Wiesenthal Center Denounces Zagreb Memorial Mass for World War II Croatian Mass Murderer Ante Pavelić and Calls for Defrocking of Priests Lasić and Kos

Jerusalem – The Simon Wiesenthal Center today denounced the recent (December 28) memorial mass conducted in Zagreb in honor of Ustasha leader Ante Pavelić, who as head of state of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) bears direct responsibility for the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of Serbs, tens of thousands of Jews, and numerous Roma. In a statement issued here today by its chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center called the ceremony “a grievous insult to the memory of Pavelić’s numerous victims and a mockery of the horrific crimes of the Ustasha.”

According to Zuroff:

“This ceremony, which had previously been stopped by church authorities in the wake of protests by the Wiesenthal Center and others, is a disgrace to the local Catholic Church and incomprehensible in a country about to enter the European Union. We call upon the Croatian authorities to ban such ceremonies in the future and urge the religious leaders responsible for Vjekoslav Lasić and Stanislav Kos, the priests who performed the mass, to defrock them for conducting a ceremony which made a total mockery of Christian values.”

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