Beloved bishop rosman's remains go home to Slovenia bishop gregorij rosman's remains return to slovenia

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Bishop Gregorij Rosman's Remains Return To Slovenia

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Beloved Bishop Gregorij Rosman's Remains Return Home To Slovenia

With much gratitude I can say that I was present at the funeral Mass of the very beloved Bishop Gregorij Rosman on April 3rd this year, 2013 in Lamont, Illinois. As a member of St. Mary's Church in Collinwood (Cleveland, OH) I became aware of a bus trip scheduled to go to Lamont. My, now deceased, maternal grandmother, Mrs. Frances (Zagar) Raischel had taken many trips to Lamont Illinois in the years that I was growing up. Out of curiosity, I signed up for this trip with the intention of finding out what it was that attracted my grandmother and 'called' her to go each year to this city. I had no idea of what I was in for.

The bus ride to Illinois was a delight. I'd looked to the internet before leaving for the trip to find out some details of this man, Bishop Rosman: but, little did I know there was much more to the bishop than I would find written on the internet.

wooden casket with flower arrangement on top bishop rosmans funeral mass

This is a picture that I took at the funeral mass for Bishop Rosman. What a beautiful mass it was! There was a large floral arrangement from the people of the churches of Cleveland, Ohio. In attendance from Cleveland were parishoners of St. Mary's (Collinwood), and St. Vitus Churches (including the parishoners from the former St. Lawrence.) Approximately 55 Catholic's from the Cleveland Churches were in attendance. The singing was wonderful, this mass was one of the most emotionally charged services I've experienced. Much love and thankfulness was shown for the life and works of Bishop Rosman.

At the bottom of this page is a well written story of Bishop Rosman. What I may add with regard to this article, is that the facts in that article were described in detail to me, by the people I met and spoke with on my weekend in Lamont. As the article states, the people attending this funeral, were the children of the generation of refugees who left Slovenia in the aftermath of World War II. The article states that "Documents have

been uncovered showing that Bishop Rosman worked to rescue thousands of people from death or imprisonment

at the hands of the occupiers." And that is exactly what was told to me by the lovely people I met. I will be forever grateful for the time, and tears (tears were shed), in the retelling of the horror suffered by the families of these 'children of the refugees.' Tears came into the eyes of one very gentle man, Stanley, who told me what had happened to his parents, sisters and brothers at the hands of the occupiers of Yugoslavia. I am so humbled at the realization of all of this. And I am sad that I never 'listened', if this was told to me by my grandmother. Did she never tell me, or - did I just, not listen? Not hear?

My Slovenian heritage is something I take great pride in. But I know now that, being Slovenian holds a responsibility. Now that I am aware of what took place: what happened to the people of Slovenia, it is up to me to make sure that we never forget. I've made a beginning. On my return to home, I was able to tell my family what I experienced and more importantly, I was able to explain something more about Bishop Rosman than when I had left on my trip. Today my daughter, my husband and I know. We And we will pass this knowledge on.
As for my why my grandmother went to Lamont so many times; Bishop Rosman's grave in the cemetery... as well as the beautiful church; the Blessed Anton Martin Slomsek Slovenian Catholic Mission. My grandmother prayed many rosaries to the Blessed Mother Mary.

blessed mother mary over alter

In this Church are some of the most beautiful statues and paintings of the Blessed Mother. And there is a banner, written in Slovenian, which said the words my grandmother spoke so frequently, "Mary Pray For Us." I felt so close to her inside of this church. What a beautiful place to be. I'll go back, as my grandmother did.

Thank you Bishop Rosman, for everything you did, and everything you stood for.

Thank you grandma, for showing me by your example, what was so important.
Love, Nancy
P.S. I took many photographs, I hope that you enjoy the images I've posted on this page.

retired Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Pevec of Cleveland

(Bishop Pevec - center - walking up the steps to the church.) "Bishop Pevec, who was the main celebrant at the Mass in Lemont, said

'Bishop Rosman was always unassuming and never spoke bitterly of his exile.'"

"He never felt sorry for himself," Bishop Pevec said. "He just ministered to his people where they were."

[The picture above is one that I took on the church steps as we entered for the funeral service. There was beautiful weather for this occasion. Nancy]

Beloved bishop's remains go home to Slovenia

By Michelle Martin
Staff Writer
Bishop Gregorij Rosman is home. The remains of the late Bishop of Ljubljana were exhumed from his grave in the cemetery at St. Mary Friary in Lemont April 3 and given a wake service and memorial Mass at Blessed Anton Martin Slomsek Slovenian Catholic Mission April 7.
Bishop Anton Jamnik, auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Ljubljana, Slovenia, accompanied the remains to Ljubljana the next day, with a funeral Mass and entombment in the cathedral there scheduled for April 13.
But the decision to move the remains of Bishop Rosman revered as a great and gentle man among Slovenians who fled their home country to the Americas and even other parts of Western Europe was not without controversy on either side of the Atlantic.
"This is a great loss, a great loss," said Theresa Rosman, who was videotaping the Mass at the Slovenian Mission April 3. Rozman;s father no relation to the bishop took care of Bishop Rosman's grave for 25 years before he died, and his father did before that.
Bishop Rosman's example had great influence in why Theresa's brother and son are both named Greg, she said.

"People are going to be very upset," she said.

"It's going to reopen a lot of old wounds."

Historic wounds
Those wounds stem from the

tumultuous history of Slovenia, once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire,

then the westernmost area of Yugoslavia. It was partitioned between German and Italian occupying forces in World War II, and erupted into civil war in the waning years of the war before becoming once again part of Yugoslavia, this time under the totalitarian Communist rule of Tito. It became an independent parliamentary democracy in 1990.
Bishop Rosman, born into a Slovenian region of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, ended up serving as bishop of Ljubljana when it was

part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and through World War II,

when most of his see was under Italian control.
The Italians could be brutal,

enslaving thousands of Slovenians into labor camps, said Deacon John Vidmar of the Slovenian Catholic Mission. Vidmar counts his father and two cousins among those held in camps;

his father survived; the cousins didn't.
During that time, Bishop Rosman

advocated for his people with their rulers, Vidmar said, appealing for the Vatican to intercede on behalf of the people in the camps

and working with those in power to improve conditions for the people.
But when the Communists came to power in 1945, they saw Bishop Rosman's efforts as collaboration with the fascists. In May 1945, just as the war in Europe ended, Bishop Rosman left what is now Slovenia for a meeting over the border in Austria and never returned;

he was tried in absentia by a military court and sentenced to 18 years in hard labor but most likely would have been killed.

