Jadovno, Croatia: We Do Not Pray for the Perished But to the Perished

Church of Serbia – 29/6/2020

Every word in this place is excessive. Faced with the mystery of evil, we need to penetrate the mystery of good, said His Eminence Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb and Ljubljana at the Memorial Service for the victims of Jadovno (*Croatian concentration camp for Serbs in WWII)  on 24th June 2020 over the Saran Pit, near Gospic, Croatia.

Memorial service for the victims of Jadovno was officiated by His Eminence Porfirije and Their  Graces Bishops Gerasim of Gornji Karlovac and Nikodim of Dalmatia with the concelebration of the clergy of the three dioceses.

“What is it that brings people to the very profundity of evil, to the point that they furiously wipe out any dignity of another human being”, the Metropolitan wondered. “Searching for an answer, it is more correct to remain silent” the Metropolitan concluded. “Looking into the abyss of insanity, we have gathered here to do everything to exterminate any insanity, admonishing ourselves to admonish others as well that we are all created for good.”

“If we haven’t yet been able to love one another anymore, then we can, at least, be disgusted with evil, and not do bad things to one another. That will be enough to begin with”, His Eminence Porfirije emphasized and added:

“We do not pray for the perished, but we pray to them and to all the innocent victims who are near the throne of God, that the seed and the root of evil would be destroyed in our souls, in us and among us.”

President of the counsel of the Serbian National Council Mr. Milorad Pupovac, one of the speakers at the commemoration, called on those present to remember those who had lost their souls in this place by killing the innocent: “They judged people on the basis of the measures that are neither divine nor human. They judged because they had thought they would have created a better and more free state than it would be with them as living people.”

“Jadovno was only a part of the Gospic system of concentration camps in which 24 thousand people were killed”, university professor Ivo Goldstein reminded. “Unlike Pag and Jasenovac, there are no testimonies about how it exactly was, so this camp is even more horrible”, the professor pointed out.

Source: Metropolitanate of Zagreb and Ljubljana

( translated into English by Sanja Simic de Graaf)