Monday, February 25, 2013

Kranj: Cardinal in Trouble. Deja Vu? Franc Frantar.

Finding the Story Behind the Statue
Franc Frantar?
Franj; or Ljubljana?

Dan and I came across this watering trough with a drowning Cardinal (see the hat? or is that a bishop's hat? or perhaps just a priest?), watched over as he goes under by a sad lady who is not an angel, no wings, and no halo, and not really looking like a Mary, and a monster beneath the water.  At first, seeing just the photo from the card, I thought it was Croatia.  No luck locating it.  Now I am looking at Dan's log, there at his feet, and the chronology of his nightly entries puts this in Kranj, Slovenia; or possibly Llubjlana. The location in the notes looks like Kranj. Or Ljubljana, not far.  The Cathedral in Ljubljana dates from the mid-15th Century, but this is a new grouping.

What issue is being addressed? Who is the Cardinal, or Bishhop? Or priest? Spoiler:  We now think this is Franc Frantar. And he was just a priest, but how did he manage to escape temporarily to Malawi with prosecution pending for child abuse, except for collaboration with a Bishop?  See FN 1

Our research:  Who knows more?  Why is this Cardinal-Bishop-Priest drowning?  What other scenario fits.

I.  First I did a search for Cardinal-drowning-monster.

That brought up a site for survivors of sexual abuse by priests, see So is this statuary scene part of the
drumbeat of scandal, or merely happenstance, and a local story we haven't found yet? 

In the National Survivor Advocates site are Biblical references to the manner of death shown here, but the wording does not definitely tie in with child sexual abuse.  The wording is "offend" children -- with warnings that anyone who does so should have millstones cast around their necks and drowned.  

Without taking a position on the religious interpretation, that the manner of offending referenced here is abuse.  FYI -- here is the reference, with our emphases and comment that at the least, the meaning of the original Greek was to ensnare not just "offend":
  • Matthew 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. [Offend is not the transliterated word;  ensnare is, see Strong's word numbering G4624, with Greek letters phonetically like skandallsE (scandal?), see]
  • Mark 9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. [Offend? Merely offend? Again, the word in transliteration is not "offend" but "ensnare", see G4624,]
Research continuing, and it appears that the Catholic Latin Vulgate and Douay Rheims come close to the Greek snare and scandalize, but that the King James and other Protestant versions use the washy "offense" and ambiguity more.  See;; Protestants:  your wording softpedals the snare.  See: says not to cause the little ones to stumble, or make trouble for them, cause a little one to sin.  Is the act of ensnaring, scandalizing, merely that?

II.  Second, I went back to Dan's entry in the green log at his feet in the picture. Dan has Down syndrome, but that does not hold him back. He writes down details that I do not, and then regret omitting.

  • Dan's entry:  "stature of man drown with octopois stature the lady folding her hands and looking at man I am beside her with tree ...." This is located as the sentence after another statue we saw, of Slovenia's paramount poet, the 19th Century Dr. France Preseren 1800-1849.  And the next entry showed Kranj to Zagreb, Croatia. The preceding entry is for Ljubljana and Lake Bled.

III.   Moving on with Dan's information - search for cleric, sexual abuse, Slovenia this time, not Croatia.

I found Wikipedia, a good starting point, but vet it yourself.  

  • Information:  Archdiocese of Ljubljana, Franc Frantar, who was detained (it says) in 2006 for "sexual abuse of up to 16 minors."  He was sentenced to prison 5 years, after having escaped to Malawi to be a missionary there, then returned to Slovenia once an Interpol warrant issued.  See Problem:  Wiki ran into a dead end in finding more about that name.  
  • Do a search for it, however, and a Franc Frantar appears in Slovenian articles.   
Franc Frantar:  A/k/a Franci Frantar, spellings always can vary with translation.

