OPINION

February 10, 1960

ALOYSIUS STEPINAC: Belgrade, 10 – Croatian Catholic Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac, whose trial in 1946 attracted international attention, has died of bronchial pneumonia at his home in the small parish of Krasic, where he had been under house arrest since his release from prison. His personal physician was at his side during his last minutes. A statement from the Vatican expressed deep sorrow at his passing. He was the only member of the College of Cardinals who had not been presented with the red mantle of his office. Accused after World War II of having collaborated with the occupying Nazi forces, he was sentenced in 1946 to 16 years’ imprisonment. In 1951 he was given a conditional release and placed under police guard in his home town. He was one of the chief causes of friction between Yugoslavia and the Holy See. When Pope Pius XII made him cardinal in 1952, Yugoslavia’s President Josip Broz Tito called it a hostile act toward his government. According to the Reuters correspondent, the cardinal’s death creates a problem for relations between Belgrade and the Catholic Church. It is feared his funeral will revive nationalist sentiment in Croatia, where there are 3 million Catholics.