CWN - A joint Orthodox-Catholic commission studying the life of Blessed Aloysius Stepinac (1898-1960) held its sixth and final meeting at Domus Sanctae Marthae on July 12 and 13.

The joint commission was established in 2016 to study questions about the conduct of Cardinal Stepinac during and immediately after World War II, as well as 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. He was beatified as a martyr by Pope St. John Paul II in 1998.

Father Bernard Ardura, the president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, presided over the commission, which was composed mostly of Catholic and Orthodox bishops.

In a joint statement issued July 13, the members of the commission expressed gratitude for “the magnanimity of Pope Francis,” the “cordial climate,” and the full “liberty of speech” that characterized their discussions.

Recognizing that any decision to canonize Blessed Stepinac rests exclusively with the Pope, the commission members acknowledged continued disagreements:

Various events, interventions, writings, silences and positions are still subject to various interpretations. In the case of Cardinal Stepinac, the predominant interpretations given respectively by Croatian Catholics and Serbian Orthodox still remain divergent.

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Teachings of Christ

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Humility is the only thing we need; one can still fall having virtues other than humility -- but with humility one does not fall.

Elder Herman of Mt. Athos