The Holy Mass being organised in Sarajevo for those killed in Bleiburg in 1945 is not an attempt to revise history and opposing it means violating the fundamental freedoms of Catholics, the Croatian Cultural Society Napredak (HKD Napredak) said on Tuesday.
"Celebrating Holy Mass as a religious rite in itself excludes provocation, and especially bringing it into the context of any rehabilitation of the Ustasha regime, as some claim. Those two (concepts) simply exclude each other," HKD Napredak said.
It said that freedom is a fundamental value in modern society and that it includes religious freedom and a right to hold a Holy Mass for the dead.
Connecting Bosnia’s Catholic Archbishop with any crimes based on his piousness toward those killed and their families is “illogical and unacceptable,” it said, adding that opposing the event represents “systematic violation of religious freedoms of Catholics.”
The criticism over the event represents “a public attack against Croats and Catholics who must be equal citizens within the democratic state of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its capital, Sarajevo.”
“Many like to emphasise how Sarajevo is an open city and ‘Europe’s Jerusalem’, so how come some people are bothered by a Catholic prayer for the dead? Disputing the prayer of any religious community represents a violation of fundamental human rights which are guaranteed by all European and global conventions,” it said.
HKD Napredak then condemned “any totalitarian regime, be it Nazi, fascist, communist, any glorification of undemocratic political systems and any restriction of the religious rights of others” as those “distance us from the European path, European values and common goal - true peace based on historical truth and progress of the entire society in which we want to live and coexist with others."