Letter of Bishop Fotije of Dalmatia to Croatian President Dr Ivo Josipovic

Honourable Mr. President,

Let me congratulate You in my name and on behalf of the Diocese of Dalmatia on the recent election to the high office of the President of the Republic of Croatia with a desire to long and successfully perform this delicate and responsible duty.

The reason of our written address to You is meritorious and honest need to point You at the possible danger of announced creation of the so-called Croatian Orthodox community and the yesterday's announcement in Zadar, that a so-called Croatian Orthodox Church will be soon formed. All this mentioned might seem completely unnecessary, and even our own concern about the formation of these associations, as we are witnesses that in democratic societies various associations are popping up like mushrooms after rain. However, it seems to us that in this case, however, is about something else and it is not so harmless.

Above mentioned "Croatian Orthodox community" in its founding program has its foundation and historical source in Ante Pavelic's Independent State of Croatia (NDH). After the NDH, as we all know, numerous corpses, caves and camps were left, where innocent people were mostly killed just because they were of other religion or nation. The leader (poglavnik) of Ustashe Pavelic besides the atrocious crimes and the genocide against Serbs, Jews and Roma, in 1942 he formed the Croatian Orthodox Church with the aim of complete destruction and annihilation of Serbs and the Serbian Orthodox Church on the territory of Croatia. As we do not want to deal with the history much longer, we feel our human and pastoral duty to point out to You at the militant and Ustashe-like nature of this Community that is forming. This Community could contribute with its work and its possible acting to reawakening of the racial and religious intolerance theories, which are unpopular today, and even are prohibited by law in most democratic countries of Europe today.

Our Church and Orthodox Serbs in the Diocese of Dalmatia after the recent tragic war, are trying to live by healing spiritual and material wounds, and also worrying about life and survival of our people, who has lived and are living in this region for centuries. Just when we have thought: "Behold the peace" and that "swords are unminted and plows are made" such a sinister association appears, that in its fundamental program has a denial of the another - currently the Serbs and the Serbian Orthodox Church.

We hope that You will understand this our short address and that You will help with Your presidential authority to stop and suppress any registration of such association. This association itself does not bring peace or prosperity , but also heralds a new tragedy, from which no one would have use, especially not the Republic of Croatia and its citizens, who aim to join the EU.

With great respect,

Bishop FOTIJE of Dalmatia 

Shibenik, 13.03.2010

Source: Diocese of Dalmatia