Stepinac, Aloysius Victor

Stepinac, Aloysius Victor, Croatian, Alojzije Viktor Stepinac stĕpˈĭnäts [key], 1898–1960, Yugoslav prelate, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, b. Croatia-Salvonia, Austria-Hungary. In 1937 he was made archbishop of Zagreb. After the German invasion of Yugoslavia in World War II, Stepinac, an ardent Croatian nationalist and extremely conservative, strongly anticommunist Catholic, became a member of the council of state of the puppet state of Croatia, set up by the terrorist Ustachi organization. Convicted (1946) of collaboration, he was released in 1951 but was ordered to remain in Krasic, the city of his birth. The controversy over the Yugoslav treatment of Stepinac served to widen the rift between the Tito government and the Vatican. Stepinac was elevated to cardinal in 1953. In 1998 Pope John Paul II controversially declared Stepinac a martyr and beatified him. His conviction was overturned in 2016 on the grounds that he did not receive a fair trial.

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