Both Vidmar and Bishop Jamnik said evidence, such as his lack of luggage, leads to the conclusion that Bishop Rosman intended to return. Perhaps, Bishop Jamnik said, someone his driver or secretary got word that it would not be safe.
Bishop Rosman spent some time in Austria and Switzerland before

emigrating to the United States in 1948. He found a home at St. Lawrence Parish in Cleveland,

a center of Slovenian culture in the United States, and spent the years until his death in 1959 ministering to Slovenians here and in other countries. Stripped by the court of his Slovenian citizenship, he never set foot in his home country again.

"He was a refugee among refugees,"

said Franciscan Father Metod Ogorevc, guardian and chaplain of the Slovenian Catholic Mission.

"They loved him. He was a comforting figure."

Pastor to refugees

Maria Zorjan, who now lives in Berwyn, met Bishop Rožman when she was a child in Argentina,

where her parents emigrated from Slovenia. He confirmed her mother and sister, she said, and was scheduled to confirm her before he became ill. He never made the trip.
She was happy to be able to visit his grave when she moved to the Chicago area, and was upset when she heard his remains would be sent home.

"But we accept it," she said.

"He belongs to Slovenia."

He was known

best to the generation of refugees that left Slovenia in the aftermath of World War II; most of those who came to say goodbye at the April 7 Mass are their children,

who perhaps met Bishop Rosman when they were small, but know him mostly by what their parents told them.
One of those who knew him best is

retired Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Pevec of Cleveland,

who, as a young priest, lived

in the St. Lawrence Parish rectory with Bishop Rosman.

Bishop Pevec, who was the main celebrant at the Mass in Lemont, said

Bishop Rosman was always unassuming and never spoke bitterly of his exile.

"He never felt sorry for himself," Bishop Pevec said. "He just ministered to his people where they were."

After Bishop Rosman became ill, he expressed a wish to be buried in the cemetery at the Slovenian Franciscan friary in Lemont, probably because the mission there was modeled on the most prominent Marian shrine in Slovenia, Ogorevc said.

"It was as close as he could get to home," he said.

In Yugoslavia,

news of Bishop Rosman's death was never announced, and the accepted history was that he was a collaborator with the fascists who fled the country rather than face punishment.

Before asking for the return of his remains, the

Archdiocese of Ljubljana had the judicial case against him reopened; this time, Slovenia's high court ruled that the original proceedings were so riddled with irregularities

that their result was moot, so his citizenship was restored. At the same time, Bishop Jamnik said, documents have

been uncovered showing that Bishop Rosman worked to rescue thousands of people from death or imprisonment

at the hands of the occupiers, so public opinion has turned in his favor.
Still, he acknowledged, not everyone will be pleased. But, Bishop Jamnik said, bringing Bishop Rosmam's remains home is a step toward reconciliation in a country that has a long way to go toward coming to terms with its past.
"Bishop Rosman was the bishop of Ljubljana for 30 years," he said.

"It is right for him to be entombed in his cathedral."

(Please click through the heading to this full text and source)

See below... continue on for more details of Bishop Rosman's life ...

(The source for the information below.)

Gregorij Rosman (17 May 1883, 16 November 1959) was a Slovenian Roman Catholic clergyman and theologian. Between 1930 and 1959, he served as bishop of the Diocese of Ljubljana. He is most famous for his controversial role during World War II. Rožman was an ardent anti-communist and opposed the Liberation Front of the Slovene People and the partisan forces because they were led by the Communist party. The Yugoslav Communist government convicted him in absentia in August 1946 of treason for collaborating with the Nazis against the Yugoslav resistance. In 2009, his conviction was annulled on procedural grounds.

During the Communist period, official historiography portrayed Rosman as a Nazi collaborator. The Slovene branch of the Roman Catholic Church has been actively campaigning for his rehabilitation, claiming that his actions were purely to minimize the number of casualties during the struggle.[1]:630-643[2][3]:182 [Note 1]

He continues to be perceived as a controversial figure in Slovenia.

[edit] Pre-war years

[edit] Early life

Rožman was born on March 9, 1883 into a Carinthian Slovene family in Dolintschitschach (Slovene: Dolinčiče) near Feistritz ob Bleiburg (Slovene: Bistrica pri Pliberku) in Austria-Hungary to Franc Rožman and Terezija (née Glinik) Rožman. The family lived on a medium-sized farm, had seven children (Gregorij was the youngest) and was severely indebted. In 1889 he started attending public school in Šmihel and then enrolled in a gymnasium in Klagenfurt. During his years in gymnasium he lived in the Marijinišče dormitory, which hosted students that were expected to study theology after graduating. He published essays in the newsletter of Carinthian Slovenes Mir and also (under the pseudonym "Emil Fanič") in the handwritten student journal Vaje, for which he edited six issues from 7th grade until graduation.

After graduating with honors in 1904 he studied theology in Klagenfurt. He joined the Academy of Slovene seminaries (Slovene: Akademija slovenskih bogoslovcev) becoming its president of it in his final year and published essays in its journal Bratoljub (which he edited in school year 1906/07). At that time, Slovene students were in constant conflict with German students, who published their own journal, Germania. The conflict was over nationalistic frictions in Carinthia. He was a member of Mary's congregation (Slovene: Marijina kongregacija). In his last school year he visited Rome with the priest Anton Benetko. There he met the Pope Pius X, who made a great impression on him.[citation needed]

[edit] Parish priest, prefect and docent

On 21 July 1907 he was ordained in his home parish of St. Michael (Slovene: Šmihel) by Bishop Jožef Khan. In 1908, he was sent as a chaplain to Ferlach. At that time Ferlach was politically controlled by German liberals. The workers were tending towards social democracy. He set to renew the spiritual life in his parish and was active in propagating Christian-social ideas and organising the workers. He stayed in Ferlach (Slovene: Borovlje) for one year.

