Page 744 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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Protopresbyter-stavrophor Savo B. jović
“From the above cited report, continues Bishop Vladi- mir, we see what injustices and illegalities are being carried out against the Serbian church and her representatives, who are carrying out their duties and seeking to protect the holy shrines of the Serbian people, which it built by the sweat of its brow to guard its faith and its nationality in them. Occurrences of the sort described in the aforemen- tioned report should be strongly condemned and not tol- erated in any state or jurisdiction.
i am not just saying this as a Bishop of the Serbian Church and a Serb but as a citizen of this country who cares a lot about order, about legality, about justice and peace in it, as well as about the fact that all citizens, regardless of their religion and nationality, should be equal in their rights when they conduct their civil duties properly and in accordance with the law. Cases like this and others similar to them, of which i have informed state authorities, pleading that they be prevented, are not permitted for even the most ordinary of citizens, who in this concrete case have overstepped both their rights and their responsibilities.
as i am cognizant of my words and my responsibility before both God and men, i am not afraid to say the truth: that with this hostile position toward the Serbian Ortho- dox Church the peace we desire and the necessary con- solidation of the country cannot be achieved. Such cases will provoke condemnation in the soul and justified pro- test among the Orthodox population, as well as in every other true believer, even him who is not Orthodox, but a Catholic, a Muslim or a jew.”12
The Year 1947
By another act, No 38 from january 23, 1947 in Prizren, Bish- op Vladimir in Prizren sent the Holy Synod of Bishops the report of the administration of the monastery of the Peć Patriarchate saying:
“On the property of the holy Peć Patriarchate there are quite a few monastery houses in Budisavci now occupied by serfs who work the land; all land has all been confiscat- ed, and therefore the houses, too. There is a church in the center of Budisavci and next to it a house inhabited by two families, Priest Velimir Sekulić has moved into three cham- bers on the upper level, in that third room there is a bed for a cleric arriving on business or traveling where he can rest or spend the night. The local council decided to confiscate this room, and upon doing so they moved a family into it, there is absolutely no room to turn around. i believe that this was done to force the priest out of the monastery house and thus close the church, leaving the priest to run as far away from it as he can. He would run away now but he cannot find other accommodation.
Therefore, i ask Your Grace to intercede with compe- tent authorities to move out this family that has moved in
12 aHSB, Syn No 1830, july 6, 1946. 742
because we need the room and it is terribly crowded. all thiswasalldonebytheLocalCouncilinStub-Budisavci.”13 in regard to the report of Bishop Vladimir, the admin- istrator of the Diocese of Raška and Prizren, that those com- petent in the Local People’s Council in Sredska failed to return the church record books of the second parish of Prizren despite several requests, in its meeting on May 8, 1947, the Holy Synod of Bishops lodged a protest with the Presidency of the Government of the Federal People’s Re- public of Yugoslavia, asking that the record books be re-
Bishop Vladimir of Raška and Prizren then, by his act
No 515 from april 16, 1947, sent the Holy Synod of Bishops a second report from the elder of Devič Monastery, saying that “the cattle of the villages of Vojvodići and Rezalo are mercilessly destroying what remains of the forest expected to be allotted to the monastery. i have asked for protection orally several times but the state officials are completely indifferent.
adem Hailović of Vojvodići, about 40 years of age, a shepherd, is the leader encouraging all the shepherds from that village to keep their cattle near the monastery. They are not doing this out of the need to graze them but out of demonstrated spite toward Devič Monastery. This village should bear the full and justified responsibility for the mon- astery being in dilapidated condition. During one month of my residence here, we have done anything else except clean cattle manure out of what remains of the church. The other leader of the shepherds from the same village is the son of Ukšin Uka, who is 16 or 17 years of age.
On the other side of the monastery, the young forest growth is being destroyed by the cattle from the village of Rezalo. We have the means to build a house in Devič and other refuges but we are powerless to stop these tyrants from carrying out their tyranny.
We ask that you intercede with competent authorities for the protection of the forest of Devič Monastery.”15
There is no information in the archive of the Holy Syn- od of Bishops that such an intervention took place but there is that the situation did not improve. On the contrary, from reports Bishop Vladimir received from monastery and par- ish administrations and which he forwarded to the Holy Synod of Bishops, we can see that conditions deteriorated further.
Thus, a report from the parish priest of Ranilug, in the ecclesiastical administrative district of Gnjilane, says:
“On the eve of the feast of St. Sava the church in Ra- nilug was completely demolished: all the books were torn to shreds. Only one linen cover on the altar table was spared, while all other coverings, the Gospels, one cross, the anti- mension, the royal doors, the drapes on the royal doors,
13 AHSB, Syn No 55/1955.
14 AHSB, Syn No 1461/zap. 327/47. 15 AHSB, Syn No 3/1947.

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