Page 834 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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Praying to Lord to place the souls of the killed in NaTO bombardment “where the souls of the righteous reside,” Patriarch Pavle pointed out that “if we are innocent and suf- ferafflictions,wewillremainalivebeforethelivingGod,”as well as that “without the faith in Lord we will be unable to exist as a people, either biologically, or as the people of God.”
Unveiling the first monument to Bishop Nikolaj in the Fatherland, academician Matija Bećković pointed out that this year’s March 24 united “not only memorial service and a holy day, but also europe’s true face and its counterpart, actually its heartlessness and its conscience.”
Patriarch’s auxiliary Bishop atanasije, Bishop of Hvos- no, served the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy and the memorial service in the Church of Saint Mark the apostle and evan- gelist. Dr Vojislav Koštunica, President FRY, as well as a great number of eminent people, attended the Liturgy and the memorial service.
The Bishop of Raška/Prizren served the memorial ser- vice to the victims of NaTO bombardment together with the clergy of this Diocese in the overcrowded Church of the Gračanica Monastery. The bishop pointed out in his speech that “after nearly two and a half years of the pres- ence of international community in Kosovo and Metohija, not only that Orthodox Serbs are not free to move or to exercise their basic human rights, but are also represent permanent targets.”
april 3, 2002
His Holiness Pavle, Serbian Patriarch, received Mr Mi- chael Steiner, special envoy of the UN Secretary General for Kosovo and Metohija in the Patriarchate Palace in Bel- grade today. The talks dwelled on the current situation in Kosovo and Metohija, participation of the Serbian people in the governing institutions in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as on the possibilities for establishing multiethnic so- ciety in Kosovo and Metohija, for setting democratic rights and providing a normal life and work for the refugees will- ing to return.
Talking with the primate of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Head of the UN Civil Mission in Kosovo repeated that the return of the exiled Serbs to Kosovo and Metohija represented the process that the international community is in charge of. “Our goal is multiethnic Kosovo. We need help from all authorities, first of all from the Serbian Or- thodox Church” Steiner said.
Patriarch Pavle said that he himself had met with repre- sentatives of various other religions and Churches in Ko- sovo and Metohija in the period when he had performed the duty of Bishop of Raška-Prizren, adding that he was still ready to talk with them any time.
His Grace Pahomije, Bishop of Vranje, member of the Holy Synod of Bishops, attended the meeting of Patriarch Pavle and Michael Steiner (who was heading the delegation).
This is not Patriarch’s first meeting with Michael Stein- er. They had already met during the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
june 1, 2002
The regular session of the Holy assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, presided over by His Holi- ness Serbian Patriarch Pavle and attended by all the hier- archs, was held in Belgrade, from May 23 to 31, 2002.
On Sunday, May 26, 2002, the hierarchs and His Holi- ness participated in the Liturgy and solemn festivity in the Morača Monastery, marking the 750th anniversary of this Monastery. a great number of the faithful attended this ceremony, among who there was the Crown Prince alek- sandar Karadjordjević.
Discussing and considering with great responsibility and attentiveness the life of our local Church in general, both in the country and abroad, the assembly especially attended to the issue of reform and improvement of the church educational system, as well as to the issue of reli- gious instruction in schools. Greeting with joy the return of religious instruction into primary and secondary schools in Serbia, the assembly expressed hope that the same would be done in Montenegro soon.
The Holy assembly also greets the recent visits of the archbishop of athens Christodoulous and Patriarch of al- exandria Petros Vii to our Church, as well as many other bilateral visits of this kind, as signs of pan-Orthodox unity, and also supports dialogues and meetings with other Chris- tians, members of other religions and all the people of good will.
The assembly accepted and approved the Draft agree- ment on the establishment of the Church Unity which the commissions from Belgrade and Skoplje respectively made and signed in Niš, on May 17 this year. With prayer and love in the Holy Spirit does the assembly expect the hier- archs of the Church in Macedonia to do the same. Such a gesture would be an exceptional contribution to the unity and profession of Christianity in the modern world, some- thing which the pleroma of the Orthodox Church expects.
The Holy assembly did not fail to observe the essential necessity of the protection and improvement of human and religious rights and freedoms, both in our country and in the whole world. as for that issue, the assembly is of the opinion that it is highly necessary to do everything so that the voice of the Church be heard in international organisa- tions which deal with the protection of human rights. This refers not only to human rights but also to the basic human right to life which have been jeopardised in the region of Kosovo and Metohija. in connection with that, the assem-

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