Representative image. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons) Photograph:( Others )
Bishop Vjekoslav Huzjak was on an organised hunting trip in eastern Croatia on Friday when he misfired his rifle, the Vecernji List daily paper said.
A Croatian bishop accidentally shot and badly wounded a man while hunting wild boar, reports and officials said Tuesday, igniting criticism on social media in the mainly Catholic country.
Bishop Vjekoslav Huzjak was on an organised hunting trip in eastern Croatia on Friday when he misfired his rifle and struck another hunter in the thigh, the Vecernji List daily paper said.
The bishop's Bjelovar-Krizevci diocese said in a statement that "he voices his deep sorrow for what has happened and wishes a quick recovery to the wounded hunter".
Police, without identifying the bishop, said they "completed a probe of a 58-year-old man" who "shot at a wild boar but missed and the bullet hit a 64-year-old man".
He was hospitalised in Zagreb with serious injuries but his life was not in danger, police said, adding that they would file a criminal complaint against the shooter.
"This is something unusual and such a thing has never happened in the recent history of our Church," the Vecernji List paper quoted an anonymous church source as saying.
According to local media, the bishop has a reputation as an avid hunter.
The accident sparked many, mostly negative, comments on social media in Croatia, where nearly 90 per cent of the 4.2 million population is Roman Catholics.
"This is what happens when priests instead of sticking to altar get hold of a rifle ... Amen!," one woman commented on Facebook.
"What is a bishop doing hunting? Killing creatures of God?" another man wrote. "Isn't that against his service and faith he preaches?"