Page 835 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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bly paid special attention to the exiled and refugees from all the regions of the former Yugoslavia. Therefore, the as- sembly once again asks all the exiled and refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, and especially those from Kosovo and Metohija, to return to their hearths, ex- pecting at the same time from our state authorities and representatives of the international community to help their return and create conditions necessary for their normal life.
The Holy assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Ortho- dox Church expresses positive opinion on the agreement on the joint state of Serbia and Montenegro. Being of inde- structible nature and having original unity, the Church in- vites everyone to fasten this unity, and requires that the unity should very soon be defined in suitable constitution, as state community of Serbia and Montenegro, with re- spect of God’s and human laws both in our country and in the whole world. Unnecessary conflicts and irresponsible party discords just lead the people into new misery and humiliations, prevent the state from integrating into inter- national community in a sound manner and hinder spiri- tual, cultural and economical progress of our society.
To the end of reconciliation of the Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church with the canonical tradition of the Church and to the end of its modernising, helping the Church to realise its evangelic mission in more effective manner in the modern world, the assembly urges more intensive work of its Commission and various committees on the review of and supplements to the general Constitu- tion of our local Church and of its Dioceses in america, australia and Western europe.
Being fully aware that the european and world envi- ronment changed radically and greatly after September 11, the attack on america, the assembly reminds all the peo- ple of good will both in europe and all over the world that it is essentially necessary to unite not only in economical and political sense but also on the foundations of the eter- nal spiritual and original Christian principles.
Since Bishop Sava of Šumadija of blessed memory passed away, the assembly appointed His Grace jovan, present Bishop of Western america, to perform this duty. instead of Bishop Danilo of Budim also passed away recently, the assembly appointed Bishop Lukijan (Pantelić) to perform the duties of the Bishop of Budim and administrator of the Diocese of Timisoara. The assembly appointed His Grace joanikije, Vicarious Bishop of Budimlje, to be the Bishop of the Diocese of Budimlje/Nikšić, while Bishop of America and Canada of the Metropolitanate of New Gračanica was appointed the administrator of the vacant chair of the Dio- cese of Western america. Besides, the assembly appoint- ed His Grace atanasije, the retired Bishop of Zahumlje- Herzegovina, to be the assistant to Bishop of Žiča Stefan, for healthy reasons, as his deputy.
at the next session, the Holy Synod of Bishops will com- prise the following members: PReSiDeNT: His Holiness
Pavle Serbian Patriarch, and MeMBeRS: His eminence amfilohije, Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral and Their Graces Lavrentije, Bishop of Šabac/Valjevo, Irinej, Bishop of Bačka and Pahomije, Bishop of Vranje.
july 2, 2002
His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle together with the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops, their Graces Lavren- tije, Bishop of Šabac/Valjevo, Irinej, Bishop of Bačka and Pahomije, Bishop of Vranje received Prof. Dr. Vojislav Mi- lovanović, Minister of Religions in the Government of the Republic of Serbia, Mr Branislav Lečić, Minister of Culture in the Government of the Republic of Serbia, Mr Branislav Krstić, Vice President of the Coordination Center of the Federal Government and of the Serbian Government for Kosovo and Metohija, Mr Marko Omčikus, Director of the institute for the Protection of the Cultural Monuments of the Republic of Serbia, and Mr jovan Despotović, assistant to the Minister for Culture in the Government of the Repub- lic of Serbia in the Patriarchate Palace in Belgrade today.
The talks dwelled on the protection of the Orthodox shrines and cultural heritage of the Serbian people in Ko- sovo and Metohija, including the cultural monuments of all the peoples (albanians, Turks and others) residing in the southern Serbian region.
Bearing in mind that the major part of the entire cul- tural heritage located in Kosovo and Metohija is owned by the Serbian Orthodox Church and under its direct man- agement (more than 80%), the Holy Synod of Bishops strives that both the cultural monuments of the Serbian Ortho- dox Church and those of other peoples residing in that re- gion be protected and maintained.
The Serbian Orthodox Church accepts the strategy of preservation and protection of cultural monuments advo- cated by the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugo- slavia and the Government of the Republic of Serbia through the authorised institutions and strives that all the respon- sible elements work together on the preservation of the sacral objects and cultural monuments in Kosovo and Me- tohija.
it was agreed that the Governments of both the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and of the Republic of Serbia and the Holy Synod of Bishops should continue to implement— through the Coordination Center for Kosovo and Meto- hija, as well as through other relevant institutions—all the measures necessary for the protection of the shrines and the entire cultural heritage, thereat rendering regular in- formation and performing other activities which would contribute to a continual preservation of the Serbian and european cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija.
a Chronicle of the Contemporary Suffering of Kosovo-Metohian Serbs

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