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by James A. Marples
In the former Yugoslavia, there was one man  who was quite devoted to all citizens. The life and career of the Zagreb bishop Maksimilijan Vrhovac was quite colorful.  He was born in Karlovac on November 23, 1752. He tried to enter the army for a year, but it didn’t work out. So, he enrolled in university at Graz, Austria.  Vrhovac was listed in 1768 among the theology students.

Returning to Zagreb,Croatia,  he became a priest and later a bishop.  Maksimilijan Vrhovac held the honor and duty of Zagreb bishop until his death on December 16, 1827, that is some forty years. 

 Vrhovac contributed to the cultural, economic and general progress of his people, for which he sacrificed the most. Following the events and social movements throughout Europe, Bishop Vrhovac wanted to do something similar among the Croatian people in the spiritual and cultural-educational field.      Freemasonry had some advanced liberal features at the time and that the members of the lodge were Croatian nobles, bishops, for example the Zagreb bishop Josip Galjuf (1738–1786), who introduced Vrhovac to the Zagreb lodge, Prudentia . The founder of the first lodge in Zagreb was Count Ivan Drašković in 1770, being Vrhovč’s friend, so it is understandable that he, as a bishop, was also a member of that lodge. 
In 1808, Vrhovac requested the Croatian Parliament to open his library to the public. In the 1810s, he worked on translating the Bible into the Kajkavian Croatian language.
In America, we have a widespread sentiment of encouraging reading, writing and appreciation for literature. In 1870, when the headquarters of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry moved its headquarters and library to Washington, DC, it became the first “free’ public library in our nation’s capital.
As Americans we should not ban books,(aside from age limits such as PG-13; R-Ratings, etc) but rather teach, exemplify and reinforce good morals. Books that are topical or visual garbage are usually recognized as smut or trash as people get older and wiser.

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