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Bosnia and Herzegovina: Bishops’ plenary assembly. Dayton Agreements a failure, “country’s political situation remains unsolved”

“Unfortunately, the concerns we voiced at that time were well-founded”. Cardinal Vinko Pulijc of Sarajevo said this as he kick-started the work of the plenary assembly of the Bishops’ Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina this morning, recalling the concerns raised by the Bishops 25 years ago when the Dayton Agreements were signed. “The political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina remains unsolved”: we still see many injustices, and we still have not achieved “equal rights for every person and equality for all three constituent peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina”. The Croats in particular have no voice and “are threatened with total extinction”. This sensitive issue has been raised a number of times, but “neither domestic politics nor the international community” have addressed it. In his opening remarks, the Cardinal also touched on the law on the restitution of confiscated property, whose “enactment is always delayed”. The current draft law, however, is “another legal injustice to those owners whose property has been alienated”. Card. Pulijc lamented the slowness of public institutions on the “health and pension insurance for priests”. Finally, he also expressed concern, in the current social context, about “the emergence of aggressive behaviour in the family, on the streets and at school”; and about “public immorality”, which is increasingly regarded as “normal, especially when it comes to violence against women or children”.

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