Information Service of
the Serbian Orthodox Church

December 7, 2004


Beginning on December 3, 2004 the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral’s Radio Svetigora will be broadcast live via Internet (in Serbian) at

In order to listen to the broadcast it is have Real Audio Player or Real Alternative on your computer system.

Deacon Ljubomir M. Jovanovic


Participants in a conference called “In defense of the name of the Serbian language” held on December 4-5, 2004 in Niksic and initiated and organized by the Serbian Language and Literature Professors and Teachers Activist Group regarding the current linguistic and social situation in Montenegro adopted the following


With full support from pseudo-cultural and pseudo-spiritual institutions, the regime is destroying authentic spiritual and cultural foundations with the project of a “new Montenegro”. Montenegro has been completely divided by this plan; its creators and adherents have grabbed all economic and social power for themselves, alienating the people from public social life and placing it under suspicion of obstructing “the democratic development of Montenegro”.

The indictment against the people who formed this state also accuses the Serbian language, as its collective name, as well as the great individuals who have built the image of Montenegro. According to this “interpretation” the Serbian language right from the start has been carrying out “the assimilation, and spiritual and cultural occupation of Montenegrins” even though every Montenegrin knows they were born in Serbian, entered the cultural scene in Serbian, and experienced state and national affirmation in Serbian.

All this has not stopped the execution of the sentence: all cultural institutions where there was room for Serbian cultural content were extinguished, all jobs for intellectuals who affirmed their affiliations with this culture were extinguished, professors of Serbian language and their colleagues who rose up to defend the Serbian language and the integrity of their vocation were fired.

In order to make everything possible, educational officials are introducing Montenegrin language by the back door thus attempting to steal the memory of the people and the purpose of its existence, the foundations and keys of its spiritual and cultural legacy.

The entire absurdity of this project is most drastically expressed in the recent decision of the Ministry of Education and the Council for General Education regarding the renaming of the subject Serbian language and literature to mother tongue (Serbian, Montenegrin, Bosniac and Croatian) language and literature. By this act the principles of science and professionalism have been trampled upon, the constitutional and legal system of Montenegro has been violated, and a pre-planned mechanism built in for the destruction of the school system and society as a whole.

Namely, the idea of covering instructional programs for Croatian, Bosniac and Montenegrin languages in the official language will prove to be questionable, as will the competency for doing so, and the only victim of this misplaced ideology apparently will be the Serbian language and ultimately, generations of innocent children. The unclear and contradictory proposals given by education officials shown that our fears are justified.

Requesting that students (or their parents) give their opinion regarding what national name a school subject is to bear by their account also represents a violation of the Constitution of the Republic of Montenegro, and civil and children’s rights. At the same time, it is kind of national confrontation with very dangerous consequences, stressful situations and conflicts among children.

Taking into account all the facts presented above, we, the participants of the conference in defense of the name of the Serbian language, in accordance with our own conscience and responsibility toward science, language, and the cultural and spiritual legacy of our people, propose and request the following:

- That the Ministry of Education immediately rescind its decision to rename the school subject Serbian language and literature, and that it rectify all consequences arising thereform, first of all, by enabling professors who have been dismissed to return to their jobs.

- That all creative persons in Montenegro who have been dismissed from their positions because of their opposition to the ideology to the Montenegrin regime and the improvisers of local pseudo-culture be enabled to publicly present and engage in debate on “controversial” issues regarding the identity of Montenegro, i.e. realize their right to work in public institutions.

- Since the foundations of national culture are in danger as drastically demonstrated with regard to issues relating to the Serbian language, it is high time for intellectuals from Montenegro and from all Serbian lands to organize themselves, together with all intellectuals and creative persons of good will, in order to stop the process of destruction and invalidation of spiritual and cultural treasures created in the Serbian language. For all these reasons, it is necessary to restore scientific and cultural institutions, since many of them have been extinguished while others, even the largest, no longer get involved in their own work; and toward this end to organize scientific and expert conferences, initiate magazines whose contents can be respected, and nurture true and well-founded values.

- Education workers in Montenegro who accept the views presented in this Declaration must establish mutual ties in their home settings (municipalities) and then at the level of the Republic forming a specific organization that will represent an objective force for productive opposition to the uncivilized, unscientific and un-European ideas of the Ministry of Science and Education.

- That relevant state institutions stop the organized and destructive attacks on the canonical Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, which for centuries has been the guardian of the authentic national being, language, script and spirituality of Montenegro.

All signatories of this Declaration undertake to exert maximum effort to ensure that its spirit and messages reach every citizen of Montenegro.

In Niksic, on December 5, 2004.


On Sunday, November 28, 2004, on the feast of the Holy Martyrs Gurias, Samonas and Habib as a part of Holy Hierarchal Liturgy in Lepavina Monastery, His Eminence Metropolitan Jovan of Zagreb and Ljubljana and All-Italy elevated Deacon Goran Sljivic to the office of presbyter and entrusted him with the spiritual well-being of the parish of Novo Mjesto and Bojanci. His Eminence expressed joy that thanks to the Holy Spirit, the Holy Mystery of the Priesthood is being restored in the Metropolitanate of Zagreb and Ljubljana, and wished the newly ordained Father Goran much success in his pastoral service.

On the feast of the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple as a part of Holy Hierarchal Liturgy in Lepavina Monastery, His Eminence Metropolitan Jovan tonsured novice Marko Prosenica. On that occasion His Eminence addressed the following words to the new monk and his spiritual father: “Father Gavrilo, before God I entrust to you this new beginner. Teach him to live in fear of God and follow the good works of others, taking good care that his soul does not perish through any lack of action on your part, for you must answer to God for him on the Day of Judgment.” And to the monk, Father Marko, he said: “You on your part obey your elder as you do Christ, and in all things remain tolerant, calm, obedient, humble and sparing of words, and you will find your blessing before God and be saved.”

In the continuation of Holy Liturgy His Eminence ordained Hypodeacon Branislav Todoric of Sipovo as deacon; the following day, on the 27th Sunday after Pentecost, on the feast of the Holy Apostles Philemon and Archippos and Martyr Apphia as a part of Holy Hierarchal Liturgy he elevated him to the office of presbyter. Father Branislav has been entrusted with the spiritual well being of the parishes in Grubisno Polje. In his sermon to the faithful His Eminence Metropolitan Jovan spoke about the meaning of the Holy Mystery of the Priesthood and its restoration in the Metropolitanate of Zagreb and Ljubljana. He placed special emphasis on the purity of Christian life in the parish, where the priest and his family must be a model for their parishioners of how to live a Christian life and witness their Orthodox faith.

[Serbian Translation Services]

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