Page 859 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 859

Serbian Patriarch Paul (Pavle)
a Seeker for a dignified solution to the tragic fate of Kosovo and Metohija
The following excerpts are a testimony of Patriarch Pavle’s struggle, lasting several decades, to find a digni- fied solution to the tragic conflicts in Kosovo and Me-
When i came to Kosovo as the Bishop of Raška and Pri-
zren (1957) i saw another aspect of the ordeal of the Serbi- an people. When Old Serbia was turned into the autono- mous Region of Kosovo and Metohija, the Serbs were sud- denly reduced to a minority in their country, as they had been in the Turkish times. already in my first episcopal reports i pointed out repeatedly that, although the Serbs were in authority, Kosovo was in fact controlled by the al- banians. in World War ii most of their people welcomed the italian occupation as their liberation, for the albanians from albania were then united with those in Kosovo, Me- tohija and western Macedonia for the first time. Great Shipnia was created, but, in spite of the fact that it lasted, as an italian protectorate, only as long as the occupation last- ed, it has continued to live in the consciousness of the mass- es, enticed by their leaders, as an achieved national goal that ought to be preserved. Led to believe that the circum- stances were only temporarily changed, they only waited, and to a large extent lived to see, the recovery of what had been lost. Warnings were reaching me to take care what i write in my regular reports to the Holy Synod, for they also came into the hands of the secular authorities, but it was
Patriarch Pavle serves Liturgy in Prizren
as the Bishop of the Diocese of Raška and Prizren
becoming increasingly apparent that somewhere, in some place it had been decreed that Kosovo and Metohija should be no longer Serbian. it was becoming obvious in various ways that the behavior of the ordinary people was concor- dant with that, although the elderly ones condemned the violence and greed of those seeking to seize their neigh- bors’ houses and lands. There were among these some who were conscious of their Serbian origin and who sensed that something leading to no good was being hatched...
lt is well known that numerous albanians used to visit, sometimes even in greater number than Serbs, the relics of St Stefan Dečanski seeking relief for their troubles. Once, standing in the monastic yard, i happened to overhear the conversation between an albanian, who was coming out of the church with his mother, wife and sick child, and a young man who had come from Montenegro and happend-
  Enthronement of Bishop Pavle, 1957; group photo in front of Church in Prizren

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