His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia served today the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts in the chapel of St. Simeon the Myrrh-gusher in the Serbian Patriarchate, with concelebration of Vicar Bishop Atanasije of Hvosno and the clergy of the Archbishopric of Belgrade-Karlovac. After the liturgical gathering the confession of the clergy to obedience followed in the Serbian Patriarchate and the Orthodox Theological Faculty of Belgrade University. Confessor was protopresbyter-staurophor Andrej Arsic, a priest of the Vavedenje monastery in retirement.
His Grace Bishop Atanasije today served in a crowded church of St. Nicholas in Kosovo Polje a commemoration of the victims of the March pogrom in Kosovo and Metohia. This church was torched during the March pogrom 2004 and then it was restored. Bishop Atanasije addressed the present faithfu with words of hope and encouragement.
Memory of the pogrom, which started on March 17, 2004, when Serbian enclaves were ethnically cleansed during the three-day attacks by Albanian extremists. Then thousands of Serbian families were expelled,19 people killed, 35 Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries and over 800 Serbian homes destroyed and burned , today it was prayerfully marked in all the temples of our Holy Church in the Fatherland and abroad.
The Prayerful memory of the victims began with the Holy The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, which was served in the Belgrade Cathedral by His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, with concelebration of His Grace Vicar Bishop Atanasije of Hvosno and the priesthood of the Archbishopric of Belgrade-Karlovac.
On Tuesday, March 9, 2010, the Feast of the First and Second Findings of the Honorable Head of St. John the Baptist, His Grace Bishop Longin served the Hierarchical Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts with His Grace Peter, Bishop of Cleveland of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in their Cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God in Des Plaines, Illinois. Fifteen priests and four deacons served with the Bishops. At the Small Entrance, Bishop Peter awarded several priests. Following Liturgy, there was a Lenten luncheon in the church hall.
Honourable Mr. President,
Let me congratulate You in my name and on behalf of the Diocese of Dalmatia on the recent election to the high office of the President of the Republic of Croatia with a desire to long and successfully perform this delicate and responsible duty.
The reason of our written address to You is meritorious and honest need to point You at the possible danger of announced creation of the so-called Croatian Orthodox community and the yesterday's announcement in Zadar, that a so-called Croatian Orthodox Church will be soon formed. All this mentioned might seem completely unnecessary, and even our own concern about the formation of these associations, as we are witnesses that in democratic societies various associations are popping up like mushrooms after rain. However, it seems to us that in this case, however, is about something else and it is not so harmless.
News that yesterday in Zadar (12.03.2010) was an announcement on the establishment of the so-called "Croatian Orthodox Church" caused anxiety for the clergy and the Orthodox Serbs in Croatia. It is known that the HOC was formed in 1942 in the time of the fascist and Ustashe regime of Ante Pavelic in the NDH (Independent State of Croatia). Then the Pavelic's regime committed genocide against the Serbian, Jewish and Roma people in the NDH, and the goal of the phantom HOC was to destroy every trace of existence of the Orthodoxy and the Orthodox Serbs in this region.
The Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian people have been living for centuries in the region of Dalmatia, as it is evident and confirmed the best by its parish churches and monasteries, which were built between XIII to XV century and represent a significant cultural heritage, which as such, is under the protection of the competent institutions of the Croatian state.