Search those articles, click on translate, and  the first link found does indicate in translation that he was convicted of child abuse and served some time and has been paroled, see Franc Frantar. 
Will want to check the others.  Where is he now?  On parole with  no restrictions?  Sixteen convictions, or just one?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Vends. The Expunged, Ancient Dynasty of Carantania. Propaganda in Identify Theft. The denied Slavica Lex. Beatrice, of Charlemagne's Line, Denied.

Vendic, Carantanian Peoples Largely Expunged by History
But Very Alive. 

Update NYT on Swabians, male-supremacist culture, who conquered Slovenia, where Vends, and power to women as well as men, had prevailed:

Carantania. Long gone. 
Vends. Long gone. But with traces.

 And Swabians.  One may prevail over the other, but in the long term, which brings stability, growth for all aspects of the culture.

Why pay attention to history, especially in a country like Slovenia, small in size, not now a major power, which once was Carantania. What do the Slovenians, as a currently undervalued population in terms of military and commercial control, know of the heritage that once was. Great topic. Go from there to others - indigenous Mexicans - some day we will go there and do a Mexico Road Ways that highlights the glories of any people later taken over, used.

Good reason to look at History:  Women in Power.  In some Western countries, it is considered unusual for a woman to exert political power.  Look back.  Old Carantania rising! As Hillary Clinton's supporters express dismay and anger, that the Democratic party rejected her candidacy for President of the United States, look back at the broader (!) view of history. How culturally-imposed is a perception that women do not belong in leadership positions; and if culture, not "nature", can be be juggled.  If founded in genetics, by what proof.  We know that the X gene is large and stable, and the y gene is little and squiggy and diminishing.  Does that count? Or does it explain.
is any of that relevant. Here, fair use thumbnail from  Big X, squig of a y for men;  correlate two Big X's for women.  Who is powerful?

Girls look back

 Are any of us totally bound by our history, or the history others impose on us.  Can we, by education and perspective, change current cultural values -- as not etched in stone at all. Just cultural, and flawed as serving the interests in power at the time they imposed their power.

Identity theft gives a clue: What was there once here, was stolen. See the theft at work here in Slovenia, of female place in power with full capacity to act, in the Vendic culture, the peoples known as the Vends, in broad areas of the now-Germany, and Slovenia, with similarities to the Celts.

Best site so far: See Vendic culture at, we suggest, by the macho Germanic types, Swabians; and later the Habsburgs (Austria); and specifically, loss of the grand tradition of the ancient Slavica Lex in establishing succession rights for both male and female. Is this right? Follow along. The Carantanian dynasties are also known as "Medieval Slovenian Vendic (Slovenian) State." See the site above.

Start with history and the place of men and women.

In Slovenia, political change was forced, as usual. Go to your map and see where we are. We are looking at the old Carantanian dynasties of Slovenia, that were overcome by the German Swabians.

German Swabian invaders.  They are still on the move, see NYT (this an update 2013)  There, Swabians in Berlin are throwing around their tasty spaetzle or spatzle as the Times spells it, seeking autonomous districts for their identity.

 Swabians:  No wonder they push so hard.  Their buildings, even in the middle ages, were huge.  See their town, Schwabisch Hall, town named for the Swabians of old, at Germany Road Ways Schwabisch Hall, Swabians.

  • Swabian history:  Swabians made their mark in many places, including Sicily, the Crusades. The Swabians were different from another group living in Germany and Slovenia at the time,  the Vends. TheVendic laws and customs were nothing like the Swabians. So: from which group do present Germans derive, the Swabians or the Vends.

But it was the Swabians that took over Slovenia, and in so doing, the Swabians cast aside a basic tenet of the old Lex Slavica, the Slavic law, that did not differentiate between succession by a female or a male. And this change, this barring of female succession and legal rights to act, affected every land that the Germans took over after that. Scroll down the left-side margin at the site, for all the topics.

To the Germans from the North, no. No woman could take the throne. And so it went. And this was also true for the Jewish cultures. Capacity to act, juridical capacity, was a male prerogative. See site. Vends also lived in Eastern and Central Germany (not the same borders then) and there are Vendic names of people and towns. See site. Near the Elbe River is "Vendland." [do they make square burgers at Vendy's?] Bavaria used to be Vendelicia. site.

