On March 8, the Croatian Conference of Bishops issued a statement on the decision by the administrator of the Diocese of Gurk Klagenfurt not to permit the celebration of a Requiem Mass on the Bleiburg Field this year. We present the statement in its entirety:
“The administrator of the Diocese of Gurk Klagenfurt, Msgr. Engelbert Guggenberger, has decided not to permit the celebration of a Requiem Mass this year on the Bleiburg field. The Croatian Conference of Bishops has received this decision with sorrow and expresses its profound disagreement with the reasons stated for such a decision and, therefore, dismisses them in their entirety. Denial of the opportunity to pray for the victims of this great tragedy of the Croatian nation signifies a lack of respect for the victims and a lack of compassion for the suffering of innocents.
“Representatives of the Croatian Conference of Bishops and the Austrian Bishops’ Conference have discussed the commemoration of the Bleiburg tragedy on several occasions. The Croatian Conference of Bishops has been involved in the organization of the celebration of Mass on the Bleiburg field since 2003 through the Pastoral Directorate for Croats Abroad of the Croatian Conference of Bishops and the Bishops’ Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Throughout all these years, especially last year, 2018, the celebration of the Eucharist was conducted with the dignity befitting the most exalted prayer of the Church,” stated the bishops.