Promoting referendums does not belong in church, bishops say

NEWS 09.05.2018 12:06
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Source: Ilustracija

The Croatian Bishops' Conference (HBK) said on Wednesday that although the Catholic Church cared about making improvements to political decision-making in Croatia, and that its believers should stand for and promote Christian values in a pluralist society, activities related to recently proposed referendums were inappropriate in places of worship.

HBK said it was informed about parishes receiving letters from conservative activists petitioning for two separate referendums – one to rescind the Parliament’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention on violence against women, and the other to change election law regulations.

HBK said that in the letters, these groups had asked parishes to spread the word about these petitions among its parishioners, and to allow collection of signatures on church premises.

However, members of HBK said on Wednesday that such activities would not be appropriate in places of worship, and that churches should not work to provide information about these political initiatives, as as not to burden the regular Sunday services.

Wednesday’s statement may mark a break from the Church’s practice, after it had emphatically backed a successful 2013 initiative and referendum to set a constitutional obstacle to same-sex marriages.

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