A Mass, offered for the homeland, was held in the Ljubljana Cathedral, at which the most prominent representatives of the country also gathered. In his sermon, the Bishop of Koper, Jurij Bizjak, thanked them for successfully running the country, especially during the coronavirus epidemic. Among other things, he also warned that no one should be exposed to media lynching until they get a chance to defend themselves.
In his sermon, Bizjak spoke of the entry in the Book of Moses, which is part of the Old Testament, where it is written that no man should be vindictive and resentful of his fellow countrymen. “But when we listen or read the news, it is not hard to see how much hostility and aggression, anger and disgust, bile and poison, resentment and revenge we are carrying in our hearts, pouring it all out on all sides, and drowning each other in it,” he said.
He finds it appalling, “how easily so many of our media outlets seem to be loading the logs to the stake and adding fuel to the fire, which has long been out of control,” he said, reminding everyone of the proverb which says that a hero kills with a sword and a slanderer with his word.
The bishop expressed respect and admiration to all who endure the insults and shame on a daily basis
Without citing a specific case, the bishop spoke of a Roman custom, that the accused must have the opportunity to confront the prosecutors and to defend himself against the accusations. “Therefore, I believe that even in a modern, enlightened and advanced society, we should not be accustomed to the habit of allowing the media to lynch someone, even before the accused has the opportunity to defend himself against the accusations. And if the accusations turn out to be vicious and unjust, the punishment which would have otherwise been for the accused should fall on the prosecutor’s shoulders,” he said. He added that the Declaration of Human rights also recognizes, among other things, the principle that anyone accused of a crime has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
“Therefore, as a citizen, I would like to express my sincere respect and admiration, as well as gratitude, to all the present and absent representatives of the authorities, for your humility and patience, with which you endure the daily insults and humiliations, incitements and suspicions, evil assumptions and slander, which are being directed towards you day after day, and are ruthlessly destroying your reputation and your good name, to which every human being has a right, and even more so, all the excellent elected representatives of the people,” he added.
The Mass, offered for the homeland, was attended by the highest representatives of the state and its institutions, including the President of the Republic Borut Pahor, Prime Minister Janez Janša, and the Speaker of the National Assembly, Igor Zorčič. Among the participants were also the Chief of General Staff of the Slovenian army Robert Glavaš, Director-General of the Police Anton Travner, Human Rights Ombudsman Peter Svetina, and the President of the Supreme Court Damijan Florjančič, as well as some diplomats, ministers, MPs, and representatives of other religious communities.