The priest in charge of St. Blaise Church in Vodnjan in Istria has expelled over 6,000 visitors in the past couple of years for inappropriate behaviour and indecent exposure.
The church - located several kilometres from Pula – is well-known for the mummified bodies of three saints and more than 350 relics, and Marijan Jelinic is committed to making sure it gets the respect it deserves.
"We remove around 2,000 tourists from the premises annually. This year, we have already expelled 1,000." The visitors are usually "distanced" from the premises for not respecting the dress code that forbids clothing that is too short or revealing.
But some locals are unhappy about Jelinic’s methods. "It is not right. He is too strict and that makes younger people, especially, distance themselves from the church," local resident Nevia Mirkovic said.
Jelinic earned the wrath of some locals when he kicked out a BBC crew for lights that he believed would damage the relics.
Local resident Livio Belci believes that the priest should adjust his methods in view of new times and ideas, the daily Vecernji List has reported.