Federalisation – a Civic Solution for the Croats of Bosnia-Herzegovina

by CBR Editor Brian Gallagher

First published in Hrvatski Vjesnik (Australia) 10 February 2021

Among the problems Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) faces, the issue of the Croat electoral issue is perhaps the most serious.  The Croatian state has been voicing its concerns at both Presidential and Prime Ministerial levels over it. The problem needs closer examination, in particular by the European Union, but also at potential solutions. One such solution is federalisation – a concept that could be a success for all, and which has been called for in European Parliament resolutions on BiH. Continue reading

Posted in Croatia and the EU, Croatia's Foreign Relations, Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croats Overseas/Disaspora | 1 Comment

Most – the Magazine of the Croatian Chaplaincy in London

Cover to issue 14 of Most

The 14th issue of Christmas magazine MostThe Bridge – the yearly magazine of the Croatian Chaplaincy in London, has just been published (Christmas 2020)

The magazine was established in 2008 to contribute to the growth of the Croatian Catholic community in the United Kingdom and to connect Croatian and British culture. The articles range from ecclesial, pastoral, cultural and historical topics to contemporary events of the Croatian community gathered around the Croatian Chaplaincy. Items are published in both the Croatian and English language.

Over twenty authors contributed to this year’s 136-page publication. Most starts with the review of last year’s golden jubilee of the Croatian Chaplaincy in London. Along with the jubilee report and the welcoming introduction of the Croatian Chaplain in London Fr Ljubomir Šimunović, we can find a homily of the President of the Croatian Bishop Conference, Archbishop of Zadar Želimir Puljić, and greetings from the Provincial of Franciscan province of the Holy Redeemer from Split, Dr Fr Marko Mrše, and the national director for Pastoral Care for Croats Abroad Dr Rev Tomislav Markić.

Christopher Howse, associate editor of The Daily Telegraph and columnist for The Tablet, writes about saints who were helping Catholics during outbreaks of deadly diseases. He points out that, “St John Henry Newman and St John Southworth became saints because they exercised God’s charity in sickness or in health.”

“The Church in the Time of Corona” is the title of Rev Ivica Žižić’s text, which says that the “worship service is absolutely indispensable to the Church: it is the purest form of existence of both faith and the Church”.

Anđelko Mihanović writes about Christmas in the works of Croatian artists, emphasising that “Croatian artists and the faithful have a rich tradition of creating nativity scenes with different techniques”.

There is a talk with Dominican Srećko Koralija titled “Discipline and Hardship as an Existential Contemplation.”

In memory of Krsto Cviić (Chris Cviić), on the 10th anniversary of his death, Vladimir Pavlinić points out that Cviić “followed the truth of the faith and was broadcasting the truth about Croatia to the World”.

Renowned Croatian commentator Božo Skoko emphasised in his talk with Vladimir Goss that “all of us are changing and there is no doubt that Croatia will look entirely different after Corona. I sincerely hope that it emerges better and more organised, with more value placed on humanity and social unity, more reliance on our own land, more innovation and better functionality”.

Jakov Mlinarević provides information on Croatia’s cultural and historical heritage, pointing out that, “Croats are a very old nation of rich history and cultural heritage, but that history has, in its largest part, been turbulent and unfavourable.”

Most authors

Brian Gallagher presents to English-speaking readers the first archbishop of Vrhbosna, Josip Stadler, pointing out that he is a person, “who should be more widely known about by anyone with an interest in Bosnia-Herzegovina.”

Linda Rabuzin presents the Croatian Language School, with details of the school’s activities, including immersion trips to Croatia.

Flora Turner-Vučetić writes about an acquisition of a book from 1512 containing a speech that Archbishop of Split Bernard Zane gave at the beginning of the Fifth Council of the Lateran. On behalf of the Split Archdiocese she successfully bid at an auction in London and Fr Ljubomir Šimunović, the Croatian chaplain in the United Kingdom, presented this valuable book to the Split-Makarska Archbishop Marin Barišić. The book is now exhibited in the Split Cathedral Museum.

Jadranka Beresford-Peirse reports on the activities of the International Trust for Croatian Monuments of which she is one of the founding members. As the Trust prepares to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its existence she emphasises how the longevity of the Trust would not have been possible without the generosity of its benefactors, one of whom is HRH Prince of Wales.

