Shocking... Serb Orthodox Priest blessing the paramilitary soldiers just before genocide
Photo: A Screen shot from recently released video footage showing a Serb Orthodox priest blessing the paramilitary soldiers on June 25, 1995 just a few days before the soldiers were to be transferred to the Srebrenica area. Here is an interesting letter from 2004 written by Hariz Halilovic on behalf of Srebrenica Society in Australia. Apparently one of the TV stations did not do much research before presenting Pavle as yet another guest and a "Saint" in their TV program. That is as shocking as seeing a Patriarch blessing genocide persecutors of innocent people in Srebrenica.
Attached photo evidence: Patriarch Pavle with war criminals R. Karadzic and R. Mladic.
We, survivors from Srebrenica and all Bosnians and Herzegovinians in Australia, were deeply shocked and offended by the SBS TV World News coverage of the Serb Orthodox Church Patriarch Pavle’s visit to Australia on the 7 November 2004. This was not only culturally insensitive to the Bosnian survivors of the ethnic cleansing and genocide, but also a complete misrepresentation of a person who provided ideological backing to the perpetrators of the war crimes against civilian non-Serb populations, firstly in Bosnia and Croatia and later in Kosovo.
Photo: Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic and Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Pavle
The fact that the Serb Orthodox Church and its leader Patriarch Pavle have been supporting war criminal Radovan Karadžić and have never distanced themselves from all the atrocities committed with their blessings and in their name was not of a concern when honouring Patriarch Pavle as a ‘peace maker’ here in Australia. Without any points of reference he was presented by the SBS TV as ‘a key figure in the removal of Serbian dictator Slobodan Milošević’, forgetting that together they started the battle for a Greater Serbia, in Kosovo, in 1987. Without Patriarch Pavle’s active involvement in the Greater Serbia project, Milošević could not have been able to gain such a wide support by Serbs.
“Patriarch Pavle has long been a source of inspiration in Serbia. The 90-year-old is widely seen as an advocate of peace and democracy in the troubled Balkans.” - reads a transcript of the SBS World News. The truth is he helped hundreds of thousands of Bosnians to find their eternal peace by being brutally murdered by those who had his blessing. He supports democracy for all - as long as they are Serbs.
Photo: Pavle, Karadzic and Mladic
The Serb Orthodox Church and Patriarch Pavle were with Milošević while he was winning the wars in Bosnia and Croatia and while oppressing Albanians in Kosovo. Once he started losing the battles, the Serb Orthodox Church turned its back on Milošević, declaring him an ‘antichrist and an enemy of Serb people’.
It was reported that among Australian dignitaries Attorney-General Philip Ruddock and former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam were some of the guests of honour at a reception for Patriarch Pavle in Sydney. They should have known (especially our Attorney-General should have been better informed!?) that Patriarch Pavle was ‘a source of inspiration’ to the paramilitary formations such those of Arkan and notorious Chetniks to whom the Patriarch gave his blessing before they went off to commit the killings of non-Serbs, Muslims and Catholics, in Bosnia and Croatia.
They also should have known that the complete destruction of more than 1000 Muslim mosques and Catholic cathedrals by his followers were never condemned by the official Serb Orthodox Church and its leader Patrirch Pavle. How could anyone talk about Patriarch Pavle as someone “calling for a peaceful coexistence” when there are no other religious communities permitted wherever the Serb Orthodox Church dominates. On the places where Muslim mosques and Catholic cathedrals once stood, Orthodox Churches were built. The Bosniak cemeteries have been turned into parking areas and rubbish depots. Our dignitaries should visit the territories that were successfully cleansed by Patriarch Pavle’s followers from their non-Orthodox inhabitants to see the facts with their own eyes.
In our view, the ‘war on terror’ needs to be more than an empty rhetoric and should also include persecution and condemnation of those who participated in terror (including the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Herzegovina) or inspired it, like Patriarch Pavle.
It is indisputable that Patriarch Pavle has had a great influence on many “Serb politicians, soldiers, artists and simple people” as Orthodox priest Rade Radan said (SBS report), so he was then morally obliged as a spiritual leader and a Christian to tell his followers not to kill, but to love their neighbors and not to do to others what they wouldn’t wish to be done to them. He failed to do any of this, but instead continues to play the key role in the Serb ultra-nationalist movement and denial of such well-documented war crimes such killings of more than 8000 Bosniak men and boys from Srebrenica in July 1995.
In the name of those who were brutally murdered in Srebrenica and the 250,000 Bosnian and Herzegovinians who lost their lives, we will never stop reminding the community of the genocide that people like Patriarch Pavle refuse to recognize.
With kind regards,
Hariz Halilovich (on behalf of Srebrenica Society)
Photos: Serbs Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic accused of war crimes and genocide with Patriarch Pavle.
( References: Udruzenje Podrinje Srebrenica ).