Information Service of
the Serbian Orthodox Church

September 10, 2004


His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle received Mr. Nebojsa Covic, the head of the Joint Coordinating Center of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro and the Republic of Serbia for Kosovo and Metohija on Friday, September 10, 2004 in the Belgrade Patriarchate.

Mr. Covic informed Patriarch Pavle regarding the latest developments in Kosovo and Metohija. The Serbian Patriarch took advantage of this meeting with Mr. Covic to familiarize him with the Appeal of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox church for the protection of human rights in Kosovo, the return of displaced persons, and the rebuilding of destroyed homes, holy shrines and patrimonial sites from its just completed autumn session.

This meeting between the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the head of the Kosovo and Metohija, like others before it, was marked by a common concern for the fate of the Serbian people in the south Serbian province.


His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle will serve Holy Hierarchal Liturgy on Saturday, September 11, 2004, the feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, in Belgrade’s church of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, Zaplanjska Street number 41.

On Sunday, September 12, 2004, the feast of St. Aleksandr Nevsky, His Holiness will serve Holy Hierarchal Liturgy in the church dedicated to this saint, which celebrates this feast as its patron saint’s day. After Liturgy, Patriarch Pavle will cut the slava cake and head the festal religious procession.


Patriarch Pavle (secular name Gojko) was born of the feast of St. John the Baptist, on September 11, 1914, in the village of Kusanci, district of Donji Miholjac, Slavonia. He completed secondary studies in Belgrade, attended the six grades of the Sarajevo Seminary, and the Theological Faculty in Belgrade. He was expelled from his home and a refugee during World War II in the monastery of the Holy Trinity in Ovcar and a religious instructor to refugee children in Banja Koviljaca. He also spent a period of time in the monastery of Vujan. He took monastic vows in the monastery of the Annunciation in 1948 and was ordained a hierodeacon.

From 1949 to 1955 he was a brother of the monastery of Raca where he fulfilled various duties. He spent the 1950/51 school year as a teacher in the Prizren Seminary. He was ordained hieromonk in 1954, protosyncellos in 1954 and archimandrite in 1957. From 1955 to 1957 he undertook postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Theology in Athens. He was elected Bishop of Raska and Prizren on May 29, 1957 and consecrated on September 22, 1957 in the Belgrade Cathedral. The vestment was conducted by Serbian Patriarch Vikentije. He was enthroned Bishop of Raska and Prizren on October 13, 1957 in the Prizren Cathedral.

In the much persecuted and suffering Diocese of Raska and Prizren he built new churches, renewed old and destroyed ones, ordained and tonsured new workers in the vineyard of the Lord. He took paternal care of the Prizren Seminary, occasionally lecturing there. He frequently traveled, visiting and serving in every location of his Diocese. As Bishop of Raska and Prizren he testified before the United Nations before numerous heads of state regarding the suffering of the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija.

He is also involved in research work. He has published a monograph on the monastery of Devic. In the Glasnik (Herald), the official publication of the Serbian Orthodox Church, in many issues from 1972 he has published entire studies in the question and answer format. He prepared an updated edition of the “Srbljak”, which was published by the Holy Assembly of Bishops in 1986. He also prepared “Hristijanskije prazniki” by M. Skabalanovitich. Other works include editions of the Trebnik, Sluzebnik, Molitvenik, Dopolniteljni Trebnik, Veliki Tipik and other liturgical books, published by the Holy Assembly of Bishops.

Serbian Patriarch Pavle is the 44th heir to the throne of St. Sava.


(“Orthodoxy or death”, NIN weekly, Belgrade, issue 2801, September 2, 2004)

Ladies and gentlemen!

In NIN’s issue of September 2, 2004 (number 2801, pp. 30-31 your reporter Vladan Stosic presents the “Old Calendar School” whose slogan is “Orthodoxy or death” and according to whom “the Serbian Orthodox Church has committed heresy”. An entrefilet also gives a bombastic statement by their self-appointed and self-proclaimed “head” Akakije “that the Patriarch (Pavle) indulges in fatty foods during fasts”!

Your article is obviously favorably inclined toward this newly hatched sect in our society, where the Serbian Orthodox Church has followed the “Old Calendar” long before they did and that, of course, is your business. However, your presentation of this sect in NIN is not only completely unprofessional but also inaccurate and malicious.

