Croatian cleric's message upsets many
By ANGELA MOSCONI Special to The News
The Croatian-born Catholic priest who claims to have supernatural gifts
including the stigmata or bloody wounds of Jesus Christ - leaves for his
homeland today after warning New Yorkers to "be careful this summer" in an
apparent reference to possible terrorist threats.
The Rev. Zlatko Sudac, who drew thousands of people to church services
the New York area as well as several other states in his eight-month Mass
tour here, left some of the 1,200 worshipers at Our Lady of the Island
Shrine in Manorville, L.I., shaken by his last message.
His visit was first reported in the Daily News in February.
The controversial 31-year-old priest, who claims to have spontaneous
bleeding from his forehead, feet, side and wrists as well as the ability to
heal and know the future, among other things, offered the farewell Mass for
the safety of America and told the crowd to pray for peace during these
"I know there are many evil people who want to take a piece of this
away from you. Be very strong," he repeated several times at the outdoor
Mass. "Be careful this summer."
"I am offering this Holy Mass for the protection of this land, your
buildings, your airports, bridges, tunnels, your air and your sea," Sudac
said at the beginning of the three-hour service.
He also added, "God does permit things during certain seasons." He did
Angela Scagnelli, 55, of Queens said she is a firm believer.
"I believe in this priest, and maybe he knows the future," said Scagnelli.
The Rev. Jim Manning, who works at the shrine, said people shouldn't
concerned about Sudac's message.
"He doesn't have any more insight than I do," said Manning, a 44-year
priest. "The President and the FBI have warned us that tough times are
Sudac, who stirred much controversy among Catholic theologians over
supernatural claims and public Mass tour, was given a farewell party by 500
supporters in New Jersey on Sunday.
In New York, he was under the spiritual direction of the Rev. Andrew
Apostoli of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.
Apostoli said whether people have faith in Sudac or not, the priest
counterforce during the priest crisis.
"When many people's faith in the church has been shaken by scandal,
been able to draw them back," said Apostoli. "The crowds are tremendous and
everybody loves him."
Original Publication Date: 5/22/02