On 1 October 1909 he went to Vienna to continue his study of theology. On 27 June 1912 he obtained a PhD (Slovene: Doktorat) in theology from Catholic Theology Faculty of University of Vienna. After returning he was appointed as a prefect in boys' seminary Marianum in Klagenfurt in 1912 and as a docent of moral theology in 1913. In the school year 1914/15 he was appointed as a docent of Canon law and relieved of prefect service. In 1914 he taught moral theology to 4th grade at Klagenfurt and moral theology and canon law to the first three grades at Plešivec. He participated in Eucharistic Congress in Vienna in 1912 and as a result wrote a prayer book titled "Presveta Evharistija" (published in 1915 by Družba Sv. Mohorja). After the publication of a new Code of church law in 1917 he was appointed to a committee for its realization in Klagenfurt Diocese. He also participated in the Slovene Christian-social (Slovene: Slovenska krščansko-socialna zveza) association as a lecturer.

The Treaty of St. Germain divided the plebiscite area in Carinthia into zone A and B. Zone A was under Yugoslav administration and lost control of Klagenfurt. Carinthian bishop Adam Hefter established a special vicariate in Ebendorf (Slovene: Dobrla Vas) in July 1919 and appointed Rožman as a judicial consultant of general vicar provost Matija Raindl. Because of his engagement with Carinthian Slovenes and his open support for Yugoslavia in the Carinthian Plebiscite it was quite clear that in case a majority in zone A decided against Yugoslavia in the plebiscite he would not be able to stay in Carinthia.[5][6]:19-21

[edit] Canon law professor in Ljubljana

Soon after the integration of the Slovenes in Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, on 23 July 1919 Regent Alexander signed a law creating the University of Ljubljana and in December lectures commenced. Janez Zore, a church historian from the Theology faculty, proposed that Rožman be invited as a professor of church law. Rosman accepted, with permission from Bishop Hefter. Rožman began lecturing on 7 January 1920. He lived in Ljubljana with professor Alfonz Levičnik and took a position of prefect in the student's seminary Marijinišče in the school year 1920–21. After less than five months of teaching, on 31 May, he was nominated by his colleagues for a docent position and promoted by the ministry on 27 August. He was listed as an associate professor in the school year 1924–25.

Rožman was known as a good professor, who delivered his lectures in simple, logical, systematic and understandable language and could explain dreary laws in an interesting way. He commonly emphasized the practical implications of the law, he also gave students many tips about its implications in the pastoral profession.[citation needed]

He published many essays, both professional and pastoral, mostly in Bogoslovni Vestnik (English: Theological Journal). As in his lectures, his essays explained the practical pastoral implications of a law for a common priest. He included current events in his essays. He wrote an important essay titled Church and politics (Slovene: Cerkev in politika) (publication date unknown) which would become very relevant in the Second World War. In it he said that the Church "has the task to protect the truths of Christianity, that is moral and religious truths, to protect, teach and accustom the nations for them to organize all their lives and acts according to these truths". In his opinion many areas are not related to the Church, giving it no right to take sides or even decide on such issues. Instead he claimed that the Church should limit itself to religious, moral or ecclesiastical issues. He also stated his opinion about coup d'état (or revolution) and any official government authority: he said that "the church is indifferent on different forms of authority, it considers none of them to be the only right one; it rejects none, as long as it is capable of reaching the purpose of the state". This purpose was to "protect justice for everybody and to care for public prosperity". The Church "condemns as immoral and violent change of government, every revolution". However if the violent takeover has occurred "the Church teaches that the highest duty of every government is to take care of public prosperity. At the time of revolution, the highest duty of the government and the citizens is to end chaos as soon as possible and to build on the ruins of the old a new state, which will function as a device of public prosperity. If the revolutionary government is strong and able enough to positively organize the state to reach its goal, than this highest duty requires of every citizen to recognize the new government.". In these essays he stated that in time of war, the Church's duty is to "reduce the horror of the war" and to take care of war prisoners.

Another important essay was Church and the state (Slovene: Cerkev in država), which was used for a lecture at the fifth Catholic rally in Ljubljana on 28 August 1923. In it he explained his relation to government, writing, "the source of every authority, even political, is God. Every authority is given for the welfare of the humanity". He added that state sovereignty cannot be absolute, as it is dependent on God, which limits that authority, the limits "which it should not cross, if it does not want to abuse its power against the will of God, in which name it wields the sword (Romans 13,4)". He says that the common concern of both, the church and the state, is marriage, children and education. Disagreement between them in these areas causes great damage to the citizens and also the state itself. He also criticized the Kingdom of Yugoslavia under the Vidovdan Constitution, which set harsh limits on church freedom. He said that the "annunciation of the religious truth is one of the main tasks of the Catholic Church and its inner affair", so "we must, on the basis of our catholic principles, reject every attempt to institute a police control over the church in its own matters" [6]:21-23[7]

[edit] Involvement in the Orel

Orel (in Slovenia) was a Catholic youth gymnastic and sport movement that was organized in the early 20th century as an alternative to a liberal gymnastic movement Sokol. The decision to create it was taken at a gathering of Slovene Christian-social association in Maribor, between 3 and 4 September 1905. The first club was established in Jesenice, in February 1906. Then on 10 April 1908, the Association of Gymnastic Sections (Slovene: Zveza Telovadnih Odsekov) was created. On 19 March 1909 at a local assembly of AGS in Bohinjska Bistrica, the organisation was officially named Orel.

Rožman learned of the organisation in Carinthia, as by 1913, its section had five sub-sections. In 1920, in Ljubljana, he was elected by the Orel president board as secondary vice-president. As a priest, he quickly became its spiritual leader. As the organisation in Orel began to evolve, he took leadership of debate club, high-school students and other elements.

After it was rebuilt in the newly-established Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, Orel greatly expanded its membership, but neglected its spiritual and religious side. In 1921 Rožman wrote an article in the Theological Journal titled Contributions for pastoral profession (Slovene: Prispevki za dušno pastirstvo) in which he expressed his ideas about pastoral activity of youth organisations (like Orel). He first asked whether the organisation should attend equally to everyone or focus on the elite athletes. He proposed a compromise, saying that the Catholic Church is required to pastorally attend anyone that counts himself as its member, but that its missionary activity could be advanced by success in sports, especially among the youth. He emphasized the need for youth to be part of Christian organisations, because if the youngsters were left alone, they could easily fall under the influence of materialism and so become communists or social democrats. He highlighted the importance of spiritual growth, advising Orel members to join Mary's congregation (as they were more focused on spiritual life than Orel). In addition to that, he emphasized the importance for Orel of family values, national consciousness and other Christian values.

