MEP Tomasic: Catholic Church in Austria succumbs to aggressive left-wing lobbies

NEWS 09.03.2019 15:35
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Source: (ilustracija)

Croatian MEP Ruza Tomasic on Saturday condemned the decision by the Roman Catholic Church in the Austrian federal state of Carinthia to withhold permission for this year's memorial mass at a field near Bleiburg, saying that this decision was the result of the influence of aggressive left-wing lobbies at the top of the Church hierarchy in Austria.

The Roman Catholic Church in the Austrian federal state of Carinthia has turned down a request by the Croatian Bishops Conference (HBK) to hold a mass at Loibach, a field near Bleiburg because the event is used for political purposes, the local church said on Friday.

Tomasic sent an open letter to the bishop of the Gurk-Klagenfurt Diocese saying that banning holy mass “is a scandalous and shocking act, worth of every condemnation.”

Tomasic also said it was sad that the “Church is accepting this kind of indoctrination, left behind from some former regimes, without an objection.”

Even though the Bleiburg gathering is held on private property, holding a religious service there requires permission from the Catholic Church in Carinthia.

Since last year Austria has been treating the Bleiburg commemoration more critically, at the initiative of several Austrian members of the European Parliament. Recently, a law went into force banning the display of Ustasha symbols, dating back to the time of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH).

The Bleiburg commemorations are held in tribute to tens of thousands of Croatian civilians and soldiers of the defeated Nazi-allied NDH who surrendered to allied forces there in May 1945 but were handed over by British troops to Yugoslav forces. Many were executed on the spot, while many perished during so-called death marches back to Yugoslavia.

The Croatian Bishops Conference (HBK) on Friday expressed its deep disagreement with the decision by the Roman Catholic Church in Carinthia to withhold permission for this year’s memorial mass at Loibach.