelko Kaćunko who was, after numeros verbal conflits, transferred to Gospić. Ivan Miklenić, cheif editor of catholic journal Glas Koncila was not spared either, as once he wrote in his introductory that nation finally deserves a sane and mentally stable president...
From the beginning of Mesic's mandate, it was obvious that he would stay as an opponent of the Church. But, is it possible that he would be present in the meeting with the Pope in Croatian National Theatre if he was still a president? Of course he would! Those who didn't bother to invite him, would probably make a pause and put his name on the top of the list. Church said they didn't mind Mesić, simply they didn't call ex-state officials. Really! Does that mean the posibility of not sending an invitation to the banquet with the Pope to ex-president Franjo Tuđman if he was still alive? You bet! President Tuđman would probably sit next to pop singer Thompson in the Theatre. If that's so, why Mesić wasn't invited? The answer is very simple.
They used a chance to pay back for all those provocations that bothered them. On the other hand, the idea of that kind of revenge is quite the opposite from main religious beliefs that call for the essence of forgiveness.
When those bishops wanted to disregard ex-president Mesic, it would be right to recall that Mesić was elected for the president twice, not only by infidels but Catholic Croatian population as well. They should have asked themselves if this kind of act was a symbolic slap to their nation, including their religious followers who are supposed to be guided in the manner of tolerance and forgiveness. But this sweet revenge they prepared for an ex-president made them to slip their minds the greatest Catholic role model Jesus Christ who found the strainght to forgive his executors while crucifixion.
Because of this kind of treatement towards the ex-president Mesic, some individuals from main Church Authorities suggested they are prepared to hand out the forgiveness in the name of Christ, to absolve murderers, criminals, rapists and other outlaws. But in the end they don't offer forgiveness to man whose biggest crime was not to pay respect and praise them while being a president.