After the conviction of the so-called Croatians six in The Hague, bishops of the Bishops’ Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina, sent their message to Croatians and the general public.
Although we feel that, after the verdict and the tragic death of Slobodan Praljak in The Hague on November 29th, 2017, silence would be the most appropriate expression of our feelings, we know that, perhaps rightfully, all the well-intentioned people of this country, and especially Catholics, expect our response.
On this occasion we repeat, what we repeated throughout the war, that we oppose and condemn each and every crime and for each of them one should take responsibility. We also repeat that during the war, what hurt us the most were the crimes committed by the people who were washed in christening water in the Catholic Church. Consistent with this and aware of the world we live in, and baring in mind the victims of interests that all nationalities were, especially the common people, we do not want to comment on the judgments of the Hague Tribunal.
But we can not and should not close our eyes to the obvious fact that a message was sent and keeps being sent to the native Croatian people, since the Washington and Dayton Peace agreement, especially in the manner of their implementation, that Bosnia and Herzegovina is not their homeland and that there is no room for them here. That, we consider immoral and, therefore, dangerous and unacceptable for the future of this country and all its citizens and nationalities. This is a kind of crime for which many, from those who give the native Croat people moral lessons and threats, should answer. But unfortunately, they will not be responsible for this crime, the same way as some who committed many crimes against Croats never answered to The Hague.
Despite of this bitter and painful fact with the power of faith in God, who knows everybody’s deeds and sees hidden intentions, on behalf of the Catholic Church, we remain open to every fruitful collaboration with all those who care about the more rightful and human worthy general state in this country. We invite and encourage our countrymen Croat Catholics to not lose hope or fear the future in this country. We remind you that there were more unfair times and heavier burdens, but our ancestors and ourselves too, with the power of trust in God and love of our homeland, have survived and endured it all. All this injustice and distress will pass, and only the good that we did from the faith in God and from the love of man will remain. For you and for all the people of this country, for all those who were killed and for all dead, we direct our prayers to the good and the merciful God!
Bishops of BK BIH
Vinko cardinal Puljić, Archbishop of Vrhbosna
Msgr. Franjo Komarica, Bishop of Banja Luka
Msgr. Ratko Perić, Bishop of Mostar-Duvno and apostolic administrator of Trebinje-Mrkan
Msgr. Tomo Vukšić, Military bishop in BiH BiH
Msgr. Pero Sudar, Auxiliary bishop of Vrhbosna
Msgr. Marko Semren, OFM, Auxiliary bishop of Banja Luka