Information Service of
the Serbian Orthodox Church

May 11, 2004


May 8-11, 2004

Saturday, May 8
Doxology and Evening Service in St. Sava Cathedral

Foto: Vladimir GogicFoto: Vladimir Gogic

The celebration of a milestone anniversary, the Bicentennial of the Serbian Uprising and National Rebirth, began on May 8, 2004 with a Doxology in St. Sava Cathedral before a congregation of several thousand faithful.

Foto: Vladimir GogicFoto: FoNet

Foto: Vladimir GogicFoto: Vladimir Gogic

Foto: FoNet

The ringing of all of St. Sava's bells at 5:00 p.m. announced the arrival of eminent guests. At the main door of the Cathedral, priests, deacons, lectors and icon-bearers in formal vestments lined up to greet the Patriarchs of the local churches, their escort and His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of Serbia.

Foto: Vladimir GogicFoto: Vladimir Gogic

After the doxology, His Holiness Patriarch Pavle greeted the guests, the Patriarchs of the local churches; responding on behalf of all the guests, the eldest archbishop, Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All-Poland, expressed his warmest thanks for the invitation of the sisterly Serbian Church so they could celebrate together and in Christ's love the jubilee anniversary and completion of work on St. Sava Cathedral, whose celebration begins today in this church. His Eminence added that "the Serbian people and clergy have waited for many years for this day. This is a historic day in the life of the Serbian Church and the Serbian state. In this very location the holy relics of St. Sava were burned by those wishing to destroy the people's faith and love toward their Church but in this they failed. Many generations have nurtured the dream of building a House of God in the location where the holy relics were burned.

There is none like God!
The bad times have passed and today we can say with pride:
God is with us!
Today God truly is
with the Serbian people!

God has given the Serbian people the hope and the strength to achieve this joy. This is the joy of the Serbs but of all other Orthodox Christians, too." Metropolitan Sawa then expressed the hope that God would grant the Serbian people the strength to begin and complete the next phase, the appointment of the interior of the church. The Evening Service was served by His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral.


Foto: Vladimir GogicFoto: Vladimir Gogic

Foto: Vladimir Gogic

Sunday, May 9
Holy Archierchal Liturgy in Vavedenje Monastery

Foto: Ohridska ArhiepiskopijaFoto: Vladimir Gogic

Foto: Vladimir Gogic

A visit to the Crown Prince in the White Palace

Foto: Vladimir GogicFoto: Vladimir Gogic

Foto: Ohridska Arhiepiskopija


On Sunday, May 9, 2004, a festal procession the likes of which the capital of Belgrade had never seen before passed through the streets of the city from Stambol Kapija (Republic Square) to St. Sava Cathedral. Over 100,000 people took part in the festal procession.

Foto: FoNetFoto: FoNet

Foto: Vladimir GogicFoto: Vladimir Gogic

Truly, the picture was unforgettable. At the head of the festal procession, two priests bore the flag of the Serbian Patriarchate, followed by cavalrymen in folk costume carrying banners and the Processional Cross.

They were followed by the icon of the Three-Handed Mother of God on a special platform, which was continuously censed by two deacons. The icon was followed by the choir of the Theological Faculty singing troparia.

The icon and the choir were followed by the archbishops according to canonic order, first the younger and then the elder, flanked by the Patriarchs of the local Orthodox Churches in the back.

Foto: FoNet

Behind the Patriarchs, alone, walked the Ecumenical Patriarch in formal vestments with a scepter and cross. Two deacons walked in front, continuously censing His All Holiness. Walking down entire length of this part of the procession were Priests in white vestments and members of the Serbia and Montenegro Armed Forces Guard in formal uniform.

Foto: FoNetFoto: FoNetFoto: Vladimir Gogic

Walking behind the Ecumenical Patriarch were Crown Prince Aleksandar Karadjordjevic, Princess Katarina Karadjordjevic, Princess Jelisaveta, Princess Linda (the widow of the late Prince Tomislav) and her son, Mihailo Karadjordjevic. They were followed by the highest representatives of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, senior officials of other Christian Churches and members of the diplomatic corps. Behind the diplomatic corps walked members of the clergy not wearing vestments and the nuns of the Archbishopric.

They were followed by the members of the Serbian Choir Assembly, with 24 choirs taking part in the festal procession and singing spiritual music in turn. The procession passed through lines of citizens, who greeted the procession in orderly fashion and then joined it at the rear.

