Page 741 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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much to alleviate the poverty by collecting donations and distributing aid to the poor in money and heating fuel. The Holy Synod of Bishops also sent Bishop Serafim of blessed memory repose larger sums of money on three occasions to meet the needs of the Diocese of Raška and Prizren (No 2873/zap. 427 from 1942).
Upon the repose of Bishop Serafim on january 13, 1945, who because of wartime conditions and the winter season had to be buried in Tirana next to the mausoleum of Serbian soldiers who died in World War i, the Holy Synod of Bish- ops appointed His eminence Metropolitan josif of Skoplje the administrator of the Diocese of Raška and Prizren.1
Metropolitan josif immediately interceded with repre- sentatives of the new government to open the Seminary in Prizren but unfortunately, the Holy Synod of Bishops re- ceived an answer from the Ministry of internal affairs, Kab. No 611/45 from July 3, 1945, signed by the minister for Inter- nal affairs, Vlada Zečević, saying:
“We have been informed by the Military Command of Kosovo and Metohija that the building of the seminary in Prizren is being used by military authorities. in addition to this difficulty, there are many other reasons that make it impossible to reopen the aforementioned seminary at this time. Upon investigating all circumstances, it is our opin- ion that this matter should not be insisted on at this time. The main reason is that Prizren today is inhabited by a pop- ulation that is 75 percent albanian; should the seminary be reopened, they would not comprehend this properly at this time. Death to fascism—freedom to the people.”
The Holy Synod of Bishops sent a request in this regard to the Commission for Religions of Democratic Federal Yugoslavia, No 2545/45, saying:
“The administration of the Diocese of Raška and Priz- ren has sent the Holy Synod of Bishops a telegram contain- ing the following: ’The district council in Prizren has con- fiscated the furniture of the Prizren Seminary with the ex- planation that the furniture was obtained from subsidies given by the state to the church. act to follow, No 237. Court prosecutor priest Čedomir Simić, December 26, 1945.’
Upon informing of the above, the Holy Synod of Bish- ops has the honor to request that the Commission for Reli- gions intercede with those competent to order the District Council in Prizren to return the illegally and illegitimately confiscated furniture of the Prizren Seminary.
at the same time, the Commission for Religions is asked to secure a general order to state officials and the entire country to spare the Serbian Orthodox Church from simi- larillegalactions.”2
it its reply from january 2, 1946, which is signed by the director of the general section, Milan Parezanović, the Pres- idency of the Council of Ministers of Democratic Federal
1 Archive of the Holy Synod of Bishops (hereafter, AHSB), No 176/ zap. 68 from 1945.
2 AHSB, No 2545/45.
Yugoslavia says: “in regard to your act No 2545 from De- cember 28, 1945, you are hereby informed that the District People’s Council—Prizren has been sent an act of the fol- lowing content:
“The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church has informed the Presidency of the Federal Gov- ernment that this council has confiscated the furniture of the Prizren Seminary with the explanation that the furni- ture was obtained from subsidies the state gave to the Church.
in our opinion this act is illegal and illegitimate. in the interests of correct relations between the state and the Church it is necessary to return the confiscated furniture immediately to the Prizren Seminary.
Send a report when this is done.
Death to fascism—Freedom to the people!” Unfortunately, the problem relating to the Seminary
welcomed Bishop Vladimir of Mukačevo-Prjaševo, whom the Holy Synod of Bishops by its decision No 1388/zap. 326 from August 16/3, 1945, appointed administrator of the Di- ocese of Raška and Prizren.3
By his act, No 21 from january 5, 1945, he informs the Holy Synod of Bishops that immediately upon his arrival in Prizren he undertook measures for the authorities to turn the church property they had occupied over to him.
“Today, for example, he says, during another visit to state representatives with Mr. Prota Milan Trifunović and Mr. Professor Petko Trifunović in regard to the latest inci- dent of confiscation of furniture from the Seminary, i again asked that in the future the property of the church be left alone. To this i received the categorical reply that this was not the property of the Church, that the people’s govern- ment had the right to do what they will with it and that everything has been turned over to the Council for Peo- ple’s Property.
as far as the Bishop’s residence is concerned, we were told that this building does not belong to the church but to the Russian state and that Russian consuls lived there. and that the building of the Seminary, i was told, was property of the people and was not left to the church but to the peo- ple.
Upon listening to this, i made the following rebuttal: The Bishop’s residence has always the property of the church. it is true that at one time Russian consuls lived there but they paid rent. The Church also has a title to this building and can call a large number of local citizens who will testify that the Russian consuls who lived in it were only renters.
Regarding the Seminary building, i made this rebuttal: it is the property of the Church and has been bequeathed to her for her purposes carried out for the national and religious aims of our people in this region. For this there is also much proof that the Church is in the right, that she cares for these buildings and considers them her own. His
3 AHSB, 16/1947.
The Suffering and Persecution in Kosovo and Metohija from 1945 to 2005

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