Celebration of the Day of the Catholic University of Croatia

At the beginning of the celebration, the Grand Chancellor of HKS, Zagreb Archbishop Cardinal Josip Bozanić, presented the Rector’s Chain, the work of the sculptor Mile Blažević, to the Rector of HKS Željko Tanjić. The ceremony which included the lecture entitled “Can Educated Europeans of Today Believe in the Divinity of the Son of God, Jesus Christ?” held by the Primate of Hungary Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Cardinal Peter Erdo, marked the today’s Day of the Catholic University of Croatia (HKS).  

The celebration of the Day of the Catholic University of Croatia was also attended by the Croatian President Ivo Josipović, the Apostolic nuncio in the Republic of Croatia, Msgr. Alessandro D’Errico, Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić, Assistant Minister of Science, Education and Sports Ružica Beljo Lučić, Rector of the Catholic University Pazmany Peter in Budapest Szabolcs Anselm Szuromi, President of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (Croatian acronym: HAZU) Zvonko Kusić and on behalf of the Rectors’ Conference, Rector of the University of Zadar Ante Uglešić.  

In his opening speech, Cardinal Bozanić affirmed that when it comes to culture the essential thing is to be aware of the fact that boh the past, and the hope in the future, live in the present. “It is important to recognize the entitlement,” asserted Bozanić, adding that the biggest problem of the entitlement of men is one of the anthropological nature.  He maintained that the consequences of having vague anthropological starting points can also be noted in Croatia. He highlighted that the task of the university is to read deep into the profound and large phenomena within the society and stressed the commitment to the Christian renewal of the foundations of culture.  

President Ivo Josipović reminded everyone of the great and irreplaceable role of the Catholic Church in the preservation of the Croatian identity and stressed the fact that the Croatian universities have grown within the embrace of the Church. He described as valuable the cultivation of dialogue which HKS promotes and recalled the tradition of dialogue of the publishing house Kršćanska sadašnjost (Christian Present), as well as the dialogues between Mijo Škvorc and Branimir Bošnjak.  

President Josipović sent the message that Europe will not be the graveyard of Croatianhood and that it should not be feared as such. Europe has always been our home, in the past, in the present, and this will be even more so in the future, he added.  
President Josipović believes that it would be a good thing if HKS operated differently from other universities. “I would very much like to see a Faculty of Law that differs from the one we already have”, he affirmed adding that that would lead to better competitiveness.  

Apostolic nuncio in Croatia Msgr. Alessandro D’Errico explained that today, three years later, we can say that the Catholic University of Croatia has been performing its task earnestly and with good results, while remaining faithfull to its Lux Vera motto, sharing with other universities the efforts education and research demand, and bearing in mind the responsibility behind its particular identity that consists in the constant invocation of the light of the God’s Word and the Church’s teachings.  “Therefore, the Catholic University of Croatia can look to the future with faithful hope, pleased with the possibility to raise responsible and mature individuals, who are aware of their Christian identity, respect diversity, and are ready to accept the leading roles in various segments of society,” added the nuncio. 

Assistant Minister of Science, Education and Sports, Ružica Beljo Lučić maintained that the Catholic University of Croatia is a place of quality education which trains professionals who will be ready to face the challenges that life brings. 

President of the Academy of Sciences and Arts Zvonko Kustić maintained that it would be good if HKS also included a School of Medicine since, as he said, Catholic medical schools and hospitals are among the most prestigious ones in the world. 

Primate of Hungary and President of the Council of the European Bishops’ Conferences and Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Cardinal Peter Erdo concuded that the European intellectual of today can raise the question of the existence and the concept of God and find a positive answer in the recognition of His existence. “Once he recognizes God as transcendent and absolute, he can and must consider the possibility of communicating with God,” he said, adding that this means that the European intellectual can not dismiss the idea, which is initially almost unthinkable to our human imagination, that it is precisely in the person of Jesus Christ that we can meet God in a way that is most appropriate considering the capabilities of human beings.  According to Cardinal’s words the European intellectual is not necessarily a believer. “But that is something no one necessarily is! Faith in Christ, that is, the fullness of the Christian faith, in fact, is not some simple conclusion of human reason, but the gift of God, it is an act of grace,”said the Hungarian primate, adding that this grace is provided by God, who wishes all men to be saved and to come to know the truth.  

On the occasion of the the Day of the Catholic University of Croatia, the exhibition of stone models of Croatian churches and bell towers entitled “Listen to Them Ringing” by the artist from Pučišće, Brač, Josip Radić was opened in the premises of HKS.

This year, HKS is celebrating the seventh anniversary of its foundation and the third anniversary of classes.