DAILY CATHOLIC     WEDNESDAY     April 21, 1999     vol. 10, no. 78

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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          BELGRADE (CWNews.com) - Russian Orthodox Patriarch Aleksei II arrived in Belgrade on Monday condemning NATO bombing of the country while also urging Serbs to offer a safe haven for ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.

          The patriarch addressed packed pews at the Serbian Orthodox St. Sava cathedral in the capital. "Our visit here shows that we are together in this difficult time," he said. "We share your sorrow. It's a sorrow of the people who suffer, who have become refugees, who need help and support." He added that he included all victims of the suffering in that sorrow -- Orthodox Christians, Muslims, and Catholics.

          Flanked by Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Pavle, Patriarch Aleksei blasted NATO's continuing campaign of air attacks. "NATO's bombs and missiles are intended to destroy the world order created after World War Two and paid for with a great deal of blood, and to found a new order on brute force." The russian government and public opinion have opposed the attacks since their start, reflecting the two countries long ties as Slavic peoples.

          He also urged Serbs to make peace with Kosovar Albanians, who have seen virtually their entire population of about 1.5 million turned into refugees. "Do everything in your power so all well-intentioned people who left their homes in Kosovo return," he said. "The only just peace is a solid and long-term peace. That's why you must do all you can to foster peace and harmony."

          The memorial service was also attended by Catholic Bishop Franco Perko of Belgrade, as well as Yugoslav Prime Minister Momir Bulatovic and Dragan Tomic, chairman of the Serbian parliament.

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

April 21, 1999       volume 10, no. 78


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