The Austrian bishops’ conference held its general assembly in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, where Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in 1914, sparking World War I.
World War I ended in 1918, and the meeting was part of the bishops’ decision to designate 2018 as a “Year of Remembrance.” During the meeting, they met with Bosnian bishops.
“One hundred years ago, the First World War came to an end. Millions of people had lost their lives. The remembrance of this catastrophe and the massive suffering should strengthen the goodwill of Christians and all people to strive for a peaceful coexistence,” the Austrian bishops said in a statement after the meeting ended on 8th March 8.
Paul Wuthe, spokesman for the Austrian bishops, said they wanted to show support for people of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Catholic Church there.
He said the Year of Remembrance “is centred above all on the founding of the republic on 12th November 1918, and the end of Austria through the ‘Anschluss’ in 1938.”
Picture: Cardinal Vinko Puljic, president of the bishops’ conference of Bosnia-Herzegovina, holds a relic and picture of Emperor Charles I of Austria during an 8th March assembly in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. The emperor was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2004. (CNS photo/Paul Wuthe, courtesy Katholische Presseagentur Osterreich).