The President of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), H.Em. Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ, met with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, Andrej Plenković, in Split (Croatia) on Thursday 9 March 2023.
Prime Minister Plenković congratulated Cardinal Hollerich on his appointment to Pope Francis’ nine-member Council of Cardinals advisers, as well as on his re-election as head of the International Association of Altar Servers (CIM).
In an open and cordial conversation, Cardinal Hollerich and Prime Minister Plenković continued the high-quality dialogue started during Croatia’s Presidency of the EU Council in the first half of 2020. Together, they exchanged on several crucial topics for the future of Europe: commitment to promote and protect the fundamental right to Freedom of Religion, support for persecuted Christian communities across the world, the importance of intercultural and interreligious dialogue, demography, ecology, migration and asylum.
Prime Minister Plenković informed Cardinal Hollerich of the measures taken by the Croatian Government to address the ongoing crisis, supporting the most vulnerable citizens, and preventing social fracture. The President of COMECE emphasized that all should strive for decisions that lead to more social justice and respect for the dignity of the human person.
The Cardinal particularly highlighted the importance of Catholic social teachings, drawing attention to the concepts of the common good, subsidiarity, and care for the needy.
The meeting also featured the participation of: Archbishop Želimir Puljić (Apostolic Administrator of Split-Makarska), Archbishop Emeritus Marin Barišić (Archdiocese of Split-Makarska), Mgr. Josip Ivešić (Vicar-General of the Diocese of Srijem and member of the CIM-Presidency), Jan Zupan (Cardinal’s personal secretary), Oleg Butković (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure) and Zvonimir Frka-Petešić (Head of the Prime Minister’s Office).