CWN - A joint Catholic-Orthodox commission met this week to begin its exploration of the life of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, whose cause for canonization is a controversial topic in Croatia and Serbia.

The joint commission was established to study questions about the conduct of Cardinal Stepinac during and immediately after World War II, and his ties with Croatian nationalist groups that had fascist connections. An avowed enemy of Communism, the cardinal was convicted of treason in a show trial and sentenced to a 16-year prison term. Released to house arrest after five years, he died in 1960. He was canonized as a martyr by Pope John Paul II in 1998.

The commission studying Cardinal Stepinac's historical role is chaired by Father Bernard Ardura, the president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, and composed mostly of Catholic and Orthodox bishops. The group is expected to conclude its work within a year.

In announcing the first meeting of the joint commission, the Vatican press office noted that it "will not interfere with the process of canonization of Blessed Cardinal Alojzije Stepanic, which is strictly within the competence of the Holy See."

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Teachings of Christ

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself." (Proverbs 6:32 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Why do you beat the air and run in vain? Every occupation has a purpose, obviously. Tell me then, what is the purpose of all the activity of the world? Answer, I challenge you! It is vanity of vanity: all is vanity. 

St. John Chrysostom