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December 9, 1994     The Message
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December 9, 1994
 

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14 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana B0snia's Catholic leaders assess physical, religious da By AGOSTINO BONO Catholic News Service ROME (CNS) -- As Bosnian nights lengthened and Serbs stretched their military gains, a clear victor in the battlefield, where Serbs dominate. Catholic concern was under- scored by Pope John Paul II, who restated his desire to visit Sarajevo as "a sign of my close- Catholic leaders in the war ness to Catholics" and the zones angrily assessed the physical, religious and political damage of the fighting. Cardinal Vinko Puljic of the Serb-besieged capital of Sara- jevo condemned the "immoral attitude" of the United Na- tions, which he said has re- mained neutral while Serbian aggressors destroy their weaker opponents. Bishop Franjo Komarica of Banja Luka criticized "the hor- ror, the death, the humiliation" in his northern Bosnian dio- cese. The diocese includes Bihac, the Muslim-held city that was the scene of fierce Serb attacks beginning in late November and continuing into December. The stepped-up Serb offen- sive in Bosnia-Herzegovina began in the second half of November and continued into December, throwing interna- tional mediation efforts into disarray. This increased the probabilities that the fighting would only stop when there is other groups "tried by the war." The pope said Nov. 28 that he made the visit offer at a time when the fighting "has re- ignited and rages in a very worrying way." The offer was made to Cardi- nal Puljic, whom the pope had inducted two days earlier into the College of Cardinals. Bishop Komarica, who ac- companied Cardinal Puljic to the Vatican induction cere- mony, said the "tragic escala- tion of this absurd war" has not shaken the "indifference of the world." The war "drags along with it the ruins of a Europe of justice and a West of solidarity," said Bishop Komarica. The fighting shows that in- ternational organizations are in retreat and "incapable of being a bulwark against vio- lence," he said. In their offensive, the Serbs held U.N. troops as hostages to discourage air attacks against their positions by the North Croats, religion is not the been drawing nearer Letters to the editor are welcome a . Q etters to the editor are welcome. Letters gned and must include a daytime telephone Atlantic Treaty Organization. Cardinal Puljic, Bosnia's first cardinal, took advantage of the induction ceremony to grant news interviews in which he pleaded for a negoti- ated end to the fighting and urged the United Nations to take sides to protect the vic- tims of aggression. "I cannot understand the at- titude o.f the United Nations, which declares itself neutral, but with this neutrality ac- cepts the law of the strongest to the detriment of the weak- est," said the cardinal. The arms embargo also only favors the better-armed Serbs "to the detriment of the weak- est," he added. U.N. officials have said that the mission of their troops is not to intervene in the war but to enforce a truce if the war- ring parties ever agree to one. Cardinal Puljic said-lack of strong international action at the start of the fighting more than two years ago is mainly responsible for the current sit- uation. "A mistake was made in the beginning, when an immediate end should have been put to the aggression and the shoot- ing stopped," he said. "If this had been done, people would have continued to dialogue in a different social climate." Although the fighting in- volves Muslims, mostly Ortho- dox Serbs and mainly Catholic cause of the war, he said. The war is an attempt by the Serb-controlled army of the old Yugoslavia "to impede the es- tablishment of democracy," he said. "The army refused to accept democracy, because with it the Serbs would have lost all their privileges and been forced to divide their power with oth- ers," Cardinal Puljic said. World leaders "tacitly toler- ated the Serb aggression; con- sequently the situation became radical, and the people under attack, the victims, were forced to take up arms and defend themselves," he added. This allowed the Serbs to oc- cupy 30 percent of Croatia and 70 percent of Bosnia-Herzegov- ina and begin an "ethnic cleansing system" which has become "a true and proper genocide," he said. Another grave problem "is the radicalization that is ma- turing both within the Serb Orthodox Church and the Mus- lim community," severely hin- dering contacts between the leaders of the two groups, he said. This hardening of religious attitudes goes against the grain of Bosnia's traditional ethnic and religious tolerance, he added. On the one hand Serbian Or- thodox leaders have not been strong enough in condemning war crimes, he said. On the other, Muslims have fundamentalist which support their said. "With the the war, gaining more room." Not enough tention has been given plight of Croatian the smallest ring groups, he said. ceses are on the pearing and no one US." : Meanwhile, the psychological toll on tims of the fighting has: them "tired fed-uP, said Catholic Relief Director "You don't see any ple," he said after from Sarajevo at the November. There is an stress" caused by the: danger of being sl snipers or being on ing end of an artillerY S added. Simple things putting eggs back pasta mix en asm, Hackett said. It may be that ance of eggs in "gave the people some sense of Hackett said. U.N. troops tect the constantly humanitarian to Sarajevans ested in protecting from Serb fire, he Postage hike seen,as affectin Your. Chance to Say Thanks. With limited retirement : savings, Catholic sisters, brothers, and '% order priests face a financial crisis. Please '! take this opportunity to show your gratitude to those who have given so much. Give generously to the Retirement Fund for Religious collection in your parish. You may also send a donation to: Retirement  for Religicais P.O. Box 73140, Dept. D Baltimore, MD 21273 nonprofit mailers same as ot By PATRICIA ZAPOR Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- After years of battling with the U.S. Postal Service and Congress over special rates, nonprofit organizations expect the newest postage increase to affect them no differently than it does other mailers. Lee Cassidy of the National Federation of Nonprofits, for- merly the Nonprofit Mailers Federation, said the increase approved by the Postal Rate Commission Nov. 30 treats nonprofit customers about the same as every other mailer. Basic first-class postage will increase from 9 to 32 cents on" Jan. 1 under the rate commis- sion's recommendation. Rates for third-class nonprofit mail will increase an average of 3.9 percent and second-class non- profit rates will go up an aver- age of 19.3 percent. The postal board of governors was ex- pected to affirm the increases by mid-December. Cassidy said the increases are approximately what was expected by the federation. The change was predicted far enough ahead that most mem- ber organizations should have been able to budget accord- ingly, he said. In March 1994 the postal service filed a pro- posal to increase rates across the board. Nonprofit rates were predicted to increase about 3.5 percent for third class and 17.6 percent for sec- ond class. For years, nonprofit organi- zations had fought to prevent sudden, dramatic increases in their reduced rates, as the postal service sought to make nonprofit rates cover more of the actual costs of mailing. To cushion the expense of mailing, Congress subsidized the difference between non- profit rates and what the postal service determined to be the true costs of mailing. But as Congress tried to reduce the federal budget, each funding cycle brought a new round of attempts to eliminate the sub- sidy. Nonprofit organizations annually waged frantic lobby- ing efforts to protect the sub- sidy and get the post office to phase in increases more gradu- ally. Under a out in 1993, that stl gradually being nonprofit rates are creased to cover The second of six increases took effect! ber, Cassidy said. With that s across-the-board such as that set fect nonprofit same degree as customer, he But 1995 could round of worries forl profit on their rates to tions and funds or to according to The postal on proposals to ous types of mail. reclassification who is eligible rates and might to qualify for No have been said, Main Si t'hal 217 E. Main St. I Phone: