Pope begs forgiveness for crimes against Serbs
Pope John Paul celebrated Mass in the Serbian capital of Banja Luka on Sunday on the spot where more than 2,000 Serbs were executed in 1942 after being forced to take communion. The Pope sought forgiveness on behalf of all Catholics who had unjustly treated members of other faiths in the region in all the wars of the past.
The main reason for the Pope’s visit to predominantly Serbian Orthodox Banja Luka was to beatify Catholic layman Ivan Merz, who was raised in the town before moving to Zagreb where he gained a reputation as a lay evangelist.
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South East Europe Online
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24 Jun 2003