Page 776 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 776

Protopresbyter-stavrophor Savo B. jović
“The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church has learned that Visoki Dečani Monastery has fall- en into great difficulties and insecurity. after earlier at- tacks on its property, the monastery has in the past month suffered four robberies and other unpleasantries. More pre- cisely, in the period from May 28 to june 19 this year, the monastery cellar has been broken into four times and mon- ey and liquor. as soon as it observed the first theft the ad- ministration of the Monastery put special locks on the door. However, nothing helped. The thefts were repeated on May 30, june 13 and june 19. To what lengths the thieves will go can be seen from the fact that the first two thefts occurred at about 3:00 p.m., i.e. during the day, when the brother- hood was occupied with tasks outside of and near the mon- astery. The other two thefts occurred during the night.
as a result of this, the administration of the Monastery has found itself in great difficulty and has been forced to wall in its indirect access routes within the Monastery com- plex and keep watch day and night always in great fear of what may occur.
During the first theft the brotherhood of the Monas- tery managed to catch one thief, who is called Osman Djik- okaj. He admitted the names of his accomplices. This was reported to competent authorities; unfortunately, howev- er, nothing more was done. Similarly, after every break in the police came, took fingerprints and brought a search dog, all without results.
That is not all. There are now rumors that these are merely sounding out attempts to see the reaction and that after that the church itself will be attacked.
The Holy Synod of Bishops is disturbed by all this, and considering the seriousness of the situation and the fear that the worst may occur—that one of our most monu- mental and valuable monasteries and cultural-historical monuments may be damaged or destroyed—asks the Com- mission to intercede with competent officials to ensure that permanent guards (policemen) are installed at Visoki De- čani Monastery who would always be on the scene and secure the Monastery. We believe that in the present situ- ation this would be the only and most effective way of pre- venting the worst from happening—which considering ev- erything else that is happening there, may happen.”
There is no information whether a response to this ap- peal, like so many others, was ever received.
Bishop Pavle again informed the Holy Synod of Bish- ops regarding the permanent departure of Serbs from Ko- sovo and Metohija during the period from april 1969 to april 1, 1970:
“This whole annual report,” said the Bishop, “is primar- ilyareportaboutthedifficultieswefacemoreorlessevery day in the Diocese. The permanent displacement of our people is still going on. Those who still remain, in addition to other reasons, are also motivated to leave because of difficulties with education of their children. in many loca- tions, due to permanent displacement there are also, of
course, fewer children, and Serbian sections (in schools) are closing. They reject the possibility of sending their chil- dren far away, to another village. They have two alterna- tives: either to send them to albanian sections or to move. There are also other reasons to do the latter and thus the permanent displacement continues.”83
in this regard the Holy Synod of Bishops asked the Com- mission to undertake everything necessary to protect our faithful from constant unpleasantries and harassment in- flicted upon them by the albanians on the territory of Ko- sovo.84
The Year 1971
On March 12, 1971 His Grace Bishop Pavle forward the Holy Synod of Bishops a copy of a petition sent to the Commis- sion for Religious affairs of the SaP of Kosovo and Meto- hija.
The content of the petition was as follows:
“We received the following report from the parish priest of Budisavci:
’in the village of Petrč there is an Orthodox cemetery of 2.5 hectares used to bury the dead of the villages of Gornji Petrč, Donji Petrč, Gornja jablanica, Donja jablanica, Klin- čina, a part of the village of Drenovac and a part of the vil- lage of Dugonjiva.
in this village there was an Orthodox church—not that long ago, in the time of the Turkish empire—as some el- derly Serbs remembered, e.g. Simo Ribać from Drenik, who said that he regularly took communion in that church. The foundations of the church can still be found in a meadow of two hectares, which during the time of the old Yugosla- via was cared for by the church council and rented out, and now is held by an albanian Catholic from Petrč. in the Pe- trč cemetery before the war, there was a wonderful cerris forest, which was preserved during the war but after the liberation the people’s government cut down the forest for its needs and a forest of black locusts planted which was nurtured and preserved for 25 years growing into a great forest that was a pleasure to see and to visit.
a few days ago i visited the cemetery in Petrč and saw that the forest was gone with the exception of a black lo- cust here and there scattered throughout the cemetery. Some gravestones were broken and the picture had been smashed and removed on every one of them with a blunt object and a lathe in bestial fashion and thus the cemetery looks like a real wasteland. The same thing happened a few years ago in the village of Danče. after that the Serbs moved from there and today there is not a single Serb house.
The damage done in the Petrč cemetery from the cut downforestanddamagedgravesisgreat.’
The parish priest of Mušutište near Suva Reka informed us of the following:
83 AHSB, Syn No 1832/1970. 84 AHSB, Syn No 1028/1971.

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