The Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish organization dedicated to hunting down Nazis and bringing them to justice, on Monday condemned a Mass said in Zagreb for Croatia's World War II pro-Nazi Ustasha leader Ante Pavelic on the occasion of the 55th anniversary of his death.
Efraim Zurrof, the director of the Jerusalem office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, was quoted by Israel's Arutz Sheva news portal as saying that "it's hard to believe that in the center of the capital of a member of the European Union, very close to Zagreb's Jewish community, hundreds of people gathered yesterday to commemorate the memory of one of Europe's biggest mass murderers,"
Mass of the dead is a Mass in the Catholic Church offered for the repose of the soul or souls of one or more deceased persons.
Zuroff labelled the service marking the 55rd anniversary of Pavelic's death as an "insult to the memory of Pavelic's hundreds of thousands of innocent victims", and a "badge of shame for the Catholic Church".
The web portal notes that almost 90 percent of Croatia's population of 4.2 million are Roman Catholics.
Arutz Sheva also reports that masses on the anniversary of Pavelic's death are regularly held in Zagreb and in Split.