Nacional magazine reports about the “the biggest embezzlement” in the modern history of Croatia.
Monsieur Mijo Gabrić sent a letter to Archbishop of Zagreb Josip Bozanić in the middle of last year in which he pleaded guilty to the most significant scandal of embezzlement of money in the Catholic Church in Croatia, according to the Nacional weekly, reports Index.hr on January 16, 2018.
He acknowledged that, in the period from February 2002 to March 2017, he contributed to the reduction of the property owned by the Council of Prebendaries by nearly 50 million euro. The Council of Prebendaries was founded in 1291 for the purpose of reconstruction and preservation of the Zagreb cathedral.
According to Nacional, the total amount of claims which the banks have towards the Council amounts to 384.331.008,40 kuna, and the money has been lost or embezzled through various construction projects in Zagreb. Gabrić has obviously chosen wrong associates and investments.
It seems that Gabrić, without the knowledge of the members of the Council, has approved mortgages worth millions using the property of prebendaries, paid private projects with their money, hid financial reports, financed private projects, and signed contracts for personal gain.
The whole case came to the public knowledge after a lawsuit against the Council which has been sued by lawyers demanding compensation for legal representation that had not been paid. The Council has been sued by lawyers Dario Budimir and Marina Meter. During four years, Budimir was paid a little over 1.125 million kuna, but the debt allegedly amounts to almost seven million kuna.
They also filed charges against Gabrić before the body of the Apostolic Chancellery, on the basis of which the entire proceedings were initiated. Shortly afterward, the Congregation for Clergy proposed the removal from duties of all members of the Council, and Cardinal Bozanić subsequently decided to institute administrative criminal proceedings. Assistant bishop Mijo Gorski last week removed all the members of the Council, based on the recommendation of the Congregation for Clergy from the Vatican.
Gabrić has been forbidden, for a period of five years, to speak publicly about all the issues connected with the property of the Council of Prebendaries and, for seven years, he is forbidden to carry out church services which include the task of managing the church assets. Also, he has been subjected to a range of religious penalties as well.
Translated from Index.hr.