Saturday, June 6, 2015

Pope urges Bosnian reconciliation

Pope Francis called for the “building of new bridges” as he visited the Bosnian capital on Saturday.

Twenty years after the end of the wars that saw around 100,000 people killed, the 78-year-old pontiff was greeted by crowds of thousands of well-wishers in Sarajevo.

"Sarajevo has been called the Jerusalem of Europe,” he said in address to Bosnia’s three-member presidency that represents the Muslim, Croat and Serb communities. “Indeed it represents a crossroads of cultures, nations and religions, a status which requires the building of new bridges, while maintaining and restoring older ones, thus ensuring avenues of communication that are efficient, sure and fraternal.”

Arriving in Sarajevo 18 years after his predecessor Pope John Paul II, Francis said his welcome at the city’s airport by Muslim, Orthodox, Catholic and Jewish children showed that “even the deepest wounds can be healed by purifying memories and firmly anchoring hopes in the future.”

The pope’s one-day visit will see him give a public address and hold Mass at Asim Ferhatovic Hase stadium, where thousands of people are expected to attend.

Later on the pontiff will meet clergy at the city’s Sacred Heart cathedral before visiting a youth center.

Francis is the third pope to visit Bosnia since the break-up of Yugoslavia and the Bosnian wars between 1992 and 1995.
  • Pope Francis has celebrated Mass in front of tens of thousands of Catholics at a stadium in Bosnia-Herzegovina...
The pontiff's visit to the capital, Sarajevo, is aimed at promoting peace and reconciliation across the country.

The Pope is also meeting members of the Muslim, Orthodox Christian and Jewish communities during his one-day trip.

Bosnia remains divided along religious and ethnic lines, 20 years after its civil war which depleted the Catholic population.

"War never again!" Pope Francis urged in his homily before 65,000 worshippers at Sarajevo's Kosevo stadium.

"War means children, women and the elderly in refugee camps; it means forced displacement, destroyed houses, streets and factories. Above all countless shattered lives," he said.

"You know this well having experienced it here," he added in reference to the 1992-95 Bosnian conflict, which left some 100,000 dead and two million displaced.....BBC


  1. Pope Francis urged Bosnia's Muslims, Orthodox and Catholics on Saturday to put the "barbarity" of war behind them and work together for a peaceful future as he made a one-day visit to Sarajevo to encourage reconciliation following the devastating three-way war of the 1990s...

    Francis received a joyous welcome from thousands of cheering Bosnians who lined his motorcade route through the mostly Muslim city of 300,000. Another 65,000 people, most of them Catholics, packed the same Sarajevo stadium where St. John Paul II presided over an emotional post-war Mass of reconciliation in 1997.

    "War never again!" Francis intoned in his homily, denouncing those who incite war to sell weapons or to deliberately foment tensions among peoples of different cultures. He called on Bosnians to make peace every day -- not just preach it -- through their "actions, attitudes and acts of kindness, of fraternity, of dialogue, of mercy."

  2. Papst Franziskus: Eine Art dritter Weltkrieg ist im Gang...

    Papst Franziskus sieht angesichts vieler bewaffneter Konflikte eine Art neuen Weltkrieg heraufziehen. Bei einem Besuch in Sarajevo rief das Oberhaupt der katholischen Kirche am Samstag zugleich zur Versöhnung der Religionen auf. Sarajevo war vor 20 Jahren Schauplatz eines Krieges zwischen hauptsächlich muslimischen Bosniaken, orthodoxen Serben und katholischen Kroaten.

    Im Hinblick auf die aktuellen Konflikte sagte der Papst: "Es ist eine Art dritter Weltkrieg, der stückweise geführt wird, und im Bereich der globalen Kommunikation nimmt man ein Klima des Krieges wahr." Einige Menschen wollten dieses Klima absichtlich schüren und suchten den Zusammenstoß verschiedener Kulturen, fügte der 78-Jährige bei einer Messe vor etwa 65.000 Menschen im Olympiastadium von Sarajevo hinzu. Andere würden mit Kriegen spekulieren, um Waffen zu verkaufen. Den Begriff "dritter Weltkrieg" hat der Papst schon mehrmals benutzt.

    Krieg bedeute zerstörte Häuser, zerbrochene Leben, sagte der Papst bei der Messe im Olympiastadium. "Ihr kennt das zu gut, weil Ihr es gerade hier erlebt habt. ... Heute erhebt sich noch einmal aus dieser Stadt der Schrei des Volkes Gottes und aller Männer und Frauen guten Willens: Nie wieder Krieg!"


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