USTASHA Movement


"...The revival of a policy of forcible conversion assumes an even more portentous significance when one remembers that it occurred with the tacit approval of the Vatican. Had the Vatican disapproved not a single priest could have taken part in the massacres or forcible conversions of Orthodox Serbs.

A village priest can act only with the approval of minor Hierarchs who themselves cannot move without the permission of their Bishop, while the Bishop, in his turn, must act according to the instructions of his Archbishop; the Archbishop only on those of the Primate; the Primate on the direct instructions of the Vatican.

The Vatican is the personal dominion of the Pope. The Pope being the central pivot of the vast Hierarchical machinery, it follows that the ultimate responsibility for all members of the clergy-or, to be more precise, for the collective action of any given national Hierarchy - rests with him. This cannot be otherwise. For policies of great import must be submitted to him before their promotion by all Hierarchies the world over, the Pope being their sole authority.

If the responsibility for the monstrous persecutions of Orthodox Serbs rests with the head of the National Hierarchy - i.e. Stepinac - it has automatically to rest also with the Head of the Universal Church, without whose consent the Catholic Hierarchy would not have dared to act -- i.e. with Pius XII.

Communication between Rome and Croatia was as easy and as free in peace-time. From the very beginning of hostilities the Nazi Ambassador at the Vatican was treated as of far greater importance than all the Allied diplomats. In 1940 - 2 the Vatican was on the most cordial terms with Hitler.

Political and religious Ustashi leaders came and went between Rome and Zagreb as freely as did the Germans and Italians, the Ustashi State then being a satellite of Nazi Germany, and hence a province of the Nazi Empire. Moreover, the Pope knew what was happening in Croatia, not only through the Hierarchical administrative machinery, which kept him up to date on all Croatian events, but also through other reliable sources.

They were:

(a) The Papal Legate.

Pius XII, it should never be forgotten, had a personal representative in Croatia, whose task was to implement Vatican policy and coordinate it with that of Pavelic, as well as reporting on religious and political matters to the Pope himself.

The Papal Legate to Croatia was Mgr. Marcone, who openly blessed the Ustashi publicly gave the Fascist salute, and encouraged Catholics (e.g. when he went to Mostar) to be "faithful to the Holy See, which had helped that same people for centuries against Eastern barbarism"-that is say, against the Orthodox Church and the Serbs.

Thus, the Pope's official representative openly instigated religious persecution, as well as praying for victory "under the leadership of the Head of the State Pavelic," against the Yugoslav National Liberation Army in 1944 - 5.

(b) Cardinal Tiseran, head of the Holy Congregation of Eastern Churches.

This congregation's specific task was to deal with Eastern Churches. Cardinal Tiseran received detailed reports of every forcible conversion and massacre in Croatia. Between April and June, 19 over 100,000 Orthodox Serbs were massacred; yet Cardinal Tiseran on July 17, 1941, had the audacity to declare that Archbishop Stepinac would now do a great work for the development of Catholicism in "the Independent State of Croatia...where there are such great hopes for the conversion of those who are not of the true faith."

(c) Ante Pavelic, who, by his representative to the Vatican, through whom Pius XII sent "special blessing to the Leader (Pavelic)," forwarded regular reports, at times straight from the Minister of Religions, about the "rapid" progress of the Catholicization of the New Croatia.

(d) Last but not least, Archbishop Stepinac himself, who in person visited Pius XII twice, and who supplied His Holiness with figures of the forcible conversions. In an official document, dated as late as May 8, 1944, His Eminence Archbishop Stepinac, head of the Catholic Hierarchy, in fact, informed the Holy Father that to date "244,000 Orthodox Serbs" had been "converted to the Church of God."


SOURCE: The Vatican's Holocaust by Avro Manhattan,

( pg. 100-104), Library of Congress Catalog No: 86-062016 END QUOTE