Pope Francis has no doubts about Croatian Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac and has nothing against the Croatian people, and he has proposed a commission of experts of the Roman Catholic and the Serbian Orthodox Church with the intention to nurture a culture of dialogue, encounters and opening, the apostolic nuncio to Croatia, Archbishop Alessandro D'Errico, has said in an interview with the laudato.hr portal.
The pope could sign a decree on Stepinac's sainthood immediately because "he has no doubts about Stepinac's figure," but he chose to avert "tensions" between the two Churches and proposed an expert commission which can help to "disperse the shadows" which existed between the two Churches and which can help "on the path of reconciliation of the two peoples," D'Errico said in the interview published on Friday.
"Tell this to everyone and tire not of repeating it: I have nothing against the figure of Cardinal Stepinac and I have nothing against the Croatian People," D'Errico quoted the pontiff as saying.
The pope has stressed that he wants an "open Church, a Church which talks, an ecumenical Church," and this refers to the decision "we will make on the canonisation of the Blessed Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac," D'Errico said.
The intention of the mixed commission is to "change mentalities," including that of the Church. "We feel the need to build a culture of dialogue and encounters, and not to stay closed within our parametres," D'Errico said quoting the pope.
He said the mixed commission's goal was to "consider the circumstances in which the Blessed Alojzije Stepinac historically found himself" and how he dealt with them.
The commission should have three members from each of the two Churches and it might work under the auspices of the Holy See. The first meeting should take place in Rome.