Page 765 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 765

ward members of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Koso- vo and Metohija, we are in a position to advise you that necessary measures were immediately undertaken to veri- fy the claims made in the petition, as well as to prevent eventual arbitrary acts, as can be seen from the following:
after learning of the content of the petition, the presi- dent of the Provincial executive Council ilija Vakić, to- gether with several officials of the Provincial Council and the president of the Municipal assembly of Peć, visited the Peć Patriarchate. On that occasion comrade Vakić asked the representatives of the Peć Patriarchate with respect to relations between local state officials and the monastery administration as well as other questions related to the work of the monastery. The elder of the monastery (the abbess) informed the representatives of the Provincial council that relations between the monastery administration and local state officials in Peć are very good, that the monastery ad- ministration enjoys their understanding with respect to its requests and that they consequently to the national au- thorities. During the conversation she emphasized that the monastery administration periodically experiences diffi- culties provoked by irresponsible individuals who are dam- aging the monastery property by illegally cutting the mon- astery forest, smashing gravestones, windows on the church, light bulbs in the yard, writing insulting words, behaving in an impolite manner, and that there are occasionally thefts of small items. The abbess stated that in these cases police officials lend assistance. She also said that such persons are damaging not only monastery property but also the prop- erty of the social sector.
On the same day, the aforementioned comrades visited Visoki Dečani Monastery. in a conversation with the mon- astery elder, abbot Makarije Popović, it was concluded that the monastery has no problems that would require special engagement by state officials.
Makarije said that a year ago there were attempts to il- legally cut the forest but that state officials prevented this in time. On this occasion Makarije mentioned that far more socially owned forests had suffered than monastery for- ests. He presented no other problems in connection with Visoki Dečani Monastery.
On the basis of the above, it can be concluded that the claims in the petition are exaggerated and that there is no pre-planned campaign by the albanians against the Serbs, all the more so because irresponsible individuals have act- ed similarly with respect to the property of the islamic re- ligious community. For illustration purposes, we will state that recently in Kosovo and Metohija 14 mosques have been robbed and various items removed from them: rugs, wall clocks and other items. The perpetrators of these thefts have been found and captured. They originate from the ranks of albanian nationality, which proves that these per- sons do not care which religious community they steal from and their goal is illegal taking of the property of others for their own use.
Newspaper cuttings from the Serbian press, 1980s
as far as the situation in other monasteries is concerned, it is similar to the aforementioned monasteries. The Pro- vincial executive Council through its officials has under- taken necessary measures to prevent such occurrences.”
a transcript of this letter was given to His Holiness Pa- triarch German and provided to His Grace Bishop Pavle of Raška and Prizren.”64
in regard to this His Grace Bishop Pavle forwarded to the Holy Synod of Bishops a letter from the administra- tion of Dečani Monastery that stated the following:
“The report of the Federal Commission for Religions from Belgrade No 154 with respect to Visoki Dečani Mon- astery is essentially inaccurate. i told President ilija Vakić that the problem of the monastery church is current, and that this was thoughtless and faceless robbery. i informed him that this was the third attempt to steal the monastery forest. The first was in 1899, the second from 1915 to 1918 and the third unfortunately from 1966 to today. i explained to him that the national police was powerless to offer us help even if it wanted to do so, and that i have reported all cases to the National police in Dečani and the diocese ex- ecutive Council in Prizren. i confirmed that this was a pre- planned campaign by the albanians toward monastery property, although i do not believe that the government supports them 100 percent in this. i concluded the conver- sation with them by saying that if the federal commission accepted the tyranny of the Dečani albanians it would be—robbery.
i asked for protection and i did not say that it was un- necessary from the authorities. The earlier reports of the
64 AHSB, Syn No 2127/ zap. 388, June 7, 1968.
The Suffering and Persecution in Kosovo and Metohija from 1945 to 2005

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