Between Repression and Defence
The Condition of the Catholic Church in Communist Yugoslavia from relationes ad limina (1946-58)
In post-World War II Yugoslavia, the issue of relations with the Communist state becomes central to the Catholic episcopate. The defence of the ecclesial presence and the preservation of the faith in the face of the repression carried out with force by the political authorities is a dominant aspect in the relationes sent by the bishops to the Holy See. In the complex and articulated Yugoslav reality, where different religious and national identities are intertwined and oppose each other, the bishops note that religious sentiment is still quite alive among the faithful, even in a political-social context dominated by socialist materialism, sustained by the state, and in this, the first instances of a kind of practical materialism also appear.