VATICAN CITY (CNS): The new head of Belgrade archdiocese in Yugoslavia, Archbishop Stanislav Hocevar, said the arrest of former President Slobodan Milosevic was a sign of hope for the future.
In an April 3 interview with Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, Archbishop Hocevar said Milosevic’s arrest on charges of corruption shows “Yugoslavia is on the right path. It has had the courage to promote truth and social justice”.
As Yugoslav police surrounded Milosevic’s home before he turned himself in on April 1, the archbishop told Italian reporters that individuals responsible for crimes in the Balkans must be identified before the region can enjoy lasting peace.
The 55 year-old Salesian had been Coadjutor Archbishop of Belgrade for just over a year when Pope John Paul II accepted the resignation on March 31 of Archbishop Franc Perko, making Archbishop Hocevar head of the archdiocese automatically. Archbishop Perko, 71, had been in poor health.
Speaking to Fides after Milosevic’s arrest, Archbishop Hocevar said: “A future of hope opens for the Yugoslav people. The Catholic Church supports the search for truth and justice.”