Bosnia's Catholic leaders say real dialogue impeded by injustices
WARSAW, Poland -- Catholic leaders in Bosnia-Herzegovina said real ethnic and religious dialogue is not occurring and not all religions have equal rights. "Real dialogue" is being impeded by "legalized war crimes and injustices," as well as by failure to implement the peace accord that ended the country's 1992-95 war, said Msgr. Ivo Tomasevic, secretary-general of Bosnian bishops' conference.
Tomasevic welcomed a September interfaith peace appeal, issued in Sarajevo after an international peace meeting sponsored by the Rome-based Sant'Egidio Community gathered 2,000 Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu representatives.
However, in an interview Wednesday with Catholic News Service, he said the country still lacks a firm foundation for religious and ethnic coexistence.
"Peace is firstly a gift from God, so it's important all faiths and confessions pray for it together," he said. "But we also need to work for peace, at a time when our Catholic population has almost halved and the Catholic presence in Sarajevo is dwindling year by year."
Tomasevic said participants had expressed a wish to create a zone of peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where more than 100,000 people died in the war.
Earlier, the president of the Bosnian bishops' conference told the Croatian daily Vecernji List that he had questioned claims at the meeting that his country offered an example of religious and ethnic reconciliation. (continue reading...)