Foto: FoNetDuring the course of the processional walk, there were three stops: one at Terazije Fountain, where the Ecumenical Patriarch read from the Gospel according to Matthew. The procession stopped a second time at the Beogradjanka high-rise, where His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije read from the Gospel according to Mark. The third stop was in the square in front of St. Sava Cathedral, where his Eminence Metropolitan Jovan read from the Gospel according to Luke.

Foto: FoNetFor the first time since the Second World War, Belgraders and numerous guests from other cities saw young members of the Serbia and Montenegro Armed Forces Guard and cadets of the Police Academy removing their caps during the reading of the Gospels. The atmosphere in the street was momentous. Belgrade showed its true face to the world: Christian, civil and European.

After the festal procession a concert of spiritual music was held in St. Sava Cathedral with 16 choirs singing spiritual music. After the concert people lingered for a long time in the beautiful square in front of the church which harmoniously complements the appearance of the church, and it is reasonable to expect that the church and the square will become the true spiritual heart of Belgrade. The celebration moved from the church into the street as many choirs continued to sing in the city center after the end of the church concert.

Foto: Vladimir Gogic
Reception by the Municipal Assembly hosted by
Mr. Bogdanovic, chairman of the executive council

Monday, May 10
Holy Archierchal Liturgy

On Monday, May 11, 2004, the memorial day of the Burning of the Relics of St. Sava, to the accompaniment of the ringing of all bells, a formal religious procession of priests and deacons, lead by the icon-bearers and lectors arrived before the closed doors of St. Sava Cathedral, signaling the beginning of the formal OPENING OF THE CHURCH (doors). First to enter the Holy Shrine were the Ecumenical Patriarch and Patriarch Pavle, followed by the other Patriarchs and archbishops, serving clergy and finally, the faithful. There were some 8,000 people present in the church during Holy Archierchal Liturgy. After the re-consecration of the Holy Shrine, Holy Archierchal Liturgy was served by the following:

Foto: Vladimir GogicFoto: Vladimir Gogic

Foto: Vladimir GogicFoto: Vladimir GogicFoto: Vladimir Gogic


Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
Patriarch Pavle of Serbia
Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw
Metropolitan Nicholas of Preshov
Metropolitan John of Pergamon (Ecumenical Patriarchate)
Metropolitan Iakovos of Laodicea and Prince Islands (Ecumenical Patriarchate)
Metropolitan Dionysios of Leontopolis (Alexandria Patriarchate)
Metropolitan Damaskinos of Jaffa (Jerusalem Patriarchate)
Archbishop Paul of Ryazan and Kasimov (Russian Patriarchate)
Metropolitan Teophan of Oltenia (Romanian Patriarchate)
Bishop Vicentius (Romanian Patriarchate)
Metropolitan Dometiyan of Vidin (Bulgarian Patriarchate)
Metropolitan Grigory of Veliko Turnovo (Bulgarian Patriarchate)
Archbishop Nicholas (Georgian Patriarchate)
Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Paphos (Archbishopric of Cyprus)
Metropolitan Cyril of Kythira (Archbishopric of Greece)
Metropolitan John of Korca (Archbishopric of Albania)
Archbishop Christopher of Prague (Czech Metropolitanate)

And all Archbishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, presvyters of all sister Orthodox Churches and priests, deacons, hypodeacons and lectors of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Foto: FoNet

During the course of the Holy Archierchal Liturgy His Grace Bishop Grigorije of Zahumlje and Herzegovina read the ST. SAVA EPISTLE. The cutting of the Slava cake took place after Liturgy. His Holiness Patriarch Pavle greeted the guests. The Ecumenical Patriarch was the first to respond in greeting, followed by the other distinguished guests. At this time gifts were exchanged.

Foto: Vladimir GogicFoto: Vladimir Gogic

Foto: FoNet

Upon the conclusion of Holy Liturgy a Requiem service was held before the monument to Vozd Karadjordje (the Leader Karageorge); then, the festal procession walked to the location where His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Serbian Patriarch Pavle placed the cornerstone of the new building of the Serbian Patriarchate.

Holy Archierchal Liturgy in St. Sava Cathedral was attended by the highest representatives of the Republic of Serbia, the City of Belgrade, the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, as well as the Army and Police.

Foto: FoNetFoto: FoNet

Foto: TanjugFoto: Tanjug

Foto: Vladimir Gogic
Placement of the cornerstone for new building of
Serbian Patriarchate

Foto: Tanjug
Reception by State Union of Serbia and Montenegro President

Foto: FoNetFoto: Tanjug
Reception by Serbian Premier

Tuesday, May 11


On Tuesday, May 11, 2004, the Theological Faculty of the Serbian Orthodox Church awarded His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew with an honorary doctorate (honoris causa).