He left Orel in 1929, when he became suffragan bishop. The Yugoslav government banned Orel, leaving only the state-controlled Sokol shortly afterwards.[8]

[edit] Bishop of Ljubljana

As a bishop, he set out to spiritually renew his diocese, starting with his priests, who in his opinion should not be involved in politics. After leaving Orel he focused on Mary's societies (Slovene: Marijine Družbe), but mainly on Catholic Action, in which he saw the strongest tool for the renewal of his diocese. In the argument between two Christian youth organisations, Mladci Kristusa Kralja] ([[:sl:Mladci Kristusa Kralja]|sl]]) (called just Mladci - English: Youngsters) led by gymnasium professor Ernest Tomec (sl) and academic club Straža (slovenian academic club) (sl) (members were called Stražarji - English: Guards) led by theology professor Lambert Ehrlich, which both claimed to represent CA, he decided in favor of Mladci.

[edit] Second World War

[edit] Background and mid-war situation in Slovenia

The Slovene territory – from 1929 the Drava Province – in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia covered 15.036 square kilometres (5.805 sq mi) and according to the 1921 census, hosted 1,054,919 inhabitants. After the invasion on 6 April 1941 the Axis powers occupied this territory and divided it between themselves. The biggest part of Drava Province was occupied by the Germans – the Lower Styria (Lower Styria), the Meža Valley, Upper Carniola and the Central Sava Valley). Italians occupied Ljubljana, Inner Carniola), Lower Carniola), White Carniola) while Hungary was given to Prekmurje–except for four western communities, left to Germany. All three occupiers aimed at a quick formal annexation. The Italians passed the Autonomy-Statute for the so-called "Provincia di Lubiana" on May 3, 1941. The Hungarians realized their formal annexation on December 16, 1941. The Germans who wanted to proclaim their formal annexation to the German Reich on 1 October 1941, postponed it first because of the installation of the new ”Gauleiter“ and "Reichsstatthalter" of Carinthia and later on they dropped the plan because of partisan activities. Only Meža valley initially became part of "Reichsgau Carinthia". Some villages in southeastern Slovenia were annexed by the Independent State of Croatia.

Italians gave Slovenes cultural autonomy within their occupation zone. They recognized a Slovenian nation and left most of the old administration in place. Italian language was introduced as an optional language in high schools and universities and at first, there was little violence. They accepted 18,000 refugees who fled from the German zone. This can be to some degree attributed to the cooperation ("collaboration") of notable Slovenian public figures. Their attitude changed after the first actions of the communist Liberation Front.

The Nazis chose a policy of violent Germanisation, which culminated in the resettlement of more than 83,000 Slovenes to other parts of the Third Reich, as well as to Serbia and Croatia. More than 63,000 Slovenes were interned in Nazi concentration camps. The Slovenian language was banned from public use, Slovenian cultural associations were dissolved, etc. The Nazis were hostile to the church: much of its property was confiscated, many priests forced into exile, and the authorities rejectged any intervention by the church. The Hungarian regime was similar to the German approach.

The Communist Party (CP) saw the occupation as a chance to gain power. It was weak in numbers but experienced in underground activities, because the CP was banned in Yugoslavia in 1920. For that reason an umbrella resistance organisation named Liberation Front of the Slovene People [Note 2] was organized, through which communists were able to attract leftist groups. This Liberation Front at first could only develop in the Italian occupying zone. On September 16, 1941 it declared that anyone who was organized outside the Liberation Front to be a traitor, including those fighting the occupation. Traitors were to be sentenced to death, after a condemnation by a non-existent secret court. In this way many patriotic Slovenes, including Church representatives (most notably assassination victim Lambert Ehrlich), were liquidated by Security-Intelligence Service, called VOS (Slovene: Varnostno Obve čevalna Slu), a unit that was recruited solely from CP and communist youth organization SKOJ. It was led exclusively by the Central Committee of the Slovenian Communist Party. The inhabitants of the Province of Ljubljana, especially the peasants, suffered from both the Italian attacks on their lives and property and from partisan attacks. These two were often related: partisans stayed in a village for a few weeks, confiscating food and property in return for "freedom loan" certificates that promised the return of property after liberation. Few people were given such certificates and even fewer ("politically suitable" ones) were compensated after the war. When the Italians located the partisans, the partisans fled and the Army punished the villagers. After a short period the soldiers retreated to their base, the partisans would return and the cycle continue.

Partisans also performed "revolutionary" or "red" violence - violence targeted against the "enemies" of the working class in the communist doctrine. The enemies included people who didn't agree with communism, especially Catholics, wealthier people, Gypsies and German civilians. This violence was especially frequent and brutal in spring and early summer 1942 (which led to spontaneous creations of village guards against such violence), because the Partisans mistakenly thought that the Soviet Union would soon defeat Germany, completing the "revolution".[3]

Among the victims of the red violence during the war were 46 diocesan priests and 6 priests belonging to different religious orders. B comparison, the occupiers killed 24 diocesan priests and 10 priests of religious orders across the whole Slovene territory including the Slovene Littoral.

[edit] Relations with Italians

From left: Ignacij Nadrah, Emilio Grazioli (it), Gregorij Rožman and Franc Kimovec (sl)

The Bishop and Church dignitaries wanted the people to survive the war with as few victims as possible. Rožman was convinced that for such a small nation an armed struggle against the occupying forces was doomed to fail, because the sacrifices would be out of proportion to any possible gains.[3]:182

After the Italians issued the Statute of Autonomy on 3 May 1941, they expected the bishop to write a declaration of loyalty. He addressed a so-called declaration of loyalty to High Commissioner Emilio Grazioli (it), but the High Commissioner was not satisfied with its wording. He forged another declaration and directed it to Mussolini. Grazioli's text was published in the press. The original version read

"Excellency! A decree has been published today, via which the Slovenian territory occupied by the Italian army has been incorporated into Italy. When I consider this, I thank your Excellency ... I express absolute loyalty and ask God to bless you and our aspirations for the welfare of our people".

