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John Paul II

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Relations with the Eastern Orthodox Church
John Paul II visited other heavily Orthodox areas such as [[Church of Ukraine|Ukraine]], despite lack of welcome at times, and he said that an end to the Schism was one of his fondest wishes.
With regard to the relations with the [[Church of Serbia|Serbian Orthodox Church]], Pope John Paul II could not escape the controversy of the involvement of Croatian Catholic clergy with the Ustasa regime of World War II. He beatified Aloysius Stepinac in 1998, the Croatian war-time archbishop of Zagreb, a move seen negatively by those who believe that he was an active collaborator with the Ustaše fascist regime. On [[June 22]], 2003, he visited Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a main city of Serbian Orthodox population in Bosnia. He held a Mass at the Petrićevac [[monastery]]. It's friars participated in killing Serbs during the World War II. (most notorius of them was Fra Stjepan Filipovic MajstorovicMajstorović). Orthodox Bishop of Banja Luka [[Jefrem (Milutinovic) of Banja Luka|Jefrem]] refused to attended the Mass because Pope did not expess express his regreat. They met later that day.
The Pope had also been saying during the entire pontificate that one of his greatest dreams was to visit Russia, which never actually happened. He had made several attempts to solve the problems which arose during centuries between the Roman Catholic Church and [[Church of Russia|Russian Orthodox Church]], like giving back the Kazan [[Icon]] of the [[Mother of God]] in August 2004. However, the Orthodox side was not that enthusiastic, giving statements like: "The question of the visit of the Pope in Russia is not connected by the journalists with the problems between the Churches, which are now unreal to solve, but with giving back one of many sacred things, which were illegally stolen from Russia." (Vsevolod Chaplin). There were also statements saying that the icon which was returned was one of four copies made of the original icon, which is still in an unknown location.
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