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30.11.2017 | 17:05 | IKA E - 195411/11

Press Release from the Bishops of the Bishops' Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina

We must not close our eyes before the obvious fact that since the Washington and Dayton peace agreements, particularly in regard to the manner of their implementation, in various ways members of the domiciled Croatian nation have been sent and continue to be sent messages that Bosnia and Herzegovina is not their homeland and there is no place in it for them.

Sarajevo, (IKA/KTA) - On November 30, the bishops of the Bishops' Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina issued a press release on the occasion of the final decree by the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the case of Prlić et al. We present this press release in its entirety:

Although we feel that silence would be the most appropriate expression of our feelings after the sentencing and tragic death of Slobodan Praljak in The Hague on November 29, 2017, we know that, perhaps justifiably, all the people of good will of our country are expecting us to speak.
Again on this occasion, we reiterate what wee repeated during the entire war, which was that we oppose and condemn every crime and responsibility must be borne for each of them. We also repeat that during the war we were pained the most by the crimes perpetrated by those who had been washed in the baptismal water of the Catholic Church. Accordingly and aware of the kind of world we live in, where the interests of entire nations, especially small ones, have been and continue to be sacrificed, we do not want to comment on the verdict of the court in The Hague.

Nevertheless, we cannot and must not close our eyes before the obvious fact that since the Washington and Dayton peace agreements, particularly in regard to the manner of their implementation, in various ways members of the domiciled Croatian nation have been sent and continue to be sent messages that Bosnia and Herzegovina is not their homeland and there is no place in it for them. We consider that to be immoral and, therefore, dangerous and unacceptable for the future of this country, all its citizens and nations. This is a type of crime for which those sending moral lessons and threats to the domiciled Croatian nation should be held responsible. Unfortunately, they will not answer for this crime as they did not answer for many of the crimes perpetrated against the members of this nation in The Hague.

Despite this bitter and painful fact, with the strength of faith in God, who knows everyone's deeds and fathoms hidden intentions, in the name of the Catholic Church we remain open to all fruitful cooperation with all who care about a more just and suitable general situation in this country. We invite and urge our fellow Catholic-Croats not to lose hope and not fear the future in this country. We recall that there have been even more unjust times and heavier burdens but that our ancestors and we ourselves, with the strength of trust in God and love of homeland, endured and survived everything. All this injustice and misfortune shall pass and only the good that was done out of faith in God and love of man shall remain. For you and for all the people of this land, for all the deceased, we address our prayers to the good and merciful God, stated the press release issued by the bishops of the Bishops' Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Msgr. Vinko Cardinal Puljić, Archbishop of Sarajevo; Msgr. Franjo Komarica, Bishop of Banja Luka; Msgr. Ratko Perić, Bishop of Mostar-Duvno and the Apostolic Administrator of Trebinje-Mrkan; Msgr. Tomo Vukšić, Military Bishop in Bosnia and Herzegovina; Msgr. Pero Sudar, Auxiliary Bishop of Sarajevo and Msgr. Marko Semren, OFM, Auxiliary Bishop of Banja Luka.

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