Zagreb Archbishop Franjo Cardinal Kuharić celebrated the Mass in memory of Vukovar and Škabrnja victims
Zagreb, 19.11.1994. (IKA) – Zagreb Archbishop Franjo Cardinal Kuharić celebrated the Mass in memory of Vukovar and Škabrnja victims on Friday, 18th November, day when Vukovar fell, at overcrowded perish church of St. Cross at Siget. The third anniversary of tragedy of that Croatian town at Danube was commemorated.
Greeting the Cardinal and present believers, perish priest fra Ilija Vrdoljak, emphasized that they gathered at this Mass by sad occasion, difficult memory in each Croat#!s heart, to all tragic and sad days three years ago, and this Mass and words are their strength and hope they could survive together those difficult times.
Addressing to all believers refugees from Vukovar, Borovo and Škabrnja, a village of Zadar hinterland, which lived its tragedy the same day through as Vukovar, and whose believers also gathered at this Mass, Cardinal Kuharić said at the beginning of Eucharist celebration that they start the Mass with psalm: “Jahve, my God, I cry during the day, I wail during the nights in front of You. Let my prayer come to You, bend your ear to my cry” (Ps 88, 2-3), because Croatian people, expelled from their fireplaces, like people of Israel cries to their God to bend his ear and to listen to their cries.
“Gathered at Mass in memory, we pray for all died, disappeared, wounded, expelled and displaced. We pray for righteous peace, because only righteous peace corrects injustice and enables return to security and freedom”, said the Cardinal. He emphasized it is hard to him to say a human word of comfort to those who remember today of that apocalyptic day of 18th November 1991st, that turn all evil on Vukovar, he said also it is difficult to him to comfort those who survived the tragedy of Škabrnja. After that, he asked what inside the human makes him so cruel and violent, and wants to take somebody#!s others belonging and to expel somebody from his own fireplace. He compared the life of our refugees with life of Jesus Christ who is Incorporated Word. Divine person and God Aimighty, who became a man for us. Jesus goes down among humans and goes to exile when he was an innocent child.
“God made a man for happiness, because he made him of love and offered him happiness if he takes it. But, it happens the misfortune that shakes the whole mankind, because lie, the Satan, takes human heart”.
“That is”, Cardinal continued, “evil spirit that threw love away and announced himself God”.
Addressing to refugees, Cardinal asked in his preach if they chose the life of refugee or of usurper.
Is it better to be a victim than tyrant, adding they are as victims closer to God.
“Vukovar was unjustly taken, the defenders lost the battle, but they can still win, because first of all they are victors in themselves. Nation that prays can not fall” Cardinal said encouraging the refugees to persist in their faith, hope and love, because they are not losers. “Losers are”, said Cardinal Kuharić, “those who expelled you from your fireplaces, from Vukovar, Škabrnja and other occupied Croatian territoires. They are losers before history and before God”.
He reminded that Alojzije Cardinal Stepinac of blessed memory lived injustice through, and in spite he fought for human dignity he was condemned as a criminal, we are witness that, 48 years after he was unjustly condemned. Holy Father kneeled and prayed at his grave. We, also, taking that example, have to persist in our prayer and hope. We can notice that so many mighty people do not have conscience, they only have interests. Let us include them into our prayers, praying for their conversion, a decision to grow in their hearts for a peacefull way to righteous peace. Only God can change human hearts to open and to accept that kind of peace.
We are a civilization of faith, we are by our faith civilization of love and we are carrying our cross together with Christ#!s Cross. Let he be the source of just peace and safe return to us”., Franjo Cardinal Kuharić said at the and of his preach.