Attempt to Silence Catholic Teacher

Country: Croatia

Date of incident: March 7, 2011


Catholic catechism teacher of a Zagreb primary school was accused of homophobia for staying in line with the Catholic Church teachings during catechism classes.

Jelena Coric Mudrovčić, Catholic catechism teacher in the primary school in Zagreb has been accused of saying that “homosexuals are sick” during a lesson on catechism in 2009. 

‘I never said that homosexuals are sick people, I only kept the church teachings and literature, which states that homosexuality is not the same as heterosexuality, and that the Church does not condemn them, but does not approve of their behaviour and demands for same-sex marriages,’ said Mudrovčić. 

Catholic catechesis is taught in schools in Croatia, but it is not a mandatory subject. Parents decide themselves whether their child will participate in catechism classes or not. Mudrovčić’s teaching was based on the program content for teachers of catechism approved by the Ministry of Education and Science.

Ironically, a student who does not attend catechism classes and was not present in class at the time of the event, informed his mother of an alleged teacher’s statement about homosexuality, which in turn led to a group of lesbians called “Kontra” filing a complaint against the teacher thereby initiating proceedings under the “Anti-Discrimination Act”. 

For the first time in the history of the Croatian judicial system a group of lesbians lodged a complaint for an alleged violation of the “Anti-Discrimination Act”.

So far, the testimony of seven parents of children who attend the catechism classes, as well the testimony of the Consultant on religion Gordana Barudžija from the Agency for Education, witness to the fact that the alleged teacher’s statement “homosexuals are sick” was entirely fictional.

The court proceedings led to protests of Croatian Christians on March 7th, 2011, gathering in front of the Municipal court in Zagreb to support Ms. Mudrovčić. Around one hundred of the protesters wore stickers over their mouths to symbolize that the proceedings mean a from of silencing to them.

Sources and further information:

http://www.labussolaquotidiana.it/ita/articoli-le-lesbiche-accusanouninsegnante-cattolica-1186.htm  (in Italian) 

http://www.religionenlibertad.com/articulo.asp?idarticulo=14193  (in Spanish)

http://www.vecernji.hr/vijesti/katolicki-prosvjedi-pred-zupanijskim-sudom-zagrebu-clanak-261257  (in Croatian)