Has the Church ever apologized for clergy involvement in the Ustase?

I’ve been reading up on the history of Yugoslavia and the second World War in the Balkans. I already knew a bit about the whole sordid history. And it got me wondering:

Has the Church ever apologized for any of it? Support of the Ustase regime, Jasenovac, forced conversions of Orthodox, the ratlines after the war? Has there been any statement? I haven’t been able to find any.

I know the idea that the Pope was in favor of the Holocaust is a myth and so on, but what about this issue which was part of the Holocaust?

there did seem to be a religious element to the Ustase program.

I have not read up on this time in history enough to help you. sorry. I guess I will wait and see the responses you get.

This is a general answer, because I’m not familiar at all with the historical events you refer to.

However: While the Church as a whole did not endorse any of the atrocities during any of the World Wars or their aftermath, the same cannot be said of individual clerics or prelates whose nationalistic or patriotic sentiments may have trumped their obedience to God’s law. Sometimes, this was justified or rationalized using a “lesser of two evils” argument (because supporting such a regime was seen as better than yielding to Communism) or even a self-defence argument (because Catholics were often the target of Communist persecution.) None of this has ever been officially approved by the Church. Still, it’s a complicated issue. :o

Oh definitely, I didn’t mean to imply that the Church as a whole and much less in Rome itself knew about and condoned the horrors being perpetrated, but even then I just find it odd and frankly tragic that nothing has been said about it. Some of the ratlines even went through the Vatican state. It just disturbs me.

Miroslav Filipovic was a Franciscan friar who was a Nazi collaborator and a participant of mass murder at Jasenovac:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miroslav_Filipovi%C4%87#Usta.C5.A1a_Chaplain

First time I’ve heard of this… what I do know is that when Hitler acted to raze the Jews form the faith of the earth it was mostly the Catholic Church that assisted the Jews; through an underground movement the Church hid and repatriated thousands of Jews during WWII:

The Roman Catholic Church - through lobbying of Axis officials, provision of false documents, and hiding of people in monasteries, convents, schools, among families and the institutions of the Vatican itself - saved hundreds of thousands of Jews from being murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust. The Israeli diplomat and historian Pinchas Lapide estimated the figure at between 700,000 to 860,000 - although the figure is contested.[1] The Catholic Church itself faced persecution in Hitler’s Germany, and institutional German Catholic resistance to Nazism centred largely on defending the Church’s own rights and institutions. Broader resistance tended to be fragmented and led by individual effort in Germany - but in every country under German occupation, priests played a major part in rescuing Jews. Aiding Jews met with severe penalty and many rescuers and would-be rescuers were killed - as with St Maximillian Kolbe, Giuseppe Girotti and Bernard Lichtenberg who were sent to the Concentration Camps. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rescue_of_Jews_by_Catholics_during_the_Holocaust)

Due to exigent circumstances the Church provided the Jews with fake documents–these documents would claim that the persons holding them were “Catholics.” The only case of “forced” conversion that I know is the dictator of the Dominican Republic, Trujillo, requesting that the Jews to which he would allow safe harbor had to be “Catholic” converts–though I doubt that any Jews were converted but rather “passed” as Catholics in order to escape extermination.

I’ve just glanced through wiki… here’s what I gathered:

The Ustaše policies against Eastern Orthodoxy are incorrectly associated with “Uniatism” in some Eastern Orthodox circles. This term has not been used by the Roman Catholic Church except for Vatican condemnation of the idea in 1990.[67] The Ustaše represented an extreme example of “Uniatism” rather based on nationalism than on religion…
Some former priests, mostly Franciscans, particularly in, but not limited to, Herzegovina and Bosnia, took part in the atrocities themselves. Miroslav Filipović was a Franciscan friar (from the Petrićevac monastery) who allegedly joined the Ustaša as chaplain and, on 7 February 1942, joined in the massacre of roughly 2730 Serbs of the nearby villages, including some 500 children. He was allegedly subsequently dismissed from his order and defrocked, although he wore his clerical garb when he was hanged for war crimes… (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usta%C5%A1e)

Maran atha!

Angel

Not knowing all of the issues (facts, myths, and revisionists’ history), I know that the Church is often maligned by the actions of her members; specially those of Clerical or Religious rank (office); what seems dumbfounding to me is how quick these accusations seem to take hold as if they are the absolute truth while most ignore the fact that the Catholic Church is made up of men and women that have and do stray from their vows yet refuse to relinquish their office (as has been experienced in the last decade or so where whole parishes have been excommunicated, here in the US, for their refusing to relinquish their office or their false teachings).

This phenomenon has risen, in the past, in Spain and Latin America where the clergy has even taken up arms to “be one with the people.”

Yet, for the Church attackers it’s easier to create blanket accusations and mixt fact with fiction in order to bring about their ulterior goal: destruction of the Church that Christ Founded.

There’s an old saying: “no good deed goes unpunished!”

Maran atha!

Angel

…you mean was an ex-friar, don’t you?

Maran atha!

Angel

Have the Orthodox ever apologised for forced conversion or imprisonment in former Soviet bloc countries? This is a two way street.

