His Holiness IRINEJ, Serbian Patriarch have visited Kosovo and Metohija for the first time since his ethronement as Patriarch of the SOC. Patriarch IRINEJ arrived in the Patriarchate of Pec monastery in early afternoon accompanied by Vicar Bishop Teodosije of Lipljan, Ministers in the Government of Serbia: Goran Bogdanovic (Minister for Kosovo and Metohija) and Prof. Dr. Bogoljub Sijakovic (Minister of Faith) as well as Mr. Mladjan Djordjevic, adviser to the President of the Republic. Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral arrived soon in the Patriarchate of Pec, who served this morning Holy Liturgy in the Crna Reka monastery on the occasion of the feast day of St. Peter of Korisha, as well as Bishop Joanikije of Budimlje-Niksic, who are also the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops.
Today on June 17, 2010 in Belgrade a Inter-religious Council of the Ministry of Faith of the Republic of Serbia was established, and it consists of Prof. Dr. Bogoljub Sijakovic, Minister of Faith of the Republic of Serbia; Bishop Dr. Irinej Bulovic of Backa; Stanislav Hocevar, Archbishop of Belgrade of the Roman Catholic Church in Serbia; Reis-ul-ulema of the Islamic Community of Serbia Adem Zilkic and Rabbi Isaac Asiel, chief rabbi of the Jewish Community in Serbia. The Inter-religious Council is open for further appointments of members from among the dignitaries of the traditional churches and religious communities and prominent lay people.
Minister of Faith Bogoljub Sijakovic pointed out the tasks of the Inter-religious Council: affirmation of religious freedom and religious culture, publishing communiqués (epistles) on important social issues, organizing scientific meetings, panels, round tables and advice on current topics, participation in the preparation of normative solutions, reviewing and interpreting of the tendency of public life, considering the importance of religious freedom and religious culture in the European context.
Annual exhibition of works of students of the Academy - Higher school of the SOC for arts and conservation formally opened16. June 2010 - 10:09
With the blessing and on behalf of His Holiness IRINEJ, Serbian Patriarch, His Grace Bishop Atanasije, Vicar of Patriarch, opened on June, 15 2010 in the Academy- Higher School of the Serbian Orthodox Church for arts and conservation in Belgrade the annual exhibition of the works of students of this church institution of the higher educatio, accredited by the Ministry of Education. The opening of the exhibition was attended by His Grace Jovan Bishop of Dioclea and heugomen of Ostrog, the president of the Council of the Academy- Higher school of the SOC, professors, students, representatives of the Ministry of Faith and Education of the Republic of Serbia and the City of Belgrade, as well as many other people from the cultural and public life of the capital.
In the Celije monastery, near Valjevo, on Monday June 14/1, 2010 a feast day of Venerable Father Justin of Celije was celebrated for the first time since, the Holy Assembly of Bishops, on this year's spring session, has unanimously decided that the name of Venerable Abbe to be added to the Dyptichs of the Saints of the Orthodox Church.
In the presence of thousand believers from all parts of Serbia the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy was served led by His Eminence Amfilohije, Archbishop of Cetinje and Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral. He was concelebrated by Their Graces Bishops Milutin of Valjevo, Vasilije of Zvornik-Tuzla, Irinej of Backa, Jovan of Sumadija, Lukijan of Osijek-Polje, Pahomije of Vranje, Georgije of Canada and Joanikije of Budimlje-Niksic, as well as other archimandrites and monks from the Greek and Russian church, priests from the Diocese of Valjevo and other dioceses.
On the occasion of false and partly malicious statements in some media that an alleged mass exodus of the monks from the Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija had happened it is very important that the public should inform on the factual state in this Diocese. According to the data of the Diocese and the Serbian Ministry of Faith, 176 monks and nuns (not counting the novice who has no official monastic status) are living in the Diocese. Out of this number most of the monks and nuns still live in their monasteries in obedience to the competent Bishop Locum Tenens His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije and regularly perform their monastic duties in accordance with their monastic vows. All parish priests are still in service in the Diocese and regularly carry out parish duties. With regret it has to be said that a small group of monks voluntarily left some of the monasteries of the Diocese, as it has been published in the media, but none of the diocesan monasteries remained empty. What's more, those who have left are those monks who have repeatedly changed their place of residence and who have decided, as we have found out, to live in private homes or buildings.
Award for remarkable results of students of the Military high school in the field of spiritual education and upbringing14. June 2010 - 11:15
In the side chapel of the St Sava Memorial Cathedral in Vracar, His Grace Bishop Atanasije of Hvosno, Vicar of Serbian Patriarch, served the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy with the concelebration of 6 priests and 4 deacons of the Archbishopric of Belgrade-Karlovac. The liturgy was attended by cadets of the Military High school, led by the head of the Military Academy Milan Stevic, senior officers and professors. The joyous ocassion of the gathering of future and present Serbian officers and their professors with their people and priests were the achievements of the students of the Military High school in the field of spiritual education and upbringing, particularly the first grade students in the last year.