Page 758 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 758

Protopresbyter-stavrophor Savo B. jović
“The parish priest of Vitomirica in the district of Peć on the feast of the Holy evangelist Mark, May 8, 1958, per- formed the usual religious service in the destroyed church in the village of Suvi Lukavac circling around the church without going further than two meters away from the walls of the church. The judge for crimes of the Municipal Court in Peć by its decision Up. No 797/58 from July 8, 1958 sen- tenced Dimitrije Šundić and Dragutin Šundić, farmers from Djurakovac to 15 days in prison. The sentenced men ap- pealed the sentence to the Council for Crimes of the State Secretariat for internal affairs aKMO in Priština; howev- er, by its decision Up. ii No 844 from july 21, 1958 it rejected the appeal, enforcing the aforementioned decision of the judge for crimes of the Municipal Court and, in order to make the decision even more legal, further added that al- legedly a religious procession had taken place through the village, even though the decision of the judge for crimes did not state this.
Both the decisions state that the accused were punished for holding religious processions through the village to a location where a church had formerly stood, and this loca- tion, they had determined, “was not a facility that the reli- gious communities had established for the conduct of reli- giousrites.”
in fact, no religious procession took place through the city but only around the church and not more than two meters distant from the walls of the church, which is per- mitted in accordance with article 13 of the Law on the legal position of religious communities. as far as the allegation in the decision of the Council for Crimes aKMO that the aforementioned church, where only the walls remain, “is not a facility that the religious communities had established for the conduct of religious rites,” we note that the Ortho- dox religious community, due to the fact that the enemies of the Orthodox Church and the Serbian people during the course of five centuries of bondage under the Turks de- stroyed Orthodox churches, not only during war but in peace, which was repeated, unfortunately, in the last war by the Ustashe in the region of the so-called independent State of Croatia and the Balists in Kosovo and Metohija, was forced to recommend to its clergy that Divine Liturgy also be held in the ruins of churches at least once a year on the patron saint’s day of the church or on some other feast day. Hence, the Council for Crimes aKMO [wrongly] stat- ed that church ruins were not facilities that religious com- munities had established for the conduct of religious rites.
Moreover, it is impossible to imagine that the legislator in the aforementioned article 13 of the Law on religious communities wished to bring the Serbian Church, which suffered for centuries and in the last war together with her people, in a subservient position with respect to other reli- gions and confessions, i.e. that by banning the conduct of religious rituals in destroyed places of worship, because only Orthodox places of worship were destroyed during the enslavement by the Turks and in the last two world
wars, which would in fact leave them without a place to pray to God, something that is permitted to Catholics, Mus- lims and Protestants in their places of worship, which no one had destroyed.”49
The Holy Synod of Bishops decided on October 29, 1958, to intervene with the Commission for Religious affairs of the People’s Republic of Serbia with respect to the sentenc- ing of Dimitrije and Dragutin Šundić from Djurakovac to 15 days in prison for carrying religious banners around the destroyed church in the village of Suvi Lukavac, district of Peć.50
in act No 52 from March 5, 1959, Bishop Pavle said that he received the following report from the administration of Devič Monastery under No 53 from November 20, 1958:
“On November 1, 1958, at 9:00 p.m. jelena Lapoćanin- Hristić, 13 years of age, who arrived in the monastery when she was less than two, left the monastery. She had come, i.e. been brought in january 1948. Her absence, as soon as it was observed, was immediately reported to the National police, so they could look for her. On the same day she was found in Rezalo, where she been taken for a 12 year-old albanian boy. When asked how and when, she said that three albanian men had come for her in the night, one of themcarryingarifle.Shewastakentothehouseofthelat- ter, who is called Malić Gaši from Rezalo, and asked wheth- er she wanted to be wed to a boy of 12 who tended sheep in the monastery or this man, who was already married. She replied that she wanted the boy and because the wedding party of an older brother was taking place, she stayed there two or three hours before she was returned to the house of the married Malić Gaši, and then again returned to the wedding party.
When further questioned who knew of this and who was the intermediary because she was young, a child so to speak, she said that the albanians had told her that she should leave the monastery, and that in the monastery cat- tle herder Sima Stanković, a 62 year-old Serb, told her the same thing. after hearing the witnesses and the accused persons, it was established that she was taken, i.e. deceived, tobewedtoaboyof12,wheninfactshewastakenfora married man. it is probable that the pathetic Serb Sima received good money from Malić Gaši and that she was sold. When the police took her from the albanian house, on the road near the Devič brook, Malić waited with a rifle, probably thinking that the police would turn her over to Devič, and as soon as the police left he could would take her by force.
i wish to note that the first police patrol that found her in Rezalo with the albanians did nothing to bring her back but continuing to perform its duty told her to report the next day to the police. i begged and pleaded with the com- mander to send a second patrol to get her lest she be ru-
49 AHSB, Syn No 25/1958.
50 AHSB, Syn No 2939/zap. 741/58.

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