Vinko card. Puljić, Archbishop of Vrhbosna

Attitude of Katolički tjednik is the attitude of this local church

To talk about Katolički tjednik, apart of its editors, surely there is nobody more invited than Vinko cardinal Puljić, who has been spiritus movens of revival of this newspaper that was violently stopped by the communists after Easter 1945.

Interviewer: Josip Vajdner

Although cardinal Puljić gave 15 interviews to our newspaper, this time it is for the occasion of 15 uninterrupted years of publishing of Katolički tjednik where the Archbishop is one of the often associates and a tireless promoter.


Your eminence, remembering of what it all looked like, how did the idea of Katolički tjednik became, what can you tell us?

Basically, after the horror of war, we saw that many of our people went to the great wide world and they no longer know what is happening in their homeland, and at the same time, the ones that stayed were poorly connected. Then I started seriously thinking how to find one media that would connect all those people or in a way, not just inform, but help them heal the war wounds with the word of God. To evangelise them. Firstly it was difficult to find a man that would start all that, and then - I didn’t have to invent the hot water because by the end of II. Katolički tjednik existed – to put the effort in the renewal of this media. In the beginning I named a professor, hoping that it will start, because he was capable, however, I noticed that it was a step too big for him. He didn’t dare to let himself go in this adventure. This is why I was eagerly waiting for a man who will be able to get into it. That was dr. Ivo Balukčić who returned to his homeland after the war finished. That time was material challenging as well. He maybe did not necessarily follow everything that was going on in that field, but he found important the content and the look of the papers. He was more focused on that. And so, slowly started Katolički tjednik.

Katolički tjednik that you started, came to the light of the day on November 24th 2002. What was the intention with this weekly newspaper?

Well, as I mentioned: in first place we wanted to come in to our families, with the written word and in a way help people to find light through reading with which they will heal their war wounds, and also to connect and meet many happenings in the Church, because in public there were almost none catholic information. That is why we wanted for Katolički tjednik to be informative and formative. That was the first intention actually, and unfortunately we didn’t succeed what we wanted even with all the enthusiasm. But, thank God, it moved and pushed forward bravely and I hope that what we started will grow slowly as a tree that will give fruits.

Although it might be hard to give a general grade, but how do you look upon the content of Katolički tjednik through these past 15 years?

First, there were some rubrics that were permanent. Let's say, some theological themes. And that may have given stability to the newspaper. And then some writers, better said contributions, encouraged people to read. I especially noticed that those short life stories were something the people are happy to read. Also, there were funny stories of life that they did like as well. It was nice to notice it on with the people when they told me. Interestingly, one old woman said: "First, I open to see what the children say" ... I was surprised; she enjoys that little child's mind, in them seeing her grandchildren. I noticed also that other texts were read. So I actually realized that this variety of texts, gives readers always a chance to find something for themselves.

What would you say then that Katolički tjednik means for this local Church?

Basically, just as we, recently in the walk of our Synod, were thinking about identity, what is our identity – Katolički tjednik helps to build and recognize its own identity. It is in the first place Catholic, and then Croatian too, because it is our identity in this area. Even so, no one can feel called out, excluded, disobedient, except those who do not do what is right.

The subtitle of Katolički tjednik is “The voice in the service of the new evangelisation”. How do you evaluate this being accomplished in practice? 

Well, I think that's a very good title. For it actually carries a message of God. A message that creates the life of the believer. Clearly, in different segments, either formative or informative. And in special way every Sunday, the Lord's Day, is actually a present message of that Sunday. And when some may accidentally fail to come to the mass but want to feed, then they will reach for the interpretation of the word of God. And so it is a very strong media that helps new evangelization.

Katolički tjednik started a portal this year under the name Nedjelja – by recalling the beginnings of this newspaper that actually was firstly published under name Nedjelja in 1922. Do you have the opportunity to follow Nedjelja?

 Personalyvery often when I go online, I gladly take a look at what Nedjelja brings. It is nice that it has a broad spectra of lessons and offers: from information all the way to lessons that are certain and supernatural content. And that is exactly what I say,  a man needs to know how to read every day three books: the book of nature, the book of conscience and the book of the Lord’s word. I think that portal Nedjelja caries all three dimensions in different shapes.

Considering we are in the digital world, when many people just prefer to go online, what do you think if Tjednik has its perspective in the future, and why is it worth or not worth issuing?

Well, I'm confident that it has its future and that it should be persistent because the written word will surpass the electronics. Electronics is in this moment and in some way flash message, and Tjednik is a written word that permanently keeps the memory. So in the end I invite: let’s unite so that the Word of God becomes alive in us and among us.