Croatian Tourist Board London director Ivona Grgan points out that. “the focus of the Croatian Tourist Board and its London office was to maintain high profile presence of Croatia’s tourist potentials in these challenging and uncertain times.”

The Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to the United Kingdom, Igor Pokaz, looks back on the previous year pointing out that, “Croatia has approached the process of negotiations on the UK’s orderly exit from the EU constructively and with great emphasis on guaranteeing the rights of both Croatian citizens in the UK and British citizens in the Republic of Croatia.”

Peter Elborn reports on activities of the British-Croatian Society, which has helped with the restoration of an 18th-century clock from the Museum for Art and Craft in Zagreb that was badly damaged during the March 2020 earthquake.

Ivana Fletcher testifies about family spirituality during the first national lockdown, emphasising that, “family unity and love are stronger than fear”.

Croatian national football team member and Chelsea first-team member Mateo Kovačić explains why coming to Holy Mass in the Croatian language is a great joy for him. He reveals that he always prays before a match to stay alive and healthy and for a match to go down well and that he carries with him a statue of Our Lady and holy water.

There is an extract from an article in the Croatian newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija by the academic Gojko Bežovan profiling Most. Bežovan says Most contains, “comprehensive and eventful articles, in Croatian and English.”

Most also reviews 2020’s important events in the life of the Croatian Chaplaincy in London and its community.

The founder and chief editor of Most is Fr Ljubomir Šimunović, OFM,  Chaplain of the Croatian Chaplaincy in London. Croatian Chaplaincy in London has an active Facebook page here, but it can also be followed via its web page here.

The Croatian version of this article can be found here.







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Croatian Earthquake – Churches Damaged in the Sisak Diocese

Sisak Diocese: 
We have been sent photos of the damaged churches in the Sisak Diocese, showing the great extent of the damage. As can be seen from all these pictures, it will take time to restore the churches. If you wish to help the diocese directly, please donate via the below details (click to enlarge). Scroll down to see more (photos – Sisak Diocse).

Note: Žuro-račun = IBAN

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Croatian Earthquake – How to Donate

The earthquake in Croatia on 29 December resulted in extensive damage, in particular to the town of Petrinje. Help is needed, and many people are wanting to donate in order to help.

There are a number of ways to do so:

Donations to the state budget fund for relief can be made through these details (click to enlarge):

The Association of Croatian American Professionals Foundation, together with Crodiaspora and the Canadian Croatian Chamber of Commerce has set up a gofundme account, which is supported by many diaspora groups around the world. See here

The Croatian branch of  Caritas can be donated to here (in Croatian)

The Croatian Red Cross can be donated to here.

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Captain Vampire – the Croatian Connection


CBR Editor Brian Gallagher has had a book published – The Return of Captain Vampire. It’s a collection of his stories published in the yearly Black Coat Press anthology series Tales of the Shadowmen. The book series features Russian vampire Boris Liatoukine’s – known and feared as ‘Captain Vampire’ – exploits in stories that take us from 1830 to 2024, covering various moments in European history. 

Continue reading

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Why Croatia commemorates Vukovar

Today is the anniversary of the fall of Vukovar in 1991. Here is the 2015 talk CBR Editor Brian Gallagher gave at the Croatian Church in London.

Croatia Business Report

CBR Editor Brian Gallagher was priviliged to be asked again to give a speech in regards to Vukovar on Croatia’s Remembrance Day service at the Croatian Chaplaincy in London.

Croatian Chaplaincy London, 22nd November 2015

Why Croatia commemorates Vukovar

Brian Gallagher

The 18th of November is a day of commemoration in Croatia. It is the anniversary of the fall of Vukovar in 1991. Days around this date and indeed for the next few months will see commemorations for various crimes and atrocities perpetrated by invading Serbian and Yugoslav armed forces. Such commemorations are similar to Remembrance Sunday in the UK, but there is a greater focus on people killed in atrocities.

A limited look at some events in 1991 should be enough to show why Croatia commemorates Vukovar and thus why we are here today.

