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 - 9:26
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.
The Theological Faculty of the Serbian Orthodox Church was the recipient of the highest award of the International Fund of United Orthodox People. This Fund annually awards individuals and institutions for “exceptional contributions in promoting the unity of Orthodox people”. His Holiness Alexy II Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia personally presented the award to the Very Rev. Dr. Vladan Perisic, Faculty Dean, on 21 January 2004. The solemn ceremony took place in the facilities of Christ the Savior Church in Moscow before 4,000 guests. Previously, this prestigious award for 2003 was presented to His Beatitude Peter VII, Patriarch of Alexandria, and to Mr. Dimitris Stephanopoulos, President of Greece.
Аppeal of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church to the Macedonian state authorities to release from imprisonment Metropolitan of Veles-Povadarje and Exarch (procurator) of Ohrid kyr John23. January 2004 - 11:22
The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church expresses its profound concern because of the astonishing violence accomplished by the Macedonian State and Church authorities against His Eminence Metropolitan of Veles-Povadarje and Exarch of Ohrid Kyr John, as well as against other clergy and faithful people of the Orthodox Archbishopric of Ohrid.
In this violence, unfortunately, also participate - by its statements and behavior - chief representatives of the State authorities of the Republic of Macedonia who interfere directly in exclusively ecclesiastic matters. These people claim, on one side, that they pass ecclesiastic matters on the responsibility of the Church, while then again they put openly and publicly themselves on side of the schismatic organization, called the Macedonian Orthodox Church, which was even so created by the former communistic regime by interest. That kind of hypocritical relationship towards the Church, leads Macedonian State authorities into suppressing basic human and religious rights what culminates in imprisonment of Metropolitan John in the town of Bitola. Hereby the Macedonian State authorities together with the Orthodox hierarchy of the MOC (which is not recognized by anyone in the Orthodox world) participate in befooling the people that Metropolitan John and other members of the Orthodox Archbishopric of Ohrid, allegedly are "Serbian mercenaries" and "traitors" of their people. Time will prove and the very truth witnesses: these honored people only bring their Church and their people back to the eucharistic unity and to all other straight unity with all Orthodox Churches and people in the world, becoming liberated of being for many decades excommunicated of this community and isolated. People who judge and persecute for something what - according to a healthy-minded person - gives honor to a Church and people, can only be people who have spiritually a contracted horizon and who have lost sensibility for justice, for a true sovereignty of a Church and for a just dignity of a people.