Read :// We were looking up the geneology of Premysl Ottokar II, father of the good Wenceslas, and found this chronology, roughly. Who has time to do all the research on a topic like this, so we lay this one out to encourage replies:

Rough chronology:

1. Tenth Century Slovenia was comprised of a combination of Franks and Slovenians, based on the old "Carantanian" social structure, with leaders from the villages elected to a general assembly. Lords, however, were hereditary. There were three major dynasties or "houses." The people were "Vends" - a population that spread through much also of eastern and central Germany. See the German maypoles today, and traces of the custom to the Vends. See Germany Road Ways, Maypoles; and Germany Road Ways, Vends.

2. One "house" connected to the Swabians in Germany (currently in Germany) through Beatrice; this "house" produced the dynasty of Carantania. Not entirely clear on details, this is only so far.

3. This dynasty is significant because Carantanian law permitted succession to any child, male or female. The last duke of this line was Ulric III in 1269, and he appointed our research subject, Otokar II, to the throne - Otokar was King of Bohemia, in the current Czech Republic. See Czech Republic Road Ways - Hluboka nad Vltavou. Otokar was a maternal cousin.

Then, in time, the Swabians from Germany, who also went to Sicily, see a Schwabian town at Germany Road Ways, Schwabisch Hall. the Habsburgs from Austria took over, and - stay with us here - the German and Habsburg line refused to recognize the Carantanian dynasty or its laws, and imposed instead, the German.

4. The old Carantanian law was known as the "Slavica Lex" and soon diminished in influence, and understanding. This means no more female succession in the Carantanian lands. Yet, even today, the Swabian coat of arms in Germany bears the reference to Beatrice, and the female succession from the Carantanian and Slavica lex, law of the Slavs.

5. And it is Beatrice who is of Carolingian descent - from Charlemagne. She is considered the "mother" of the two houses of Carantania.

6. In the 14th Century, the Habsburgs from Austria took over Slovenia. More Germanic roots. See ://

Soon the Carantanian culture was so downtrodden that the Slovenian people were referred to by the rulers only as "historical serfs." See site.

In the 15th and 16th Centuries, in came Turkish influence. See :// And in 1572-73, the peasants' revolt. One system of laws followed by another with each cultural overrun, and none serving the needs of the Slovenes. Uprisings continued until the mid 18th century.

In current times, according to site, this attitude followed through to Serbia and the old Yugoslavia, of which Slovenia was a part, in imposing from Belgrade a "cheap instrument for their ideological and political manipulation."

Other devalued populations today. Probably not "inherently" so - who did what to them when.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Kranj. Slovene origins, Slovakian myths: Carantania. The Flood

How the earth was created, by whom, what elements of life are to be valued and pursued, are part of any culture's traditions.  In Slovenia, the contemporary Austrian "look" of the country, from its long association with the old Austro-Hungarian Empire, and its medieval castles and the peasants' revolts that surged also elsewhere, distract from older traditions.  Go beyond Jason and the Golden Fleece, to origins.

A good source site is  There are elements of Genesis, pre-Genesis, references to the beings in existence that Genesis also notes, and the Flood. Jakob Kelemina has collected stories, and many are summarized at Thezaurus, also known as Webzine Sloveniana.

Another good source site is Slovenian Mythology, , with multi-media contents.  The ancient ways of Carantania.  Go deeper.  Animals with golden horns, holy animals with horns (unicorn?) battles of light and darkness, all with echoes in other cultures including our own.  The Slavs are a linguistic group, not ethnic, see site at, but the idea of Slovenes as Alpine Slavs, the Vends as Elbe Slaves, etc. is entrenched.  This is a new area and I am no expert, but point out the issues for the professional culture-watchers.

The mythology, in small part:

The earliest inhabitants of earth were the giant Ajdi. See Studies in Slavic Myth, at  The lived singly, one family each, each on a mountaintop. They were big, but had no tools. They did have fire.