He was horrible!

And was excommunicated by the church and hanged by the authorities for his crimes. : Krišto, Jure. Katolička crkva i Nezavisna Država Hrvatska 1941–1945, Zagreb (1998), p. 223 ]

See this is the kind of information I was looking for! Thank you.

As far accusations of historical revisionism, Yad Vashem and the United States Holocaust Museum both recognize Jasenovac and the crimes of the Ustase as historical facts. Saying that people who acknowledge these things are just trying to destroy the Church is frankly ridiculous. As is saying ‘have the Orthodox apologized yet?’

According to the book:
the Lady from Zagreb, by Philip Kerr, he was never excommunicated.
books.google.com/books?id=VqmuBAAAQBAJ&pg=PT244&lpg=PT244&dq=was+miroslav+filipovic+excommunicated&source=bl&ots=6dtK48ygW0&sig=ZbfFwl7VEfw9k3bEJpxb50ydH_o&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjCkay7kePNAhVlF2MKHQuZBdEQ6AEIVTAJ#v=onepage&q=was%20miroslav%20filipovic%20excommunicated&f=false

jusp-jasenovac.hr/Default.aspx?sid=6863

No.

What is being said is that if I, a self-professed Catholic, or any other Catholic, cleric or laity, take it upon myself to stray from Catholic Teaching or reject the Church’s Authority and Commands and commit one or multiple crimes or heresies it is not the Church that is to blame but me; that is, the individual who have acted against Church Doctrine.

The revisionists, including those who are here on this thread, continue to put forth that the Church did this and that even in spite of factual historical accounts that demonstrate that individuals/clans chose to defy the Church (as Galileo, Luther, Filipovic, and others…) and still claim their actions as representative of the Church.

Conversely, even though these ex-members of the Church acted upon their own personal convictions the Church still apologizes for their wrongdoing since they were part of her flock before being lead astray by hate, power, nationalism or ignorance.

Maran atha!

Angel

The Ustaše policies against Eastern Orthodoxy are incorrectly associated with “Uniatism” in some Eastern Orthodox circles. This term has not been used by the Roman Catholic Church except for Vatican condemnation of the idea in 1990.[67] The Ustaše represented an extreme example of “Uniatism” rather based on nationalism than on religion…
**Some former priests, mostly Franciscans, particularly in, but not limited to, Herzegovina and Bosnia, took part in the atrocities themselves. Miroslav Filipović was a Franciscan friar (from the Petrićevac monastery) who allegedly joined the Ustaša as chaplain and, on 7 February 1942, joined in the massacre of roughly 2730 Serbs of the nearby villages, including some 500 children. He was allegedly subsequently dismissed from his order and defrocked, although he wore his clerical garb when he was hanged for war crimes… **(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usta%C5%A1e)

Pay attention to words such as former, allegedly–it is sad that you seek the truth but refuse all of the truth!

Maran atha!

Angel

Because of his participation in the mass murders in February 1942 the church authorities excommunicated him from the Franciscan order, which was confirmed by the Holy See in July 1942. He was forced to relinquish the right to his name within the order, Tomislav. (jusp-jasenovac.hr/Default.aspx?sid=6863)

Clearly, if you can find some information…

Maran atha!

Angel

This claim has no basis in what anyone said on this thread. It seems you are upset that this subject was brought up at all. In the fifth post of this thread I made the following clear:

Oh definitely, I didn’t mean to imply that the Church as a whole and much less in Rome itself knew about and condoned the horrors being perpetrated, but even then I just find it odd and frankly tragic that nothing has been said about it. Some of the ratlines even went through the Vatican state. It just disturbs me.

Calling anyone besides yourself who posted on this thread a ‘revisionist’ is insulting and has no basis in anything that was said.

I’m not upset. I have always met anti-Catholic propaganda with silent rejection… a practice that has cost the Church much since most Catholics (perhaps till the last decade or so) have been mostly silent when faced with claims, accusations and innuendos.

I have not researched your claims… I go from general knowledge and actual information that contradicts the attacks and defamation of Pope Pious XII:

At the Eichmann Nazi War Crimes Trial in 1961, Jewish scholar Jeno Levai testified that the Bishops of the Catholic Church “intervened again and again on the instructions of the Pope.” In 1968, he wrote that “the one person (Pius XII) who did more than anyone else to halt the dreadful crime and alleviate its consequences, is today made the scapegoat for the failures of others.” In “The Secret War Against the Jews” in 1994, Jewish writers John Loftus and Mark Aarons write that “Pope Pius XII probably rescued more Jews than all the Allies combined.” (michaeljournal.org/piusXII.htm)

While the attacks and the defamation are rooted in claims and accusation the rebuttals quote factual sources which demonstrate the opposite of the onslaught.

This is the reason why I word my statements as I do (revisionist, attack, accusations, claims). Since I’ve noticed your concern in faulting the Church, I’ve included you as part of those who engage in such odysseys. If you are truly seeking an honest answer, I sincerely apologize for my erroneous interpretation of your quest.

Maran atha!

Angel

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.