rT is a "matter of criteria" in 'assessing news values, a Yugoslav spokesman told foreign Pressmen last week. They had expressed astonishment at his admission that the Press Department of Tito's own Foreign Ministry first learned of the arrest of an Orthodox Bishop from the foreign Press.
One wonders what would have happened had the story not come into the hands of men from lands where the Press is still free.
The 71-year-old Bishop Arsenije Bradvaric, Orthodox Metropolitan of Montenegro, had been secretly arrested. Three weeks later the news leaked out and was published in papers abroad, although not a word appeared in the Yugoslav Press.
Then, just 48 hours after the "news-leak," he was hurriedly put on trial, charged with conspiracy against the Communist State and sentenced to eleven and a half years' hard labour.
The sentence is a savage one. Every detail of the episode is disturbing.
' His arrest, trial and imprisonment were surely matters of some interest to the people of Yugoslavia, whatever their religious beliefs. And it is of considerable interest to Christians, in particular, elsewhere.
It shows that Tito's persecution of religion still goes on. The Yugoslav Government's assessment of news values is revealing. It is a reminder that its Marxist criteria are still the exact opposite of those of its Western allies.
That is something which must not be forgotten by the statesmen who today have dealings with Tito.