ZAGREB, June 23, 2019 – The non-governmental organisation Vigilare, led by Catholic activist Vice Batarelo, has lost a legal case against former president Ivo Josipović who it claimed discriminated against Catholic believers.
The Supreme Court ruled in April that by saying that “Croatia is a secular state, not a Catholic jamahiriya” Josipović did not disturb or discriminate against the Catholic faithful. It said that his statement may have hurt Roman Catholics but did not put them in a less favourable position in relation to other groups.
The dispute arose after Josipović posted an interview by Ivica Maštruko, a member of the HRT public broadcaster’s programming council, on his Facebook page ahead of the Catholic holiday of the Assumption, in which he said that in its programmes the HRT was currying favour with the Church. In an ensuing debate, Josipovic responded to one of the Facebook users that “Croatia is a secular state, not a Catholic jamahiriya,” which prompted Batarelo to bring a lawsuit against him to protect the dignity, sentiments and interests of the Catholics in Croatia.
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