Information Service of
the Serbian Orthodox Church

May 26, 2004

PATRIARCH OF GEORGIA ELIJAH II VISITS GREECE

    .  II On Friday, May 21, 2004, His Holiness and Beatitude Patriarch Elijah II of Georgia visited His Beatitude Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All-Greece. The Georgian Patriarch was also received by the members of the Holy Synod of the Greek Church. In his welcoming homily His Beatitude Archbishop Christodoulos described the role of Orthodoxy in the experience and actions of the modern world. Todays world measures all values through money and the material, while Orthodoxy through its spirituality must help modern people to conquer Mammon.

       . In his response homily, the Georgian Patriarch said that at the present time in the Georgian Church and people there are many serious problems. We always believe that these serious problems come as a result on technological progress when in fact they come through a lack of spirituality. Some believe that Orthodoxy is isolation; however, despite everything, it remains open to the whole world. His Holiness and Beatitude Patriarch Elijah emphasized that the Greek Church and Government should serve as an example for the entire Orthodox world.

CHRIST AND CHILDREN

The Diocese of Backa publishing house Beseda has once again brought us joy with an exceptional book for children. It is a collection of didactic poems by Bozana H. Stojanovic called Staza ljubavi (The Path of Love) through which the entire Gospel is told.

Unlike many books that have been recently issued and attempt to treat the same topic, here we have an exceptional knowledge of the material under discussion as well as a poetic gift. Clearly and simply written, the book is understandable to all while the amount of effort and work required to achieve this clarity and ease is known only to those who have tried to achieve it. The warmth and beauty of the poems is reminiscent of those of Cika Jova Zmaj. Bozana H. Stojanovics book Staza ljubavi captures readers young and old alike. This book, too, like others from the same publisher featuring carefully selected texts is exceptionally prepared graphically, well illustrated and in high quality print; in short, a model for how books for children with religious-didactic material should look.

RUSSIAS CONCERN FOR KOSOVO

The Russian ambassador in Athens, Mr. Andrei Vdovin expressed the concern of the Russian Government following the March escalation of violence in Kosovo and Metohija. Ambassador Vdovin emphasized that Russia had foreseen this course of events which unfortunately became reality. He also reminded of UN Resolution 1244, adding that those who are responsible for violence against Serbs must be punished and destroyed churches rebuilt. Displaced persons should be allowed to return to their homes and paramilitary groups disarmed. Unless we confront the situation in Kosovo and Metohija, there is a risk that the conflict may spread to other parts of the Balkans. He repeated the proposal of Russian president Putin for the holding of an international conference which would confirm that borders cannot be changed through the use of force.

POPE ON THE PLACE OF THE CHURCH IN UNITED EUROPE

On Saturday, May 22, Pope John Paul II, the Bishop of Rome, welcomed the acceptance of the new members of the European Union. The Pope emphasized that the Church seeks to continue the process of unification until all borders disappear.

The Pope also expressed the wish for the unification of the European people on the basis of respect for legitimate differences, the dignity of the human person, religious values, freedom, democracy, the rule of law, separation of state and Church.

This Europe is founded on a law guided by respect for human and Christian values and solidarity among its members. He emphasized that we need to help those who are in greatest need so that Europe can become a continent of prosperity and peace whose example can become a model for all people and nations.

On this occasion, it was confirmed that the message of peace and hope from the Resurrected Christ will be the source of a better future for all the members of the Church and all of humanity.

[Serbian Translation Services]


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