Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac has had a significant impact on various aspects of today’s life, including political, ideological, religious, diplomatic and judicial. Despite the reluctance of the Vatican and Pope Francis to finalize his canonization and annulment of the verdict from 1946, Gordan Akrap’s book “Cardinal Stepinac in Gestapo and OZN documents” offers a deeper understanding of his work and activities.
Using authentic documents, Akrap reconstructs Stepinac’s interactions with the Nazi and Communist secret services. The book also provides never-before-seen photos from Stepinac’s funeral in Kaptol, which were closely monitored by the UDBA. The UDBA took control of all communications related to Stepinac’s death and funeral preparations, including letters sent by high-ranking church officials in Yugoslavia. They also prevented any hostile telegrams from reaching their intended recipients.
Despite the UDBA’s attempts to bury Stepinac in Kraši against the wishes of the Catholic Church, Archbishop Šeper successfully resolved the issue through skillful maneuvering. After being buried in the Zagreb cathedral, 20,000 believers paraded through the church without any incidents or provocations. The UDBA warned against any actions for Stepinac’s beatification and demanded that any special arrangements for his space in the cathedral be prohibited.
Overall, Akrap’s book sheds light on the deep influence that Cardinal Stepinac had on various aspects of society during his time. It also provides a unique perspective on his life, work, and death in a politically charged climate.