[quote=Fr Ambrose]To quote Patriarch Paul of Serbia, who was blessing the memorial to the martyrs at Jasenovac concentration camp: “We must forgive, but we must not forget.”
In other words, if we forget and if we cease to be vigilant, the same calamities may be visited on us again. It is not a case of simply one nasty persecution from the separated Catholic brethren, but of many many instances throughout the history of Orthodoxy since Rome split from the Church. The most recent was the 1940s’ persecution in Croatia where approximately 700,000 Orthodox were killed. The faithful are indeed asked to struggle to forgive the Catholics but they are not asked to forget the martyrs and their sufferings.
The persecutions of the 1940’s is the most recent example that you can remember?
Serbian soldiers under Radovan Karadzic, and Ratko Mladic were killing Catholics in the 1990’s. Both Radovan Karadzic, and Ratko Mladic have been indicted for war crimes, including genocide.As for those who continually justify these atrocities by citing atrocities against Serbs from World War 2, I should point out that during the terrible WW2 persecution of Serbs in Banja Luka by the Nazis and Ustashe, the Muslim leader of Banja Luka, the Imam, wrote a courageous letter to the President of Croatia demanding that the persecutions of Serbs and destruction of Serb property be stopped. Would that we would find a letter like that from Patriarch Pavle to Radovan Karadzic! Karadzic was very closely tied into the Serb Church leadership and a strong message from Pavle would might have saved untold numbers of lives. …
The International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) which had representives in Banja Luka as eye witness, from the spring of 1992, when the Serb army occupied the Banja Luka region, until the Dayton accords in the fall of 1995, the persecution of Catholics and Muslims was organized and perpetrated by the civil, police, and military leadership in Banja Luka. It was methodical, and, according to the Tribunal in The Hague, entailed deliberate acts of genocide. Almost all 500,000 non-Serbs were killed, tortured, expelled from their homes, put into slave-labor camps, or forced to live in terror. Every single mosque in Banja Luka was dynamited and effaced from the earth, including the masterwork of 16th century South Slavic art, the Ferhadija Mosque. Many Catholic Churches were burned.
Two death camps, Omarska and Keraterm, and two notoriously brutal concentration camps, Trnopolje and Manjaca, were set up for the liquidation and abuse of Muslims (and some Catholics). The Tribunal has indicted the commanders of Omarska and Keraterm for genocide.
“May God Forgive Them. May God Forgive Us All”