Rožman actually only emphasized free development in cultural and religious spheres and promised loyalty and sent blessings for the efforts of the authorities for the good of the people. The forgery was so effective that many publications still use it as a proof of Rožman's collaboration.[9]:51–54, 215–217 Former politicians such as former Ban Marko Natlačen and the mayor of Ljubljana, Juro Adlešič were brought to address a declaration to Italian authorities. The Italiansw dictated its wording.[3]:180

He celebrated Masses for the Italian troops, provided Italian-speaking confessionals and organized a Mass of thanksgiving to Mussolini on 22 May 1941 at St. Nicholas Cathedral, Ljubljana. Rožman referred to the Italians as powers "which God has established" with whom Church representatives will "be pleased to co-operate".[10] Italian propaganda effort took full advantage of his willingness to oblige, leading to Rožman being criticized by priests from Primorska region.[2]

Rožman condemned the occupiers twice. On 24 October 1941 he wrote a letter to the clergy in which he complained about the devastation of the part of his diocese occupied by the Germans: in it all Church property was confiscated, religious enrollees of both sexes were expelled from their convents and 193 members of secular clergy expelled from 148 parishes and that about 200.000 of his people were without spiritual care.[9]:224, 225 [11]:175-184 On 26 September 1942 he handed Grazzioli a memorandum, in which he criticized Italian means and proposed facilitating measures in 20 points. Grazzioli was furious and told him that if Rožman weren't a bishop, he would have arrested him.[1]:261-264 [9]:56, 69-70 Rožman wanted to condemn Italians from the pulpit, but during his visit to Rome in May 1942 the Pope advised him not to, because in that case the Italians would detain him in Italy and he would not be able to help people in Ljubljana.[9]:46

[edit] 12 September 1942 memo

In August 1942 the Italian generals Mario Roatta and Mario Robotti visited the bishop and told him they would burn the whole Province of Ljubljana and kill or deport all of its inhabitants if the partisan attacks did not stop. Rožman invited 21 representatives of the former political parties and of cultural institution to discuss the Italian threats (20 of which actually came). They agreed only to organize help for the victims. After the meeting a memorandum was written. Only the German translation was ever found, leaving unanswered questions about its authors and quality of translation. The bishop's contribution is unknown other than that he delivered the memorandum to General Robotti, commander of the Italian 11th Army Corps. The memo read:[9]:60-70, 236-238

“ From the sound part of the Slovene people, who have declared themselves ready to seriously work together with the Italian authorities for the purpose of reestablishing order and destroying subversive and rebellious elements, the following is proposed to the military authorities:
  • We should be allowed to establish protective armed units under Slovene command in all rural areas. The names of the members and commanders of these armed units will be supplied to the military authorities. (...) The commanders of these units will be selected from men worthy of trust, to fully guarantee that the arms will be used exclusively against rebellious elements that endanger the land either with arms or revolutionary propaganda.
  • We are convinced that without the proposed system of protective units, no self-supporting or lasting order can be maintained. The soldiers have already dispersed the camps and groups of the rebels, but many of them are still in the woods and in villages, where they are camouflaged as peace-loving citizens. Such persons are not known to the Italian armed forces. Because of their unfamiliarity with the language and the difficulty of finding those who help those who hide in the woods, it will be very difficult to find the culprits. But for the local young men such difficulties are nonexistent or can easily be overcome...
  • In addition to the protective units stationed in rural areas, it would be necessary to establish a few central units under the command of former Yugoslav officers. The task of these units would be to keep wooded areas under surveillance and to prevent the formation of armed Partisan groups.
  • To achieve the given objective, it would be necessary to bring back some young, dependable former Yugoslav officers from prisoner-of-war camps, but in an unobtrusive fashion, as if letting the officers home on furlough. Their names would be proposed by us.
  • In regard to Ljubljana, the following is proposed as urgent: (...) We should be allowed, so to speak, to establish a Corps of Secret Police of 500 men, to be armed with revolvers. We can give assurances that within six weeks, dangerous elements would be found, arrested and turned over to the authorities. Those persons who have false identification cards and who freely circulate in the streets would be identified and arrested with the help of the citizens. In this way Ljubljana would become a peaceful and orderly city in which there would be no more Communists. At the same time everything would be done to remold public opinion with the help of strong and continuing anti-Communist propaganda.

These sincere proposals show the goodwill of the majority of the population and create the possibility of achieving the given objective in a manner that must also please the authorities. His Excellence, General Roatta, has said that the people must now choose between order and Bolshevism. We have chosen order, and propose the only way that in our humble opinion will be effective and certain to achieve complete order in active collaboration with the authorities.


The document containing the German translation is in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Also preserved are Robotti's notes in which he refers to Rožman as the author and adds, "[T]he security guards that the Bishop suggests, correspond with local militias that have the task of defending their villages against communists, and to be available for actions in the local area - there are many such militias, which count a total of 1,000 men. These are doing their work decisively, not only from a military standpoint, but also as police, as the Bishop says...".[12]

[edit] Stance towards communism

For Rožman as well as for the most Church representatives, the fact that by communists dominated the "Liberation Front" (and performed murderous sanctions against the perceived traitors) presented a special dilemma. The Church detested the violation of human rights and repression, but also found Marxism and Bolshevism incompatible with Church doctrine. The ideological differences were the subject of the anti-communist encyclical Divini Redemptoris issued in 1937 by Pope Pius XI on which Rožman based his stance. The Bishop rejected in 1938 as irrelevant for Slovenia the Pope's clarification to French Catholics that the encyclical did not require absolute noncooperation with Communists.[4]:75

The Communists began using violent methods to gain political power, which Church authorities could not accept. In 1943, after the fall of Turjak and Grcarice, followed by mass liquidations at Jelendol, Mozelj and other places and the show trial in Kocevje[13] he dedicated all four Advent sermons to the evils of Communist ideology, citing Russia and Spain.[11]:233-245