At a meeting held on April 1, 2004, members of the Instructional-Research Board of the Theological Faculty of the Serbian Orthodox decided to grant His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew a honorary doctorate for his efforts in spreading good news and advocacy in the Orthodox faith, as well as the efforts of His All Holiness toward peace in the whole world.

A commission comprised of His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral, full professor; His Grace Bishop Irinej of Backa, full professor; His Grace Bishop Ignjatije of Branicevo, full professor; and assistant professor Father Zoran Krstic signed the honorary degree of His All Holiness.

After the welcome speech and the reading of the paper, the dean of the Theological Faculty, Father Dr. Vladan Perisic, invited His All Holiness to present a lecture on this occasion on the topic "Chance, necessity and will".

Foto: Vladimir GogicFoto: Vladimir Gogic

Foto: Vladimir GogicFoto: Vladimir Gogic
Awarding of honorary doctorate to
His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople

In the introductory part of his presentation His Holiness explained the concept of chance and the untenability of the theory of the chance origin of the world. He emphasized that not even physicists know why particles and molecules behave as they do, despite precisely established physics theories and natural laws.

Further in the presentation, he explained the concept of necessity, which has been represented in many philosophical disciplines. Necessity suspends freedom and limits human activity and leads man toward languor and passivity, and that is the very direction in which the Protestant teaching on predetermination, the Buddhist teaching on karma and the teaching on fatum, or fate, is leading.

Invocation of chance and necessity only reflects human powerlessness and our doubt in our own will.

Christians believe that the world is ruled by man-loving Will, which allows freedom to everyone whom it also created. The manner in which it acts in the world is not in the domain of our comprehension. The Holy Fathers presented and elaborated the principles of the action of Will to us but we still have not understood the true import of their words.

The Will of the Almighty does not utilize human will. Our salvation does not depend on our own will but on our faith and freedom from dead laws, which transform man into a slave. It is necessary to sacrifice material existence for spiritual hypostasy (Mat 16:25). The holy martyrs are examples of this very thing.

Our spirit can be harmonized with the Will of the Triune God and it can grow distance from its own will, but it cannot direct the Will. The Will of the Triune God is above chance and necessity, above the law and above other wills.

Faith, hope and love toward the Holy Trinity includes us in the plan and guiding principles of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and that is the only way we can feel we are connected to Him. If we do not accept this, we wander in the fog.

His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was born February 29,1940, in on the Aegean island of Imvros. His parents christened him Demetrios.

Following his studies at Imvros and Constantinople, he enrolled at the Theological School of Halki, graduating in 1961. He was immediately ordained to the Holy Diaconate on August 13, 1961 at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Imvros by Metropolitan Meliton.

From 1963-68, he pursued postgraduate studies at the Pontifical Oriental Institute of the Gregorian University in Rome. He received his doctorate in Canon Law having submitted his dissertation: "Concerning the Codification of the Sacred Canons and Canonical Regulations in the Orthodox Church".

He is fluent in seven languages: Greek, English, Turkish, Italian, Latin, French and German. He has published many articles in all languages of the world.

When he returned to Constantinople in 1968, he was appointed assistant dean of the Sacred Theological School of Halki and, on October 19,1969, was ordained to the Holy Priesthood. Six months later, His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras elevated Father Bartholomew to the office of Archimandrite in the Patriarchal Chapel of St. Andrew.

When Dimitrios was elected Ecumenical Patriarch in 1972, he established his Patriarchal Office and named the young Archimandrite Bartholomew as its director.

On Christmas Day, 1973, Father Bartholomew was consecrated a bishop and named Metropolitan of Philadelphia (of Asia Minor). He remained as head of the Personal Patriarchal Office until his enthronement as the Metropolitan of Chalcedon on January 14,1990.

On October 22, 1991, His All Holiness was unanimously elected by the grace of God, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch, following the death of Patriarch Dimitrios on October 2nd, 1991.

His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is the 270th successor to the Apostle Andrew and spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide. Through dialogue and visitations, he has greatly advanced Orthodox relations with all Christian religious communities, as well as taking a highly active role in surmounting major post communist problems in Orthodox national churches of Eastern Europe.

Known in Europe as the "Green Patriarch," Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has taken the lead among all religious leaders in his concern for the environment.

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