Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople is a person of dialogue and has come here to encourage dialogue, Croatian Serb leader Milorad Pupovac said in Zagreb on Friday after the spiritual leader of the Orthodox Christians arrived in Croatia for a visit.
"He is a man of dialogue who also encouraged dialogue at a time when there wasn't much dialogue between Catholic and Orthodox Christians, in particular between the Catholic and Orthodox Christians in Croatia," Pupovac told reporters after attending a conference on the Holocaust at the Serb Orthodox High School.
"He has come to give us the courage not to forget our responsibility towards people who were killed in times of crimes, and Jasenovac was no doubt one of the biggest crimes committed not just in the 20th century. But Jasenovac also gives us occasion to elevate ourselves towards mutual forgiveness, mutual respect and restoration of trust," the Serb National Council president said.
Pupovac would not comment on the failure of senior government officials to attend the gathering. "Everyone who has felt the need to be here is here" and the state leadership will have a chance to hear messages from the Ecumenical Patriarch during scheduled talks with him, he said.