Serbian Church criticizes Catholic pope
Full story: B92
The Serbian Orthodox Church said that, during his visit to Zagreb in May, Roman Catholic Pope Benedict XVI made "two controversial statements".
They concerned southeastern Europe and WW2 Catholic Archbishop of Zagreb Alojzije Stepinac, a statement published on the SPC website said on Thursday, Beta news agency is reporting.
The first controversial statement was made while the pope was on his way to Croatia, in an informal talk with journalists.
"Namely, recollecting some previous bishops of Zagreb, he stated:'The late Cardinal Franjo Šeper, the late Cardinal Franjo Kuharić and Cardinal Josip Bozanić have always said that Croatia is not in the Balkans but in Central Europe, so it would be logical, just and necessary for Croatia to enter the European Union, where it has always belonged in the historic and cultural sense'."
The Serbian Orthodox Church said that it "hoped that the Pope did not have the intention of placing southeastern Europe, also known as the Balkans, somewhere outside of Europe".
The second controversial statement was that concerning convicted Ustasha fascist regime collaborator, Alojzije Stepinac.
"Although the expectations of many Roman Catholic believers, primarily in Croatia, for Alojzije Stepinac, the archbishop of Zagreb during the Second World War, to be canonized, i.e. recognized as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church, an additional controversy and, in our case, a painful dilemma, was caused by the pope's statement, made also on his way to Zagreb - that Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac was 'against the Ustasha regime' and that he had 'defended true mankind against this regime by defending the Serbs, Jews and the Roma'," the Serbian Orthodox Church said.
Serbian church criticizes Montenegro
Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral Amfilohije says proceedings against him are “continuation of persecution of SPC”.
He told daily Vecernje novosti that charges against him represented a continuation of the SPC persecution in Montenegro from World War II and the communist period.
“A result of such behavior is artificial creation of a pseudo-religious community that they are trying to plant as the only Orthodox church for political and ideological reasons,” the metropolitan was quoted as saying.
He stressed that so-called Montenegrin Orthodox Church was a “cuckoo egg” and a state project funded by the state budget.
“In the meantime there were attacks and seizure of churches and the people are divided on the basis of Orthodoxy, for the first time in Montenegro’s history. A cuckoo egg, called Montenegrin Orthodox Church, has been planted and formed solely for the sake of political goals,” Amfilohije pointed out.
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