A download produces a PDF document in Slovenian, but the concept of original giants seems clear.  Their ancient Slovene (same as Carantanian?) God was one of many gods. 

God (who apparently had not himself created the Ajdi) slept and slept, and upon waking, his glance created the earth (that was nothing but barren rock), sun, moon and the stars. Setting out to examine the creation more closely, he tired eventually and, on returning, a grain of sand from the sea bottom fell from his nail and became earth.  A drop of sweat fell from his brow into the earth, and it became the first man. Lesson:  from his creation, man must earn by the sweat of his brow. God lived with the men and fed them manna, but the men did not enjoy themselves because they feared God and trembled.  So God left his body behind, which became fertile ground, and went to Heaven to reside. Men did not need manna, and grew their own food now, and were happy.

However, man soon became corrupt despite good bread and grain, so the gods decided to do away with them:  here comes the rain, the deluge, the rising waters.  There were four survivors, but we only know of the fate of one survivor, the one who had grasped a vine on top of a hill, and climbed, beanstalk style, later described as a buckwheat stalk.

Kurent, a particular god beloved by the Slovenes, saw the effort and was pleased and took pity on the surviving man. In exchange for a promise that the man would forever honor the vine and the buckwheat plants. The saved man settles on the Adriatic. He made a switch from the vine, and stuck it in the ground and there is still fine wine in that region.  He also, sowed the buckwheat in Kranjci (Kranj area, Kranj now is a prosperous city, commerce). Kurent the benefactor, remembered.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Old Yugoslavia. Slovenes in Trieste. The Three-Sided Cooker: Changing rule, and minorities.

Slovenia's Setting
A Straddling of Cultures, Wars

Slovenes in Trieste

Small countries at the crossroads of great powers, such as Slovenia, may lose identity temporarily as the great powers and their wars sort themselves out.  Trieste was caught in that crossfire, once part of the vast Austro-Hungarian Empire, now, after two world wars, Trieste is part of Italy.  Discussions of Trieste straddle two of our own sites as we travel on our own in the region:  1) see Trieste Road Ways, and 2)  Croatia Road Ways;  and 3)  Austria Road Ways,

A casual traveler will be confused at the outset, and remain confused about who was part of Slovenia history, and when, and why.  Our own visit was a quick in-and-out, consisting
of two basic site in Slovenia, just because we happened to be nearby: Lake Bled, with less expensive overnight accommodations are at nearby Kranj; and then the capital, Ljubljana. There are also parks and Alps.  We wish we had had more time.  Take that time.
Take much more time. The bucolic views of the castles and lake are only one aspect of this area. This is a vibrant culture, where conquerors marched and divided, and the consequences are still being felt.
And appreciate the history of this region.  See timelines.  This one starts, however, at the close of WWI, in 1918, with the downfall of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire, see
  • After WWI.  Slovenia becomes part of a new conglomerate of nations, Yugoslavia -- Croatians, Slovenes, and Serbians.  Nazi Germany and Italy then occupy it at WWII.
  • After WWII.  In the years following, Slovenia becomes part of a socialist conglomerate "Yugoslavia" -- adding more nations. In 1989, Slovenia seeks to secede, and does so.  2002:  Slovenia joins NATO, and in 2003, is supported in its quest to become part of the EU. 
  • If you or your children are lacking in this basic history before going to this or any overseas area, you are shortchanging yourself if you do not plan to research it, before or after.
Seek more than a mere WWI-WWII Timeline.  Find this timeline going far behind WWI:  to 43,000 BC -- see  That gives a realistic sense of the reach of these cultures, these issues.