The city of Vukovar was bombarded by the Yugoslav Army for three months, reducing…

View original post 746 more words

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Dayton Peace Accords Webinar – 21 November

The National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation is having a Webinar on 21 November to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Dayton Peace Accords, the agreement made possible by Croatia’s Operation Storm. This will be an unmissable event for anyone with an interest in recent history and the current situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina. An impressive list of speakers includes:

Peter Galbraith, former US Ambassador to Croatia will speak about the Dayton Peace Accord and Erdut Agreement.

Mate Granić, Croatia’s Foreign Minister in 1995 will represent the Republic of Croatia and speak about Croatia’s DPA role. Continue reading

Posted in Croatia's Foreign Relations, Croatian politics and elections, Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croats Overseas/Disaspora, Events, History, Homeland War, Webinar | Leave a comment

Important Fundraiser for the Croatian Catholic Mission in London

The Croatian Catholic Mission in London is need of funds for urgent restoration work. This is quite important, as the Croatian presence in London is not very large, unlike larger diaspora communities in the US, Canada, Australia, Germany etc. The Mission is the centre of the Croatian community in London, and has proved essential during the Covid-19 crisis under the leadership of Fr. Ljubomir Šimunović.

Nicholas Frankopan is intending to raise no less than £10,000 for the work. Continue reading

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Crodiaspora Online Summit

The non-profit organisation Crodiaspora is to hold an online summit, with a strong emphasis on business.

As Croatia Week reports:

“On the 30th of October, Crodiaspora will be releasing the videos for its online summit, which will feature a wide array of representatives from the corporate, political, sports, tourism, and legal spheres of Croatia and its diaspora communities represented across the world.

Continue reading

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United States to move forward with the Visa Waiver Program

A message from Steve Rukavina of the National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation:

United States to move forward with the Visa Waiver Program
Dear Friends and Croatian American Supporters:
On Friday, October 2nd, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced in Dubrovnik that the Department of State has formally nominated Croatia for entry into the Visa Waiver Program. This is an important step in continuing to increase security, economic, cultural, and people-to-people connections between the two nations.

Now that Croatia has been nominated, the Department of Homeland Security will take the necessary steps, as soon as possible, to assess Croatia’s entry into the program. If Croatia is designated as a Visa Waiver Program country, its nationals would be authorized for visa-free travel to the United States for business and tourism. This development within the bilateral relationship between the United States and Croatia and when approved, will only serve as another cornerstone accomplishment for U.S. and Croatian relations.

The Republic of Croatia had to achieve a less than 3% rejection for visa requests by September 30, 2020.  Also, there is an additional U.S. government administrative process for Croatia to submit many documents and required protocols to be approved by the Department of Homeland Security. Upon completion of these requirements, the Secretary of Homeland Security will announce the date for which the new visa-travel program may commence. 

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held meetings in Dubrovnik with
Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held meetings in Dubrovnik on Friday, October 2nd with Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman and was joined by the U.S. Ambassador to Croatia Bob Kohorst. The Croatian and American officials and diplomats discussed NATO-related topics, the F-16 fighter jet opportunity for Croatia’s air force, Croatia’s LNG terminal and also, several sensitive issues involved with Chinese influences and commercial activities in Southeast Europe.

The NFCACF wants to congratulate the Croatian government for this milestone achievement, hopefully soon to be approved.  We must applaud and salute all the work done by Minister Davor Bozinovic of the Interior Ministry and his colleagues partnering with the U.S. Department of  Homeland Security within the realm of terrorism, cybercrime, travel restriction protocols and other joint bilateral security issues.


Minister Davor Bozinovic of the Interior Ministry

The NFCACF has long been supportive of Croatia’s pursuit of this bilateral security agreement with the U.S. government.  Our Croatian American organization has helped maintain attention and focus in the nation’s capital with several U.S. agencies and the State Department, over the past ten years, to fully appreciate and acknowledge  Croatia’s progress in meeting the program’s administrative requirements. Sincerely,

Steve Rukavina

National Federation of Croatian Americans 
Cultural Foundation 
email: sjrukavina@gmail.com

P.S.  The NFCACF is pleased to announce that we will host a virtual panel discussion on  Saturday, November 21st on the 25th Anniversary of the initialing of the Dayton Peace Accord, to discuss this agreement and all the constitutional issues on-going in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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