Since this is my first posting on this forum I will try to be nice. This is a copy of a reply to a similar statement on another forum.
I'm not going to get into a tit for tat quagmire. There were and are plenty of evil Croats who committed crimes against humanity, just like some Serbs did. Why NATO singled out the Serbs for judgment has more to do with P.R. than reality.
In any event, the desecration of a church is wrong. The forced removal of people from their homes is wrong. The destruction of art because of the ethnic identity of its author is wrong. An infant doesn’t know if it’s a Croat, Serb, Albanian, Catholic, Orthodox, Muslim, Pagan, or atheist. An infant knows when it’s cold and hungry. I pray for anyone who thinks that the infant is getting what it deserves because of perceived collective guilt.
Many of these people have suffered. Many are innocent of the crimes for which you have declared them collectively guilty and declared the judgment fitting. Some even fought against Milosevic and his regime. May I remind you that the Serbs defeated Milosevic, not NATO. (Before you claim this was so because of the bombing, most went to Belgrade because he lost a democratic election and refused to step down). The same can’t be said of other nationalities and their prime belligerents.
I should also remind you that last month Metropolitan Amfilohije stood as a shield in front of a Mosque in Belgrade to stop a crowd from burning it down. It was at his behest that the firefighters and police were able to keep the mosque from being completely destroyed. Intervention from the Serbian Patriarchate such as this has been common throughout the recent conflicts in the Balkans. Anyone who has told you differently is misinformed.
Before you make statements about what someone did or didn’t say when the materials are in the public domain, please check them. Don’t just blindly trust the Washington Post. Look for yourself and see what Patriarch Pavle has been saying all along.
February 15, 1992
While lamenting those closest to us by faith and blood, for all the hardship that came upon them, destroyed homes, churches, irretrievable destroyed treasures of historical and cultural significance, we lament the Croatian people also, for their misfortune and suffering as well as the destruction of their property and churches, their cultural and historical monuments, knowing that had we been better Christians and better men, this disaster could have bypassed us.
I appeal to you all, brothers and sisters, to spend this following week in fasting, in humility of heart, in prayer and repentance, that our conscience and mind at least be awakened from these tragedies, so that we see the teaching of the Gospel that it is not terrible to die for the sake of God's righteousness, but it is terrible to die for the sake of sin, not seeing and feeling its horror and the need for repentance, the correction of our lives, the return to God's way, the way of humanity, justice and truth.
Petitions composed by Patriarch Pavle
for inclusion in all services:
At the Great Litany:
"For the mercy of God for us, His unworthy servants, to keep us all from hatred and evil deeds, to implant in us unselfish love, whereby all may recognize that we are disciples of Christ and people of God, as were our saintly ancestors, so that we may always know to ally ourselves with the truth and justice of the Heavenly Kingdom, let us pray to the Lord."
"For all those who committed injustice against their neighbor, whether they saddened the poor or spilled innocent blood, or returned hatred with hatred, that God grant them repentance, enlighten their minds and hearts, and illumine their souls with holy love even toward their enemies, let us pray to the Lord.
Litany of Fervent Supplications:
"O Lord, how many are the foes who war against us and say: 'There is no help for them from God or from man.' Lord, reach out Thy hand to us that we remain Thy people, both in faith and in works. If we must suffer, may it be on the road to Thy justice and Thy truth, and not because of our injustice or hatred toward anyone. Let us all say fervently, Lord have mercy."
"Again we pray to God, the Savior of all men, even for our enemies, that the Lord who loves mankind turn them away from violence against our Orthodox people; that they not destroy our holy temples and graves, that they not kill our children and persecute our people, but that they also find the road to repentance, justice and salvation. Let us all say fervently, Lord have mercy."
These quotes are only a few of hundreds. Other quotes are more explicit than these. They are easily found. Please, don't ignore the words from someone and then accuse the same person of being silent. Ignorance is not an excuse for your condemnation of a church and its patriarch.
I would also like to point out the danger in the "what goes around comes around" justification of doing something or partially excusing something that is glaringly immoral. The danger is that what goes around may just come around to you.
I have heard more than a few people state that 9/11 was God's judgment for NATO's role in bombing civilians in Yugoslavia (especially in, of all places, Vojvodina - my goodness, what was the purpose?). I don't believe it, but if you believe that what's happening in Serbia is because of evil there and it is "God's judgement", then perhaps that was because of evil here.