Rosman said that it is his duty to speak the truth, otherwise he would have to justify himself in front of God. He preached Â»Do zadnjega bom trdil in ucil, da je brezbožni komunizem najvecje zlo in najvecja nesreča za slovenski narod« (English: To the end I will claim and teach that atheistic communism is the greatest evil and greatest tragedy for the Slovene nation). At the funeral of Marko Natlačen, who was executed by a member of VOS at home on 12 October 1942, Rožman said there can be "no co-operation, no association with godlessness or those to whom godlessness is a leading opinion. Stand firm in your belief in God, build your future on God's Commandments, which alone can be a firm basis of healthy development of any nation, big or small. Stay alive - my nation - don't kill yourself and don't provoke measures able to hit your life force." [Note 3][11]:210-211

In the well-known "Pastoral letter about godless communism" (Slovene: "Pastirsko pismo o nevarnosti brezbožnega komunizma") on 30 November 1943 he asked the Catholics to "fight godless Communism" through prayers. Rožman wrote "I know that advocates of Communism and some other blind Catholics will reproach me that I am meddling in politics in a pastoral letter, which isn't a matter for a Bishop and doesn't appertain to the Church. But, dear believers, the battle against communism isn't political, but a religious matter, as it touches upon belief in God, one of the most basic truths of every faith, especially our Christian faith. To reject atheistic doctrines, to defend the truths of our global religion is a religious matter and a religious duty, that admits everyone with common sense." [Note 4][11]:225-232. In his Christmas message to the Domobranci in 1944 Rosman talked about shepherds in Bethlehem keeping watch over their flock in the fields and asked the Domobranci to take an example by them. "You are defending your nation against wolves and jackals who destroy lives and property of their own fellow-countrymen, against 'tenants, who do not care about their sheep', who are poisoning souls with foreign mentality of godless communism and through that they break down the spiritual foundations, on which all the spiritual wealth that we have in common with Christian Europe, has been built for centuries". [Note 5][11]:253-254

[edit] Interventions for prisoners

Rožman intervened for detainees directly with the Italian authorities and via the Vatican. He attempted to protect those deported to Serbia, Croatia and Germany, clergymen, refugees, orthodox Serbs, Jews, arrested, prisoners of war, Jugoslav officers, hostages, condemned, children, internees in Rab (Arbre), Treviso (Monigo), Renicci concentration camp (it), Gonars. He intervened 1318 times for 1210 individuals.[Note 6] He intervened for various groups (for example 350 priests, deported to Croatia by Germans or 1700 children in the Italian concentration camps) covering more than 2495 people. [Note 7] The Bishop's secretary, Dr. Stanislav Lenič (sl), testified that up to 50 petitioners came on a single day and that he helped them regardless of their political views. Among many documents a letter written by Gastone Gambarra, the Commander of Italian XI. Army corps, on April 26, 1943 documents that 122 internees were released because of his intervention. But Italians soon noticed that the Bishop made no distinctions in his choices, so Grazioli ordered his subordinates to treat the Bishop's interventions as anyone else`s, because he intervened for the "unworthy".[14] [15]:37-64

According to some historians,[weasel words] Rožman's messages to Italian authorities (such as the September 1942 memos) suggest that the goal of some of those interventions was to acquire experienced officers for the Village Guard units.[4]:85

[edit] Relations with the German occupiers

Bishop Gregorij Rosman and SS General Erwin Rasener in conversation

After the capitulation of Italy (September 1943), Ljubljana was occupied by the Germans. Rosman agreed with Friedrich Rainer's intention that Leon Rupnik should become the president of the new provincial government, although Rupnik had already been chosen by Reiner.[16] Rupnik was appointed as a president of provincial government on 22 September 1943.

He was twice seen at formal and informal events chatting with SS General Erwin Rösener, the commander of German forces in the province. From 1943 until the end of the war, Rosman was closely associated with the anti-Partisan, anti-communist Domobranci, the Slovenian Home Guard forces formed by order of SS General Rösener on 24 September 1943.

Rosman held a silent mass prior to Domobranci swearing a collective oath of allegiance at Ljubljana central stadium on 20 April 1944. According to some witnesses, he chose to observe events from the background despite the offer of place on the main stand, and left quickly afterwards. He declined to hold the mass at the second swearing in on 30 January 1945, but was present at the subsequent Domobranci parade in front of the Ursuline Church. This decision led to speculation about his motives.[9]:292 In his Christmas message to the Domobranci at the end of 1944, Rosman wrote: "You are defending your nation against wolves and jackals who are poisoning souls with the foreign mentality of atheistic communism".[11]:132

[edit] Post-war

At the end of the war, he fled to the British zone of Austria.[17][18] Rosman was tried for treason in absentia by the military court of the 4th Yugoslav Army. He was convicted and sentenced to 18 years imprisonment and forced labour, lifelong loss of citizenship and limitation of citizen rights on 30 August 1946.[1]:334-346

[edit] After the war

Various leading Catholic figures from Yugoslavia were indicted for alleged war crimes, but managed to escape. These included Bishop Ivan Ari of Sarajevo, who had set about forcibly converting the local population to Catholicism. Rosman, Ivan Ari and others were living under the British supervision at the Bishop's Palace at Klagenfurt, Austria, in October 1946.[19] Rožman began to appear in American and British intelligence reports as being involved in ratlines that spirited wanted Axis and collaborationist fugitives out of Europe.[20] Although in some books and in internet obe can read that bishop Rosman was funneling money to South America from a Swiss bank account set up "to aid refugees of the Catholic religion", there is absolutely no evidence to that and in his correspondence there is no evidence of any contacts to such Croatian circles. To get an American visa bishop Rosman did not visit the consulate of Berne, he communicated with the United States Consulate General at Zurich on May 25 for the purpose of obtaining a visitor's visa to come to the United States. On May 28 he appeared at the Consulate general where he was informed about the United States regulations regarding the issue of a non-quota immigration visa as a minister of religion. Rosman and Ari were not together in Switzerland. Rosman was residing at the Institut Menzingen, near Zug and Ari was residing at Haute Rive near Friborg. Ari was not interested in coming to US and he remained in Europe.

