independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

War hero is 'closer to sainthood'

Pope Francis kisses a child as he arrives to lead the General Audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican

A WORLD War II-era Croatian cardinal considered a hero by many Catholics but a traitor by some Jews and Serbs has moved a step closer to possible sainthood.

The head of the Vatican's saint-making office, Cardinal Angelo Amato, said experts had approved a miracle attributed to Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac's intervention.

Stepinac has been praised by popes and ordinary Catholics for his resistance to communism and refusal to separate the Croatian church from the Vatican during the war. But many Serbs and Jews accuse him of sympathising with the Ustasha Nazi puppet regime that ruled Croatia at the time.

According to Tuesday's Vatican newspaper, Amato said he told Pope Francis about the miracle and that he "was pleased by this important step."

Francis must approve any canonisation.

Irish Independent

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