September 05, 2003
ERP KIM Newsletter 05-09-03
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PRESENTATION OF THE MEMORANDUM ON KOSOVO AND METOHIJA OF THE HOLY SYNOD OF BISHOPS OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
"Our holy and martyred KOSOVO AND METOHIJA, our Holy Jerusalem, the soul of our souls, our honor, the root of our being, our fate. Without it, we would cease to be what we are because it is in Kosovo and Metohija that we became a mature and historical people and, in the words of the Holy Great Martyr Lazar of Kosovo, chose once and for all times, the Kingdom of Heaven."
Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral
On the evening of September 3, 2003 before a numerous audience gathered in the lecture hall of the Kolarac Endowment in Belgrade the Memorandum on Kosovo and Metohija of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, in which the Church expresses its deep concern for the fate of Kosovo and Metohija, was presented.
Those present were first addressed by His Holiness the Serbian Patriarch Kyr Pavle who emphasized that he had spent 34 years in Kosovo and Metohija, and that representatives of all three religious communities - the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church and the Islamic religious community - had met many times to discuss and attempt to find a solution to growing nationalism but that even then it was apparent that the Albanians desired, advocated, and were working toward realizing an ethnically clean Kosovo and Metohija. The Serbian Orthodox Church has reacted countless times to violence and open indications of the creation of an independent Kosovo but no one responded to the cries of the Church; instead of helping their people and reacting to the most obvious injustices, the Government described all the Church's efforts as "nationalism."
Rt. Rev. Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral Kyr Amfilohije assessed that with this Memorandum the Serbian Orthodox Church wishes "to awaken the memory and remind us of the deepest truth of life and men, to remind us of spiritual and moral laws." He also commented critically on the statement of Montenegrin officials that the issue of Kosovo and Metohija is a matter for Belgrade and Pristina.
Rt. Rev. Bishop of Raska and Prizren Kyr Artemije emphasized that the Memorandum is of great significance and represents "the fate of truth and testimony that we are on the road of truth that leads to life."
Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and head of the Joint Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija Dr. Nebojsa Covic emphasized that, for the first time since World War II, the Church and the State have "reached consensus" with respect to the future of the Province.
Bishop Atanasije (Jevtic) made a direct speech without any flourishes on many developments: "We believe in God's justice even though those who believe in nothing taunt us when we say we are God's people and rely on 'Heavenly Serbia'. We must have faith and patience, and Kosovo will survive just as Jerusalem survived, survives and will continue to survive."
This exceptional evening was enriched by the artistic talents of Mrs. Svetlana Stevic, who sang an inspired rendition of the old song Knjigu pise turski care, and Vladimir Simic and Anastasija Ostojic of the choral group Belo platno, who performed traditional songs from Kosovo and Metohija.
The Information Service of
"What Jerusalem is to the Jews,
Kosovo is to the Serbs, and Kosovo, like a Jerusalem, is not just geography or
demographics. It is a matter of identity: national, spiritual, cultural,
Christian and human, i.e., theanthropic. This is why the Serbian Orthodox Church
is at this moment so deeply concerned about the fate of Kosovo and Metohija and
with all who live there, and all the holy shrines that exist there. This
Memorandum is truly yet another impartial reminder, in a countless series of
such reminders, of the complete truth and justice of Kosovo and Metohija, in the
past and the present, for the common future of all in Kosovo," writes Bishop
Atanasije (Jevtic), the editor of this important work.
The book also includes three
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