Papal Amnesia

Getty Images

Papal Amnesia

Pope Benedict’s statement on his upcoming visit to Croatia leaves out a vital note of history.

The pope is scheduled to visit Croatia, longtime ally of Rome and Berlin, on June 4.

Last week, upon receiving the new Croatian ambassador to the Vatican State, Filip Vucak, Benedict commented on Croatia, referring to what he declared was the “beauty of its culture and the depth of its ancestors’ faith.” He then stressed that this heritage contributed to “[fortifying] the current generations by showing them clearly their rich Croatian historical heritage and the Christian culture with which it is deeply permeated, and which has always supported the Croatian people in times of adversity.”

Either this pope is suffering from a bout of amnesia, or he is being very devious in his interpretation of Croatian history, specifically its very Catholic history and especially its wartime history of just 70 years ago.

When one considers the “times of adversity” which have swept across Europe over time, especially its multiple wars, one would be hard put to compare anything with the Nazi onslaught of 70 years ago. So just how did the “Christian culture” with which the pope declares Croatia “is deeply permeated” support the Croatian peoples in that time of unsurpassed adversity on the European continent?

Reflecting on Germany’s unilateral recognition of Croatia and Slovenia as separate states to greater Yugoslavia immediately following the reunification of Germany in 1990, Alexander Cockburn observed, “When Germany led the Western powers to recognize Croatia, Slovenia and finally Bosnia at the start of the ’90s, the Serbs remembered vividly what had happened to them at the hands of the Nazi-backed puppet state of Croatia in World War ii. At least 700,000 Serbs—some say as many as 1.2 million—along with 30,000 Jews, were slaughtered by Croats in the Jasenovac concentration camp” (Detroit Free Press, Aug. 24, 1995).

Cockburn was referring to Ante Pavelik’s Nazi puppet state under which regime Croatians forced the conversion of non-Catholics to the religion of Rome at the point of a gun.

The true import of the linkage between Rome, Berlin and Croatia is revealed in our article “Croatia Reveals the Rising Beast!

What is deeply concerning to Vatican watchers familiar with the almost-2,000-year-old history of this religion, is the propensity for its papal patriarchs to esteem the memory of those who have been responsible for the slaughter of countless thousands in the name of their religion.

John Paul ii, to be beatified by his successor, Benedict xvi, in May, was guilty himself of such an act. He beatified the wartime Croatian bishop Alojzije Stepinac. Under Stepinac’s fanatical Nazi-Roman-Catholic leadership, “the Catholic Church was deeply involved in the Holocaust in Yugoslavia—its bishops and priests openly supported the murderous regime of Ante Pavelic, the wartime Croatian leader who pursued a ruthless policy of ‘kill a third, deport a third, and convert a third’ of all the Serbs, Jews and Roma of Croatia and Bosnia. … Archbishop Stepinac [was] convicted of war crimes after the war” (Flame, Spring 2000).

A report by the U.S. State Department issued in 1998 stressed that the Vatican, under Pope Pius xii (whom Pope Benedict is champing at the bit to beatify), was fully aware of the atrocities that its bishops were overseeing and endorsing in Yugoslavia during the war.

“The Vatican, which maintained an ‘apostolic visitor’ in Zagreb from June 1941 until the end of the war, was aware of the killing campaign, which started with the internment of most of the 35,000 to 45,000 Croatian Jews in the spring and summer of 1941, and continued with the flight of up to 5,000 Jews from the German-occupied areas of the Croatian state to the Italian portion of the protectorate, and the deportation to Germany of all remaining Croatian Jews beginning in July 1942. Croatian Catholic authorities condemned the atrocities committed by the Ustashi, but remained otherwise supportive of the regime. … The German occupiers boasted that the Jewish population of Croatia had been wiped out by early 1944” (supplement to “Preliminary Study on U.S. and Allied Efforts to Recover and Restore Gold and other Assets Stolen or Hidden by Germany During World War ii,” Department of State, June 1998).

Was it these “specific characteristics” of Croatian history, this particular aspect of Croatia’s “religious life and culture,” this particular expression of Croatia’s “religious and cultural identity” to which Pope Benedict was referring when he commented last week that “Croatia will soon fully enter the European Union,” remarking that “this integration must be achieved fully respecting Croatia’s specific characteristics, regarding its religious life and culture”? He added that “In entering the European Union, your country shall not only be the recipient of an economic and legal system with both advantages and limits, but should also bring its own, typically Croatian contribution. Croatia should not be afraid to make a determined claim for respect for its history and its religious and cultural identity.

The most damning of Benedict’s statements regarding his endorsement of the Croatian “Christian” heritage was contained in his closing remarks to the new ambassador: “For all these reasons I am most pleased to be able to visit your country in a few weeks’ time. … As you know, the theme chosen for the trip will be ‘Together in Christ!’ … In the name of Christ, who accompanied the Croatian people throughout centuries with goodness and mercy, I wish to offer encouragement to your country and to the church which accompanies you.

This is the same church that accompanied Archbishop Stepinac on his murderous rampage, that endorsed scores of nuns and Franciscans lauding Hitler with the Nazi salute, that remained silent in the full knowledge of the ethnic cleansing and forced conversions at gunpoint that affected the lives of multiple thousands of Croatian residents during World War ii who had the “misfortune” to not be baptized under the sign of the great mother church of Rome.

This is Pope Benedict showing his true colors.

If you really want to know what is truly the real power behind this pope, then read our booklet The Rising Beast. It’s a classic in its succinct expose of just what is behind the Berlin-Rome connection, and the role which the fascist puppet state of Croatia is due to play, once again, in European affairs.