Honourable Mr. President,
Let me congratulate You in my name and on behalf of the Diocese of Dalmatia on the recent election to the high office of the President of the Republic of Croatia with a desire to long and successfully perform this delicate and responsible duty.
The reason of our written address to You is meritorious and honest need to point You at the possible danger of announced creation of the so-called Croatian Orthodox community and the yesterday’s announcement in Zadar, that a so-called Croatian Orthodox Church will be soon formed. All this mentioned might seem completely unnecessary, and even our own concern about the formation of these associations, as we are witnesses that in democratic societies various associations are popping up like mushrooms after rain. However, it seems to us that in this case, however, is about something else and it is not so harmless.
Above mentioned “Croatian Orthodox community” in its founding program has its foundation and historical source in Ante Pavelic’s Independent State of Croatia (NDH). After the NDH, as we all know, numerous corpses, caves and camps were left, where innocent people were mostly killed just because they were of other religion or nation. The leader (poglavnik) of Ustashe Pavelic besides the atrocious crimes and the genocide against Serbs, Jews and Roma, in 1942 he formed the Croatian Orthodox Church with the aim of complete destruction and annihilation of Serbs and the Serbian Orthodox Church on the territory of Croatia. As we do not want to deal with the history much longer, we feel our human and pastoral duty to point out to You at the militant and Ustashe-like nature of this Community that is forming. This Community could contribute with its work and its possible acting to reawakening of the racial and religious intolerance theories, which are unpopular today, and even are prohibited by law in most democratic countries of Europe today.
Our Church and Orthodox Serbs in the Diocese of Dalmatia after the recent tragic war, are trying to live by healing spiritual and material wounds, and also worrying about life and survival of our people, who has lived and are living in this region for centuries. Just when we have thought: “Behold the peace” and that “swords are unminted and plows are made” such a sinister association appears, that in its fundamental program has a denial of the another – currently the Serbs and the Serbian Orthodox Church.
We hope that You will understand this our short address and that You will help with Your presidential authority to stop and suppress any registration of such association. This association itself does not bring peace or prosperity , but also heralds a new tragedy, from which no one would have use, especially not the Republic of Croatia and its citizens, who aim to join the EU.
With great respect,
Bishop FOTIJE of Dalmatia
Serbian Orthodox Church Communique 15/3/2010
News that yesterday in Zadar (12.03.2010) was an announcement on the establishment of the so-called “Croatian Ort hodox Church” caused anxiety for the clergy and the Orthodox Serbs in Croatia. It is known tha t the HOC was formed in 1942 in the time of the fascist and Ustashe regime of Ante Pavelic in the NDH (Independent State of Croatia). Then the Pavelic’s regime committed genocide against the Serbian, Jewish and Roma people in the NDH, and the goal of the phantom HOC was to destroy every trace of existence of the Orthodoxy and the Orthodox Serbs in this region.
The Serbian Orthod ox Church and the Serbian people have been living for centuries in the region of Dalmatia, as it is evident and confirmed the best by its parish churches and monasteries, which were built between XIII to XV century and represent a significant cultural heritage, which as such, is under the protection of the competent institutions of the Croatian state.
Previously during the publication of the website and the program of the forming “Croatian Orthodox community” it became certain that this association identify and organically links with the Ustashe regime from the time of Ante Pavelic and the so-called HOC. It is, as one indivisible whole, had genocidal program of destruction and extinction of all non-Croats in the time of the criminal NDH, thus the formation of this community clearly causes human fear of the possibility of restoring of its program. Behind it numerous camps, scaffolds and pits were left at the time of World War II, of which is certainly the largest and most notorious extermination camp was Jasenovac.
We sincerely hope that this Community, which is associated with the darkest period of the recent history of Croatia – because of his openly militant and pro-Ustashe character will not be able to be registered at the competent institutions of today’s Croatia which is at the door of entry into the European Union.
Also we appeal to the bodies of the rule of law and relevant ministries of the R. Croatia, to protect facilities and property of the Serbian Orthodox Church , as well as our believers from possible harassment and attacks, as some of the leaders of this phantom community announced. They promoted these days and thereby publicly rehabilitated a “ghost from the past”, which reawakens fascism and the ustashism in this region of the European continent.
Our clergy and the faithful in pastoral care and responsibility, we recommend to reinforce their fasting and prayer to God, which is the only Lord and Judge of the world and the guardian of our martyr Church for centuries and still crucified Dalmatia, not to be afraid and do not accept these fake pastors and preachers, “who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15), but to save their world Orthodox church and their faith, their Patron Saint’s (slava) and their Dalmatian shrines, which have preserved and kept it throughout history.
Info service of Diocese of Dalmatia