Statement made by First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic

dacic-akter“The statement by Pope Francis in Tbilisi to the effect that Catholic conversion of Orthodox Christians is a great sin is, so far, the most significant distancing from and strongest condemnation by the Vatican of the actions of Croatian Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac, who not only blessed the WWII fascist state of NDH (Independent State of Croatia) but formed a Committee for Serb religious conversion. In this way, he took an active part in the implementation of a plan for the settlement of the Serb question as unveiled by an Ustasha Government Minister, Mile Budak: to kill a third, expel a second third and convert another third of Serbs.

At his trial in the post-war period, Stepinac defended himself by silence and broke it only to explain that it actually amounted to, as he put it, a religious transition.

The Pontiff’s words prove that Serbia has been in the right to resist the rehabilitation of Cardinal Stepinac. No clearing of his name or absolving him of the responsibility for the crimes against and for the conversion of Serbs is possible, let alone his canonization.

Even if this happens after the Pontiff’s comments that it is a great sin, then it will clearly be an anti-Serb act, unless anyone thinks that all is fair against the Serbs.”