Last night after midnight Chilandar Monastery on Mount Athos was caught by catastrophic fire, which is still not completely extinguished. There are no casualties, and the firefighters, monks and workers in the monastery are keeping the fire under control. The fire, which spread by rooftop, completely destroyed a part of the monastery complex from the abbot's cell, through the hospitality rooms all the way to the Tower of Saint Sava. The Church of King Milutin, the treasury, archives and monastery library remain out of the fire's range. Five fire engines from Kareia, the administrative center of Mount Athos and the Chalkidiki Peninsula, joined in extinguishing and containing the fire.
Having learned that certain temporary organs (the University of Pristina, as well as the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology for Kosovo and Metohija) submitted a request to the Pristina City Council for passage of a resolution, which would strip the rights of the Serbian Orthodox Church by preventing it from using its building site where Christ the Savior Orthodox Church is being built, as well as the location designated for the "St. Sava" Cultural Center, His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle wrote to Javier Solana, High Representative of the European Union for Common Foreign and Security Policy and Harri Holkeri, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo and Metohija (UNMIK), in which he also notes:
"The intention of the Serbian Orthodox Church is neither to provoke the Albanian Community nor the University, rather by the active presence of an Orthodox church and center to serve as a source and proof of international relations working toward the creation of an actual multiethnic, multi-religious and democratic Kosovo and Metohija.
"We sincerely anticipate that by your timely official reaction, you will protect the rights of our Church and by your concrete measures you will make known that the establishing of civil society in Kosovo and Metohija cannot be carried out on behalf of temporary Regional organs, to the detriment of any, and neither the Serbian Orthodox Church and her faithful", notes His Holiness to the international officials in charge of Kosovo and Metohija.