In Berne, Rosman's Ustashi friends were engaged in wholesale fraud, using the black market to convert the gold into dollars, and later, into Austrian schillings. 'Aid to the refugees is accounted for at the official rate of exchange for dollars', the American officers noted, adding that 'malpractices have been carried on (officially, the dollar is worth 10 schillings; on the black market, 100 to 150). According to reliable information: 'Rosman is going to Berne to take care of these finances. The money is in a Swiss bank, and he plans to have most of it sent through to Italy and from there to the Ustae in [the] Argentine.[21]:132-33

A short time later Rosman duly arrived in Berne, accompanied by Bishop Ivan Arai, the 'hangman' of Sarajevo. By the end of May 1948, Rosman had apparently carried out this money laundering operation for the Ustashi, for he visited the U.S. Consulate in Zurich and was given a 'non-quota immigration visa as a minister of religion'. He then traveled to the United States and settled in Cleveland, Ohio. The circle was now almost complete. Paveli's stolen 'treasure' had been tracked down through close monitoring of the movements and activities of the quisling Bishop of Ljubljana.... [21]:133

After settling permanently in Cleveland, Rosman is recorded as having visited Argentina on three occasions, in 1949, 1952 and 1956. He died in Cleveland on 16 November 1959, aged 76.

[edit] Rehabilitation and lawsuits

In recent years, a request has been made by the Catholic Church, supported by many historians and other journalists and publicists, to reevaluate the lawsuit about Gregorij Rosman.[22] An official request for the re-evaluation was made by Slovenian Public Prosecutor Anton Drobnič prior to the visit to Slovenia by Pope John Paul II in 1999.[23] Anton Drobnič has ordered two historians, Tamara Griesser Pečar and France M. Dolinar to prepare an expertise for this retrial. It was later later published as a book "Rožmanov proces".[9]:13 On the basis, among other things, that he should have had the right to defend himself, Rosman's 1946 conviction has been overturned by the Slovenian Supreme Court and his case sent to the court of first instance for retrial. On April 10, 2009 the trial was stopped completely.[1]:630-643

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] Bibliography

  • Rehar, Marija; Dolinar, France M.; Griesser Pečar, Tamara; Otrin, Bla Visočnik, Julijana (2010). Med sodbo sodia in sodbo vesti [Between judgment of the court and judgment of conscience] (in Slovene). Ljubljana: Druzina. ISBN 978-961-222-774-6. 
  • Dolinar, France M.; Griesser Pečar, Tamara (1996). Rožmanov proces [Rožman's process] (in Slovene). Ljubljana: Drusina. ISBN 961-222-088-3. 
  • Kolarič Rehar, Jakob (1967). kof Rosman : duhovna podoba velike osebnosti na prelomnici časa [Bishop Rosman: the spiritual image of the great personalitie on the turning point of time] (in Slovene). Celovec: Druba sv. Mohorja. 
  • Pleterski, Janko; et al. (2008). kof Rosman v zgodovini [Bishop Rožman in History] (in Slovene). Ljubljana: DruÅ¡tvo piscev zgodovine NOB Slovenije. 
  • Rosmanov simpozij v Rimu [Rosman's symposium in Rome] (in Slovene). Celje: Mohorjeva drusba. 2001. ISBN 961-218-355-4. 

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Statements, such as that he thought "...[U]rgently necessary for Slovene Home Guard to have more priests-curates than is customary for an ordinary army", because he believed it was necessary to maintain fighting spirit in volunteers by emphasizing the moral ideals of struggle against the Communist revolution, are by them considered as proof that he acknowledged the Home Guard a military force in a religious war against communism.[4]:88
  2. ^ Until the German attack on the Soviet Union it was called "Anti-Imperialistic Front", as not to appear anti-Nazi because Hitler and Stalin were still allies
  3. ^ Slovene: Nobenega sodelovanja, nobene zveze z brezboštvom in tistimi, ki jim je brezboštvo vodilni nazor. Trdno stoj v veri v Boga, zidaj prihodnost svojo na boje zapovedi, ki so edini trdni temelj zdravega razvoja vsakemu narodu, velikemu in malemu. Ostani sv narod moj ne ubijaj samega sebe in ne izzivaj ukrepov, ki te morajo zadeti v tvoji svljenjski sili.
  4. ^ Slovene: "Vem, da mi bodo zagovorniki komunizma in še nekateri zaslepljeni katoličani očitali,da se s tem pastirskim pismom vmešavam v politiko, kar ni zadeva škofa in kar ne spada v cerkev. Toda, predragi verniki, boj proti brezbožnemu komunizmu ni politika, ampak verska zadeva, saj se vendar tiče vere v Boga, torej najbolj osnovne resnice vsake vere, posebno še naše krščanske vere. Zavračati brezbožne nauke, braniti resnice naše svete vere je verska zadeva in verska dolžnost, to pač spozna vsak, ki ima zdravo pamet"
  5. ^ Slovene: "Vi branite svoj narod pred volkovi in s¡akali, ki uničujejo sivljenje in imetje svojim lastnim rojakom, pred snajemniki, ki jim za ovce ni skrb«, ki s tujo miselnostjo brezbosnega komunizma zastrupljajo duÅ¡e in s tem ruÅ¡ijo duhovne temelje, na katerih je bilo v stoletjih zgrajeno vse, kar imamo duhovnega bogastva, skupnega s krs¡sansko Evropo"
  6. ^ This number is probably larger, as families for which he has intervened were counted as 3-member families, although families at that time normally had more than only three members
  7. ^ It is assumed that the groups, for which the number of persons is not known, together counted several hundred people

