Response of the President of Croatia Ivo Josipovic to Bishop Fotije of Dalmatia

Your Eminence,

Thank you for greetings  you have sent regarding my election for President of the Republic of Croatia, and the good wishes for the successful conduct of the responsible duties. I am familiar with the situation regarding the advertising of the president of the Croatian Orthodox community and his announcement of the establishment of the Croatian Orthodox Church. With an intention of the establishment and registration of the Croatian Orthodox Church as a religious community, this gentleman refers to the continuity with the Croatian Catholic Church based in June 1942, initiated by Ante Pavelic, during the time of the Independent State of Croatia. For references to the Ustasha regime and the negative connotations that Croatian Orthodox Church has carried since that period,  provocative and unmeasured statements of the president of the Croatian Orthodox community can be understood as an invitation to intolerance and impatience towards other Orthodox religious communities in Croatia, and in the wider social environment.

Statement on KFOR’s intent to transfer protection of Serbian holy shrines and monuments to the Kosovo Police

The Diocese of Raška-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija expresses its serious concern due to KFOR's intent to transfer protection of the memorial at Gazimestan to the jurisdiction of the Kosovo Police. Earlier this month (March 2) during a meeting between Bishop Atanasije and Bishop's Deputy Teodosije with the KFOR commander, German General Bentler, in Gračanica Monastery, it was clearly said that it is unacceptable for this Diocese and the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija that holy shrines and buildings protected by KFOR be transferred to the protection of the Kosovo Police. Especially worrisome is that this intention is again coming up on the anniversary of the March Pogrom against the Serbs and the Serbian Church six years ago. We emphasize that the KPS does not inspire confidence in either the Church or the Serbian community in this southern province of Serbia. The transfer of the protection of the memorial in Gazimestan is not good because it can open the question of continued protection for other Serbian church and national Holy Shrines and Cultural Monuments.

Bishop Atanasije visits Serb villages of Prilužje and Plemetina in Vučitrn municipality

His Grace Bishop Atanasije today (Mar 17) visited the Serb villages of Prilužje and Plemetina in Vučitrn municipality. In Prilužje the Bishop was welcomed by the Mitrovica church district administrator protopresbyter Milija Arsović with parish priest Milomir Vlašković, Mr. Zoran Rakić, the mayor of the Serb municipality of Vučitrn, and by the faithful. There were many children with their teachers and religion instructors. At the entrance to the courtyard of the newly built church of the Holy Transfiguration, four Serbian girls in folk costume welcomed Bishop Atanasije and served him with (the traditional offering of) bread and salt.

Confession of the clergy of Serbian Patriarchate and Theological Faculty

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.

Sixth anniversary of the March pogrom marked by commemoration in Kosovo Polje

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.

Prayerful remembrance on victims in the pogrom in Kosovo and Metohija in March 2004

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.