Slovenia, Trieste, Italy, Balkans - Croatia, Austria. Interwoven.
1. Triangle of three nations.
Slovenia and Trieste presents the crossroads of three nations, Slovenia, Italy and Croatia that join at the tip of the Istrian peninsula.
Prepare to cross several boundaries in a short time and have your car insurance forms in order. If you rent your car in Croatia, as we did, you have open access to Slovenia and Italy.  If you rent in Italy, however (Trieste), you cannot cross over into Croatia.
2. Population shows history. All is not Italian.
  • Trieste.  Trieste now is part of Italy, but the population of Slovenes remains substantial in Trieste and the region. See Trieste at Trieste Road Ways, Crossroads and Minorities. In 1911, a third of the population of Trieste was Slovene. And in the rural areas surrounding, at least 90% were Slovene. See  No wonder Trieste had so many suitors.  Look at the location. Admire and envy the Trieste urban kayakers downtown - port and dock area now includes recreation. But then see the mountain areas surrounding, like a bowl, and remember the atrocities of WWII there.
3. Crises.

After WWII, Slovenia wanted Trieste, as did Croatia and Italy.

Italy got Trieste, fully in 1954;  see its tactics to get Trieste after WWI at <a href-"http://www.triesteroadways.blogspot,com">Trieste Road Ways</a>.
But a declaration does not a solution make.
Slovenia, as part of Yugoslavia, had some leverage against territorial incursions of Italy and Rome. Slovenia has long been a crossroads of trade, culture and conquests, see

Look at the history.

Celts, Romans, invasions by Huns and Germanic tribes, dominance by the Germanic Langobards, Slavs, formation of the Duchy of Carantania by Slavic peoples after severing ties with others now in the Czech Republic, Bavarians, Franks, Magyars who then cut off Slovenian Slavs from other Slavs, enabling variations in culture and identity, and on to modern times -- see the 15-years site.
4. Fast forward to basic Chronology of interweavings. Pre WWI, modern.  Slovenia was governed by Austria, the Habsburgs.
After 1918 - Trieste was given to Italy.
1920 or so - This was a time of increasing Italian assaults and violence against Slovenes in Trieste, an attempt at forcing assimilation. Banks shut down, Slavic or German languages could not be spoken, priests were arrested and sent into exile. Slovenes even had to take on Italian last names.
Enter an era of atrocity, as WWII ended. See A long-sought investigation was commenced into the perhaps hundreds and even thousands killed, and left or buried in the mountain ravines surrounding Trieste.  But it was soon blocked. Italians and Slovenes both have reasons to avoid exhuming bodies. Read about the foibas - potholes, some large, like mines, where things and people were thrown.
WWII to 1954 - Trieste was administered by British and Americans. There was supposed to be a free city of Trieste, but instead it ended up with the Italians, a sore point to Slovenes who felt betrayed. A 1949 election clearly showed rejection of the idea of secession to the Italians.
1957 - Belgrade (capital of Yugoslavia) built up a rival port, Koper. It thrived. Trieste lost ground.
Minority status of Slovenes in Trieste - precarious.
For nations whose history includes invasions and take-overs, there are broad swings.  In Slovenia, there was Rome in ancient times, to self-governing, to medieval Swabian Germans to Habsburg Austrians to WWII Hitlerian nightmares, to multi-nation administration, then a Division regardless. In the United States, we are isolated -- or have been --and our isolation makes our judgments on other people's tumultuous lives look juvenile. As we are, with our 250 years.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

European Union - Slovenia Holds Current Presidency

The value or membership in the European Union to a small nation - here, small-sized Slovenia enjoys its turn at the rotating presidency trio of the EU: Slovenia, Germany and Portugal this time. Jose Manuel Barroso lays out his priorities at :// See :// (German perspective) and :// (Slovenian perspective). Slovenia presides beginning 2008.

Particular interest: the issue of Kosovo's independence arises in 2008, see topic already in headlines, at :// Meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia's capital, already held in January 2008. See Ljubljana posts here for photos.

However, Russia and the United States apparently are not attending. Great, guys. Slovenia is a neighbor in the Balkans, was part of the old Yugoslavia, as was Serbia and Kosovo, Croatia and Bosnia and Montenegro - it has unique knowledge and perspective. Listen up, someone, please.