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.
Appeal Of Serbian Patriarch Pavle to the Secretary General of UN and its High Representatives in Bosnia And Herzegovina18. February 2004 - 12:14
His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle addressed today a letter to Mr. Kofi Anan, Secretary General of the United Nations, Lord Paddy Ashdown, High Representative of the UN for Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as to General Virgil L. Packett II, Commander-in-Chief of SFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina, expressing his deep dismay at some embarrassing events, which took place at Pale during the Christmas holidays, on 9 and 10 January 2004.
Namely, the peacekeeping soldiers of SFOR, searched the premises of the Church and rectory in Pale, the night of 10 and 11 January 2004, given the explanation that they were apprehending persons suspected of war crimes and their accomplices. In Patriarch Pavle's letter, among all is stated:
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.
Patriarch is not a Member of The Republic of Serbia Committee for Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the First Serbian Uprising1. February 2004 - 8:26
The daily “Politika” of 28 January 2004, page A7, in an article titled, “Rehearsal without President” devoted to state preparations for marking two centuries of the Karageorge Uprising (or, as noted in the text, two centuries since the modern Serbian state), reports in addition to Zarko Korac, Natasa Micic, Dragoljub Micunovic, Josef Kasa, Cedomir Jovanovic, Rasim Ljajic, Dusan Mihajlovic and other dignitaries – that His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle is also a member of the republican Committee for the marking of this significant jubilee.
In the interest of truth, we herewith inform the public that His Holiness Patriarch Pavle has received a decision from the Serbian Government of 19 July 2003, according to which he was named as a member of the above-mentioned committee. However, in his letter of 6 August 2003, he “offered his appreciation for the entrusted honor” and expressed his hope that “the planned solemnity will be marked in a manner befitting its significance”.
We expect from “Politika” newspaper to amend this incorrect information and to inform the public that His Holiness Patriarch Pavle is not a member of the Republic of Serbia Committee for the celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the First Serbian Uprising.
The Patronal Feast of St. Sava the first Serbian Archbishop was commemorated with the celebration of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in the Representation of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Moscow. Archbishop Christopher of Prague and Slovakia concelebrated with Archimandrite Anthony (Pantelic), Dean of the Representational Church, and other clergy. Attending the liturgy were staff from the Embassy of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, Mr. Nebojsa Jerkovic Ambassador Gordan Milinic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as numerous Serbian and Russian faithful.
In keeping with Serbian tradition, following the Divine Liturgy, the festal bread was cut and festal wheat blessed, both prepared by the host of the celebration, Mr. Vucic. Recitations by Serbian children, catechetical students at the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul, completed the Patronal celebration.
His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Chapel of the Theological Faculty on the Feast of St. Sava, the First Serbian Archbishop and Enlightener of the Serbs. Following the Liturgy the Patriarch performed the rite of cutting the festal bread in honor of the Patron Saint and delivered a homily on the significance of St. Sava for the development of Serbian spirituality. According to the Patriarch, St. Sava is the indicator of the way to the Lord and Heavenly Kingdom, and our intercessor before God.