Church in Serbia-Montenegro Hopeful in Wake of Assassination

BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro, MARCH 14, 2003 ( Following the assassination of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, the Catholic Church in Serbia and Montenegro expressed its commitment to help maintain peace, justice and the growth of democracy.

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That statement was made by Metropolitan Archbishop Stanislaw Hocevar of Belgrade, president of the episcopal conference of Serbia and Montenegro, after he learned of Wednesday’s assassination.

«The Church appeals for responsibility, prayer and commitment to the good, and expresses its full hope that, with the help of God, these great difficulties in the way to progress will be surmounted,» the SIR news agency reported.

Djindjic was shot when he was getting out of his car in front of the government building in Belgrade.

«Djindjic was the one who directed the first opposition movements against Milosevic, which in 1996 led to that wonderful popular participation in Belgrade,» Balkans expert Frederick Eichberg said on Vatican Radio.

He was a man «of the opposition, (…) I would say also close to the idea of integrating Serbia in the West,» Eichberg added.

Archbishop Hocevar said: «We are very affected by the extremely grave event of the assassination of Prime Minister, Zoran Djindjic. It is a great crime that we condemn and hope that all will do likewise.»

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