[edit] Footnotes

  1. ^ a b c d Cipic Rehar, Marija; Dolinar, France M.; Griesser Pečar, Tamara; Otrin, Blas Visočnik, Julijana (2010). Med sodbo sodišča in sodbo vesti [Between judgment of the court and judgment of conscience] (in Slovenian). Ljubljana: Drusina. ISBN 978-961-222-774-6. 
  2. ^ a b Cepic, Zdenko et al. (1995). Kljucne znacilnosti slovenske politike v letih 1929 - 1955 (in Slovene). InÅ¡titut za novejso zgodovino. p. 42. ISBN 961-90261-0-1. 
  3. ^ a b c d Griesser Pecar, Tamara (2004). Razdvojeni narod (in Slovene). Ljubljana: Mladniksa knjiga. ISBN 86-11-16799-6. 
  4. ^ a b c Pleterski, Janko; et al. (2008). Skof Rosman v zgodovini [Bishop Rosman in History]. Ljubljana: DruÅ¡tvo piscev zgodovine NOB Slovenije. 
  5. ^ Malle, AvguÅ¡tin (2001). "Rosmanova koroÅ¡ka leta" [Rosman's carinthian years]. Rosmanov simpozij v Rimu [Rosman's symposium in Rome] (in Slovenian). Celje: Mohorjeva druÅsba. pp. 721s ISBN 961-218-355-4. 
  6. ^ a b Dolinar, France M. (2010). "Gregorij Rosman (1883-1959)". Med sodbo sodišča in sodbo vesti [Between judgment of the court and judgment of conscience] (in Slovenian). Ljubljana: Drusina. pp. 1935. ISBN ISBN 978-961-222-774-6. 
  7. ^ Metod, Benedik (2001). "Gregorij Rosman - profesor prava" [Gregorij Rosman - law professor]. Rosmanov simpozij v Rimu [Rosman's symposium in Rome] (in Slovenian). Celje: Mohorjeva druzba. pp. 23“38. ISBN 961-218-355-4. 
  8. ^ Jamnik, Anton (2001). "Rosman - duhovni vodja orlov" [Rosman - the spiritual leader of Orel]. Rosmanov simpozij v Rimu [Rosman's symposium in Rome] (in Slovenian). Celje: Mohorjeva druzba. pp. 3950. ISBN 961-218-355-4. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Dolinar, France M.; Griesser Pečar, Tamara (1996). Rosmanov proces [Rosman's process] (in Slovenian). Ljubljana: Druzina. ISBN 961-222-088-3. 
  10. ^ He had visited Italian High Commissioner Emilio Grazioli on Sunday 20 April 1941, two weeks after the Wehrmacht invasion, and, explaining his reasons for this in Ljubljanski škofijski list (Ljubljana Diocesan Gazette), published on 31 July 1941 Rožman wrote that he had expressed to Grazioli the following:
    "the gratitude of the clergy and of believers that the military has occupied the region peacefully, kept order and allowed the people freedom, especially in a religious sense; regarding the co-operation of Church representatives with the new Fascist Italy, for we Catholics God's word is decisive, which says 'Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers, for there is no authority except God and those 'which God has established' (Romans 13:1). Via this standpoint we acknowledge the higher power that is above us and we will, following our consciences, 'be pleased to co-operate' to the honourable and eternal benefit of the people, among whom God's care for priests is asked".
    "We are grateful to God that He has inspired in the leader of Greater Italy the thoughts of generous justice and considerate wisdom with which His Majesty suggested the foundation of the Ljubljana region". Ljubljanski škofijski list, pp. 4-6, 31 July 1941; quoted by Tamara Griesser Pečar, France Martin Dolinar, 'Rosmanov Proces' pp. 50, 52, Ljubljana 1996. Slovenia 1945 by John Corsellis, Marcus Ferrar. Available online at Slovenia 1945, written by John Corsellis, Marcus Ferrar
  11. ^ a b c d e f ipi Rehar, Marija (2010). "Pridige in pastirska pisma s¡kofa Rosmana v vojnem času" [Sermons and pastoral letters of bishop Rosman in war time]. Med sodbo sodišča in sodbo vesti [Between judgment of the court and judgment of conscience] (in Slovenian). Ljubljana: Drusina. ISBN 978-961-222-774-6. 
  12. ^ Ferenc, Tone (1987). Ljudska oblast na Slovenskem 1941-1942, prva knjiga: Država v državi (People's authority in Slovenia 1941-1942, book one: "A state within a state"). Zalosba Borec
  13. ^ More on this in: Ferenc, Tone (2002). Dies irae : setniki, vas¡ki strasarji in njihova usoda jeseni 1943 [Dies irae : chetniks, village guards and their faith in autumn 1943] (in Slovenian). Ljubljana: Modrijan. ISBN 961-6465-02-3. 
  14. ^ For a full list of people he had intervened for read:
    Griesser Pečar, Tamara (2010). sasovni pregled intervencij ljubljanskega s¡kofa dr. Gregorija Rosmana" [Timeline of interventions of Ljubljana bishop dr. Gregorij Rosman]. Med sodbo sodis¡sa in sodbo vesti [Between judgment of the court and judgment of conscience] (in Slovenian). Ljubljana: Drusina. pp. 64s123. ISBN 978-961-222-774-6. 
  15. ^ Griesser Pečar, Tamara (2010). "Rosmanova posredovanja pri okupatorju" [Rosman's interventions at the occupator]. Med sodbo sodis¡sa in sodbo vesti [Between judgment of the court and judgment of conscience] (in Slovenian). Ljubljana: Drusina. ISBN 978-961-222-774-6. 
  16. ^ Grum, Janez (1995). "Predlog ali mnenje" [Proposition or opinion]. Zaveza (in Slovenian) (Nova Slovenska Zaveza) (19). Retrieved July 2011. 
  17. ^ Ladislav Bevc, an eyewitness wrote that "Despite the British roadblocks around Lienz, the refugees generally could find a way to circumvent them and filter into Anras, a mountain village to which Bishop Rožman had removed himself. The bishop still had his car which was driven by his chaplain". See
  18. ^ "Google books, Joso Tomas¡evis, ''War and Revolution in Yugoslavia, 1941-1945''". Retrieved 2013-03-20. 
  19. ^ PRO, FO 371; Jasenovac-Donja Gradina: Industry of Death, 1941-45
  20. ^ MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service, Stephen Dorril, The Free Press, New York, 2000, pp. 864-907; ISBN 0-7432-0379-8. pp 330, 332, 335, 339, 341-2, 350, 434.
  21. ^ a b John Loftus and Mark Aarons. Unholy Trinity - The Vatican, the Nazis, and the Swiss Banks. St. Martin's Press, 1998. ISBN 0-312-18199-X.
  22. ^ Anton Drobnič (4 December 2009). s kof Rosman v vojni in revolucij". Nova Slovenska Zaveza. Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  23. ^ Vecernje novosti, 13 February 1996

[edit] External links