Zagreb: Solemn service on the occasion of the centenary of the Croatian Old Catholic Church

The Croatian Old Catholic Church celebrated its centenary with a solemn mass on Sunday 17 September in the parish church of St Anthony of Padua in Zagreb (Stenjevec). Father Darko Mejaški celebrated the eucharist, in the presence of the president of the Union of Utrecht, Archbishop Bernd Wallet, and Bishop Heinz Lederleitner (Bishop in charge on behalf of the International Old Catholic Bishops’ Conference) and the bishop emeritus John Okoro. The Mass was broadcast directly by Croatian Television.

The Mass was attended by the following guests of honour: Giorgio Lingua, Apostolic Nuncio in Croatia, representatives of the Archdiocese of Zagreb, the Evangelical Church in Croatia, the Islamic Faith Community in Croatia, as well as envoys from the President of the Republic, the Speaker of Parliament and the Croatian government. The guiding principle of the readings from the Holy Scriptures, as well as the sermon of Pastor Mejaški, was the call for forgiveness, as well as for tolerance and ecumenical fellowship of all Christians and people of good will.

At the end of the service, the President of the Synodal Council of the Croatian Old Catholic Church, Prof. Dr. Damir Boras, welcomed all the guests of honour and those present. In his speech he praised the excellent cooperation with the Croatian authorities and emphasised that after the difficult years of the World War and the post-war years, the Croatian Old Catholic Church is making progress again in the ecumenical and interreligious sense. Archbishop Wallet and Bishop Lederleitner also gave welcoming speeches. After the mass, the many faithful had a social gathering in the parish courtyard, with food and drinks.

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