For example, you cite a statement by “their sympathizer Petar Nikolic, the son of our late director Zivko Nikolic” (and actress Vesna Pecanac, who is a member of their group, a fact you failed to mention). This unfortunate young man is a textbook case of a psychological patient, which anyone who has met him even once can easily see. However, your reporter apparently couldn’t see it or even read it in his own article where he quotes the young man (whom I sincerely pity because his teeth are going numb because someone before him ate sour grapes) as saying: “My father was religious but he didn’t believe in God”(!?!) This is followed by a longer citation from “hieromonk Akakije, the unofficial head of the Church of true Christians” chock full of lies and slander against the Serbian Church and her Patriarchs: German (“appointed head of the SPC by the Titoist antitheistic government” referencing a trashy pamphlet by Dragoljub /your reporter calls him Dragan/ Vurdelja, a multiple (including Communist) intelligence agent from Trieste); and Pavle, who while in Greece “indulges in fatty foods while there is still a fast” in Serbia, etc. How could a former skinhead and sect member such as Akakije, and you with him, determine that Patriarch Pavle “indulges in fatty foods during fasts” when he practically does not eat fatty foods even during non-fasts? And does this unfortunate sect member not ask himself whether love in Christianity and unity in faith and Liturgy of the entire Orthodox Church is not more important than any fast and especially, than any Pharisee-like “purity” characteristic of these and all other sect members?

But to keep this brief (and not get into the truly absurd statement of defrocked nun Efrosinija (Nikolic) regarding the alleged “signing of an Ecumenical charter on joint communion” nor your conclusion that these sect members “are not fanatics but simply more devoted believers than others”), I would like to point out the extreme lack of professionalism of your reporter, who mentions “a brochure by bishop Atanasije Jeftic /his family name is Jevtic/ entitled “The Errors of the Schismatics Called the ‘Old Calendar School’” in which the bishop allegedly “did not want to get involved in polemics with the “Old Calendar School” and also how Deacon Rados Mladenovic “despite his promise failed to provide a response” to your reporter.

First of all, Deacon Rados Mladenovic, whom I know personally, referred your reporter to Bishop Atanasije’s book and that was his “answer”. If your reporter had wanted to, he could have obtained it (so far two editions have been published and the second has been expanded) and seen for himself that it is no “brochure” but a meticulously researched theological-ecclesiastic study abounding in detailed and precise facts and irrefutable arguments, which cites all relevant sources and concrete responses to all clerical-canonical and theological issues postulated to create discord among the people by the members of the sect known as the “Old Calendar School”. This sect was transplanted among us from Greece and financed well by the Esphigmenou Monastery, which is in apostasy with all of the Holy Mountain and with our own Chilandar Monastery. Bishop Atanasije’s book is available to everyone in Belgrade and elsewhere and it lists in detail all major leaders of this newly hatched and newly imported sect in Serbia. Bishop Atanasije also spoke about this at a student forum held at the Faculty of Machine Engineering in Belgrade (March 2003) before at least 2,000 students but does this interest your publication which by the pen of reporter Janjic in September 2003 attempted in very crude fashion to discredit Bishop Atanasije following the publication of the “Memorandum of the Serbian Church on Kosovo and Metohija” when you refused to publish the full response of the SPC Information Service (and then you are surprised when they refer you to others when you ask for collaboration).

Since I meet with similar sect members and similar manipulation by the anathemized and turned over to damnation defrocked priests of the so-called “Montenegrin police church” registered in the Cetinje police station two thousand years after the incarnation of Christ) in Montenegro, I had hoped that at least NIN, which I read regularly, still had some common sense capable of refusing to go along with self-proclaimed anonymouses and thus transforming NIN into a “media longing for sensations”, as reporter Stosic admitted in the introduction to his article.

Presbyter Velibor Dzomic,
Parish priest of Podgorica


The Montenegrin ruling oligarchy, through its Ministry of Education and Minister, Mr. Slobodan Backovic, has arrogantly persisted in its attempt to rename the subject “Serbian language and literature” into “mother language and literature” and in introducing its “mother” literature and history programs, tailored with the scissors of anti-Serbian censorship, in the spirit of the totalitarian Communist ideology whose laws they unhesitatingly cite even today in decisions about language (as in the recent past on restitution). Such and similar acts are only further proof of the primordial Christian experience that those who “progress in their godlessness” “draw further from the truth”, and their words and especially their deeds “fester like an ulcer”. He who starts with a lie and builds upon it sinks ever deeper into falsehood, from false morality to false policy, from false policy to false faith and education, from pseudo-faith and pseudo-education to true destruction of self and the people. The fact that this renaming was done during the summer break despite the opinion of experts in the field; despite concerned public opinion and the 1992 Constitution, which states that the official language in Montenegro is ijekavian (dialect) Serbian; despite the Orthodox Church in Montenegro herself, which put it in written form and cherished it, using it for centuries as the language of its religious services and sermons; despite the ancestors by whom our regime treacherously swears; and despite the results of this year’s census in which more than 60 percent of the people they govern (over 400,000 souls) indicated that their language is Serbian. All this is not just a sign that our rulers have lost all human correctness but that they are also losing basic common sense after which only madness remains. This is further borne out by the statements of the Education Minister made on the “Living Truth” show on TV-IN, a twin of the regime media, that really are the living truth about the madness, completing by this most recent “reform” violence and by its own admission the “new identity” of the “new man” forged in Montenegro, and stripped of the holiest ancestral truths and sacred things.

