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Serbia: prelate cautions West on Kosovo recognition

Catholic World News - November 15, 2011

The decision of Western governments to recognize Kosovo’s independence from Serbia has harmed the Church’s reputation, according to Serbia’s leading Catholic prelate.

Serbians, said Archbishop Stanislav Hocevar of Belgrade, tend to identify Western nations with the Catholic Church, much as they identify their own nation with the Serbian Orthodox Church. For Serbians, “Kosovo is a symbol and the West’s position an expression of an unjustified, one-sided solidarity with Muslims.”

Kosovo, which was administered by a United Nations force from 1999 to 2008 following the brutal Kosovo War, declared independence from Serbia in 2008. The Bush administration and most Western nations immediately recognized Kosovo’s independence; two years later, the Holy See announced it had not reached a decision on diplomatic recognition of the new nation.

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