Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Pope not to visit Jasenovac until truth found

NOVI SAD - Roman Catholic Archbishop of Belgrade Stanislav Hovecar has said that the Pope will not visit Jasenovac until the Serbian and Croatian sides establish an undeniable truth about that death camp.

“It would not be realistic to expect from the Holy Father to visit Jasenovac as long as both sides are using that death camp for mutual disputes, instead of fighting for the undeniable truth,” Archbishop Hocevar said in an interview to the Novi Sad-based daily Dnevnik. He posed questions as to “why Croatia and Serbia finally do not form a joint commission that would put an end to various views on the Jasenovac camp, and various speculations about the number of victims,” and why the responsibility is being shifted to the Church for something that the society has to do.

 Commenting on the stance of Metropolitan of Zagreb Jovan that the Pope's visit to Serbia would benefit that country, but that prior to that the head of the Roman Catholic Church would have to pay tribute to the fallen in Jasenovac, as during his visit to Poland he paid respects to the victims of Auschwitz, Hovecar said he cannot understand why that is being underlined so much. “Above all, the Roman Catholic Church sent a very clear message on numerous occasions that mutual forgiveness and reconciliation is important,” the Belgrade archbishop said, underscoring that in Rome in 2000, the Pope John Paul II "asked for forgiveness for everything that the Catholics have done in any country, any continent, to anyone." 

 Hocevar noted that the Holy Father would like to visit Serbia, but conditions for that are always the same. “To realize that visit, it is necessary that the entire society be ready,” Hocevar said, noting that it is a major ommission that Serbia' Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics are drafting a joint programme for 2013 celebrations of the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan at the last minute. Photo Tanjug, F. Kraincanic

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