Page 810 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 810

Protopresbyter-stavrophor Savo B. jović
the european Union will live up to their historical duty and the responsibilities they have assumed to rebuilt and pro- tect Kosovo and Metohija’s spiritual and cultural heritage which, without a doubt, is of global significance. Failure to fulfill this request by the Church would mean rewarding war-time (fascist), post-war (Communist) and the most recent (terrorist) the perpetrators of crime and terror against the Serbian Church and people.
3) The Holy assembly of Bishops expresses satisfaction that all political parties in Serbia and in the Serbian assem- bly have accepted the Serbian Government’s plan on de- centralization and self-administration of minority com- munities in Kosovo as the only realistic prerequisite for the preservation of Kosovo’s multiethnicity and the protection of human rights. The assembly wholeheartedly supports this plan. We expect the international community, after its tragic experience in Kosovo in the past few years, to soberly and justly consider this problem and in the spirit of this proposal to contribute with an appropriate solution on the organization of political relations in Kosovo and Metohija.
4) The Church in principle welcomes—everywhere, including in Kosovo and Metohija the democratic right to participate in elections. However, it is regret that we must ask everyone insisting on the participation of Serbs and minority communities in scheduled October elections in Kosovo and Metohija: in what country in the world can one ask participation in elections under conditions where people lack not only fundamental safety and basic human rights, including the right to freedom of movement, but the right to life itself? a slave must first be freed of the cap- tivity imposed upon him and liberated from his dungeon that he may act freely and freely elect or be elected.
5) in connection with the resolution of this problem, the Church expects the governments of Serbia and Mon- tenegro individually, as well as the highest joint officials of the state union, to have a unified position with respect to the question of Kosovo and Metohija as a question of vital importance not only for us but also for the establishment of peace and order throughout the Balkans and beyond in europe. We consider the recent meeting and views of the leaders of the european Union in Maastricht with respect to the state union of Serbia and Montenegro to be an im- portant incentive and roadmap to all those who truly de- sire entry into european integrations, to create all prereq- uisites for entry into the european Union through joint efforts, strengthening unity and community in european fashion. at the same time, such cooperation and reciproc- ity between the members of the state union of Serbia and Montenegro will undoubtedly be precious in both the reso- lution of the problem of Kosovo and Metohija and in the enhancement of general social, economic and political life of both Serbia and Montenegro and the Balkan Peninsula as a whole.”142
142 aHSB, 2004. 808
The Year 2005
in his annual report to the Holy assembly of Bishops, e No 260 from May 14, 2005, the Bishop of Raška and Prizren, wrote the following:
“it remains our holy duty, like in earlier years, to con- tinue with our clergy, monks and nuns and faithful to carry the cross that has been placed on our shoulders by our Fa- ther in Heaven according to His providence and all-know- ing wisdom. in this we see the purpose of our existence on earth, that the wounds of the Lord jesus Christ might be finished upon us, so that by them He will recognize and acknowledge us as his faithful servants and followers “when He returns in His Kingdom.”
The brutal terror that is still be carried out by albanian terrorists and criminals against the Serb population: ha- rassment, murders and kidnappings of Serbs, looting and usurpation of Serb property, displacement of the Serb pop- ulation, destruction of Serbian Orthodox holy shrines— continues to this day. Despite all this, thanks to the firm position and persistence of the clergy and monks and nuns of the Diocese of Raška-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija, the tragic consequence of this terror are somewhat amelio- rated. The entire Orthodox population, looking upon its Church which has never betrayed or abandoned it, receives new strength and initiative to stay and endure in its ances- tral home because the Church is here, like a ship of salva- tion, to help, console, elevate and strengthen the faithful, tossed by the storm and temptation in the moment when it needs help the most.
Without losing our hope in God’s help, we also expect from the representatives of the government of our country, and first of all from the Holy assembly of Bishops, their undivided support and unity as far as Kosovo and Meto- hija are concerned. Only together, united in one thought, inspired by justice and tolerance, can we also expect the international Community to accurately understand and assess the situation in Kosovo and Metohija, and to find a just solution for the benefit and peaceful co-existence of all citizens in the south Serbian Province.
(...) The mission of the Church and our pastoral work under these circumstances in Kosovo and Metohija and in the District of Raška as well, is made more difficult and hindered by external factors. But this does not meet that on our path, which is what it is because God so wills, we should lose hope or give ourselves the right to leave it and neglect our duties but, on the contrary, to become even more engaged in the hope that, with the help of God, we will overcome all obstacles and problems we find on the path as our final designation. The Kingdom of Heaven. We find the source of hope and strength to continue on this cross-bearing path in the Lord jesus Christ who was Cru- cified for us and Resurrected, the first and eternal Pastoral Leader of His Holy Orthodox Church.143
143 aHSB, Syn No 743, May 16, 2005.

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