One of these sacred things for every people is its language. The essence of the current retrograde “reform” is that the language we have called from time immemorial by one name must no longer be called by that name in our schools but instead referred to by other names such as “mother language”, “south Slavic” or “Montenegrin, Bosniac, Croatian or Serbian” and probably at some point in the future, “Illyrian”!? Furthermore, classes in this language, which can no longer be clearly identified as Serbian, and its literature will be taught in the official state language, called by that very name!? This construction could only have come from the head of the lowest political voluntarism, which in its lack of education and arrogance rejects every competent lesson of its contemporaries, and does not wish to see or hear anything in the past except for the ghosts of its own illusions. If it was ready to see and hear reality, the following two among many valid historic sources would be enough even for its non-Orthodox criteria to teach it the identity of the people to whom the Church belonged, creating the people in its Orthodox likeness and sustaining it on the territory of Montenegro, what language this people spoke, and what language must therefore be spoken by its present generations. According to the learned Jesuit Farlatti (Farlatti, Sacrum Illyricum, vol. 6, p. 430) in the 18th century, a favorite source but regularly censored in his testimony and much misused as a source of Montenegrin historiography, at an assembly of Serbian and Croatian rulers and representatives of Rome and Constantinople held near present-day Duvno in the ninth century, in 877, after the division, the renewed Dioclean Church, i.e. the Church of the city of Dioclea, the largest Serbian city (Dioclea ljuae civitas erat Serblorum praecipua) was, literally, “the Serbian Church” (Ecclesia Serbliana). Similarly, official Venetian documents from the beginning of the 16th century, referring to the testament of Djuradj Crnojevic of 1499, consistently state that the original testament, preserved in Latin translation, was written “in the Serbian language and Serbian (Cyrillic) script” (in lingua et littera Serva). Thus, the language of the residents of Dioclea – the Diocleans, who were later called Zetans and Montenegrins – was and remains Serbian and their script Cyrillic, which during the last decade in Montenegro, thanks to the oligarchic “establishment”, has been practically wiped out by the Roman alphabet of Ljudevit Gaj, the legally patented Croatian state script, and isolated to spheres that are not subject to its control.

As far as the methods in implementing these goals, which the reformers of the Montenegrin school system, foreseeing resistance, have recommended to school administrations (firings, purging of domestic teachers who speak in the ekavian dialect and rigorous “Montenegrin” selection of faculty staff from without, as well as calling on students and parents to denounce suspicious Serbophiles in education), these methods of merciless use of force against those with different opinions also remind us of the darkest Communist practices. The attempt is being made to tyrannically demonstrate the revolutionary principle of “submit or disappear” from your job by demonstratively punishing the honorable and courageous professors of the Niksic general secondary school, who have opposed the fraud and refused to renounce the language of their profession, their Church and their ancestors. Breaking the chains of fear that have bound Montenegrin educators to deception, contrary to the practice of democratic Europe and the “Montenegrin” legislature, six general secondary school professors and three others from other high schools in Niksic have risen in decisive battle for the language of their people as the symbol and guarantee of its survival in the Balkan windstorm. Incorruptible and resolute, everyone knows, even those who threaten them with their lawless laws, that they have launched a defense around which all of our people will rally without invitations, not wishing to disappear in the chasms of the Montenegrin ethnogenetic experiment.

By accusing the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral in his TV-IN interview of being behind the Niksic professors’ rebellion, just it was supposedly behind many similar demonstrations of popular disobedience against the dictatorship of the ruling minority, the Education Minister has demonstrated that he understands Christ’s Church to be a sort of competing political party upon which he has projected the methods and practice of the ruling coalition such as plotting and scheming through the so-called “independent” media, supposedly “non-governmental” organizations, and actual pseudo-churches comprised of defrocked priests. He has also demonstrated that he is so alienated from his people, his own soul and traditions that he does not even know that the Church and its pastors have never stood nor can they stand behind their people. Like the Bishops, monastics and priests of the crucified people of Kosovo and Metohija or St. Peter of Cetinje, without going further, the Church in its divine and secular growth stands ever in front and above the people, lighting its path on earth with divine justice and truth, and when need be, laying down its life for the people. Calling the authorities once more to reason and peaceful and fraternal action, to abandonment of senseless violence, the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral reminds its people of the dignity and resoluteness to which we ourselves are called in defense of our sacred things.


On Monday, September 13, 2004 Serbia and Montenegro Chief of Staff General-Colonel Branko Krga and his associates will visit His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle and present him with the donations collected by members of the Serbia and Montenegro Army for the renewal of Chilandar Monastery.

[Serbian Translation Services]

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