Europe - Jesuits come to the aid of the Orthodox

From: "The Tablet", London England Section:

"The Church in the World"

August 9, 1997

The Jesuits are helping the Serbian Orthodox Church to re-establish its presence in Catholic Croatia, according to the Jesuit Refugee Service in Rome.

The Church has been exiled from Croatia since 1995, when the Serbian Orthodox minority in Croatia failed in its attempt to separate itself geographically from the Catholic majority. Orthodox churches were then vandalised or ransacked, and all the Orthodox clergy, with the exception of 13 elderly priests, fled with their congregations.

Recently there has been a return to the villages, but the religious leader, Metropolitan Jovan, continues to lead his 50,000-strong flock from a flat in Trieste.

At a recent meeting with Metropolitan Jovan in Trieste, Fr Stjepan Kusan SJ of the Jesuit Refugee Service offered sponsorship for several Orthodox priests to return, as well as help in setting up parish councils. Fr Kusan has already organised groups of young Catholics to work with Orthodox volunteers in cleaning up and repairing damaged Orthodox churches in the Krajina region of Croatia and to protect the Orthodox seminary and library there from further vandalism. The metropolitan has accepted Fr Stjepan's offer.

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