There are important differences between messages sent by the Pope and those sent by Croatian bishops.
Comparing the Easter messages of Pope Francis and those of Croatian bishops and archbishops sent to believers and people in general, Ivica Maštruko, the first Croatian Ambassador to the Holy See and a sociologist of religion, thinks that the messages expressed by Croatia’s church leadership demonstrate certain closed attitudes, and that their messages mainly reflect and correspond to the current internal political situation in Croatia, reports tportal.hr on March 26, 2016.
“Easter messages of Croatian bishops and archbishops are not so open, cosmopolitan and liberal, unlike the Pope’s messages which include all people, regardless of their religious or other beliefs. The Croatian clergy, especially their most senior members, are closed, and their messages to believers are based solely on our local circumstances. They are not following the Pope’s universal, cosmopolitan and humanistic message which he sends to all people in the world”, says Maštruko.
Maštruko is not surprised by that fact and does not consider it as anything new, because Croatian bishops and archbishops did not listen to the words and followed messages of Pope John Paul II, so there is no reason why we should expect them to follow messages of the current Pope.
As an expert on the situation in the Vatican, Maštruko thinks that the very top of the Roman Curia and the College of Cardinals also does not fully support the Pope. He says that it is becoming increasingly evident that within the College of Cardinals there are disagreements with the statements and behaviour of the Holy Father.
“We should emphasize that the Pope in his messages does not deviate from the fundamental dogmatic positions of the Catholic Church, but his behaviour provokes resistance in parts of the church leadership, even though he is very popular among the faithful and even among atheists, precisely due to his messages and moves.