The first Sunday of Great Lent is celebrated as the Triumph of Orthodoxy. This is connected with the victory of the iconodules (those who supported the veneration of sacred images) over the iconoclasts (those who opposed their veneration).
The heart of the victory of Orthodoxy in the restoration of iconography—as well as our veneration of the same—is found in the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Christology is the beginning and end of all true theology, and whenever we get Christ wrong, we get everything else wrong.
In the beginning of this year the Institue for Theological Research of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology and the Faculty of Security published in English a book whose author is Bishop Jovan (Culibrk) of Pakrac-Slavonia - Historiography of the Holocaust in Yugoslavia. The same book already appeared in Serbian translation by the same publisher in 2011.
It is the text of master’s thesis which Bishop Jovan defended at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem before, today late, Professor David Bankier, to whom this book is dedicated. Professor Bankier was at the same time the head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research – Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, and the present book used all the capacities that Yad Vashem offers to a research-worker, especially the one who, like Bishop Jovan, spent many years working in it.
Reviewers of this book are Simon Epstein from the University of Jerusalem and Milan Koljanin from Belgrade`s Institute for Modern History, the leading world expert for Holocaust. The Book Historiography of the Holocaust in Yugoslavia as a source book has already been used by a great number of the most serious experts for Holocaust, including Michael Feier, Raphael Izraeli, Paul O`Shea and others.
Besides His Holiness, the audience was also attended by His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral, His Grace Bishop Hrizostom of Zvornik-Tuzla, His Grace Bishop Arsenije of Toplica, and protopresbyter-stavrophor Savo B. Jovic, chief secretary of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Cardinal Koch was accompanied by Apostolic Nuncio His Excellency Orlando Antonini, Archbishop Stanislav Hocevar, Monsignor Janusz Błachowiak, priests Jacinth Destivelle and Robert Pastiuk.
In Zagreb 30,000 Serbs live, but many of them are afraid to declare themselves publicly because of the fear that their rights to have normal life would be endangered, Serbian Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb-Ljubljana said three days ago. The Metropolitan also noted that the arrival of Prime Minister of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic in Zagreb, on the feast-day of Meeting of the Lord, the state holiday of Serbia, was a great encouragement for the Serbs in Croatia.
Metropolitan Porfirije added as examples that only about two or three hundred Serbs attend church services on Sundays. “The reason is fear. It is particularly precarious in situations when there is a possibility that a camera of some media is present, and consequently even a less number of them goes to church, because they fear to be seen. They fear that they could have problems”, he said. He also added that these problems were different, but the people fear, in one word, that their rights to have normal life would be compromised…
…He added that our people in Croatia rejoiced at the arrival of the Serbian Prime Minister in the capital city of Croatia, “because it is primarily an expression of Serbia’s concern for the position and problems of the Serbian people in Croatia”. “There are numerous open issues between Croatia and Serbia regarding the status of the Serbian people in Croatia, which cannot be resolved without a dialogue. The lack of communication is of no use for anyone, and the problems deepen. Hence, this visit of Prime Minister Vucic, it seems to me, represents a shift in relations between the two countries”, Metropolitan Porfirije concluded.
The founder's Patron Sаint-day of the Holy Imperial Laura Monastery Chilandar, the feast-day of Venerable Simeon the Myrrh-Gusher, was celebrated in Monastery of Chilandar on 19 February.
According to the calendar, this feast-day should be celebrated annually on 26 February, but this year, because it falls in the first week of Great Lent, the date of celebration was transferred to the February 19, according to the Chilandar Typicon of Saint Sava. Metropolitan Stephen of Gallipoli and Medita from the Ecumenical Patriarchate was present as a guest of honour. Guests of the monastery were also representatives of many Athonite monasteries, Consul of the Republic of Serbia to Thessaloniki Sinisa Pavic, pilgrims from Greece, Russia, Serbia, Montenegro etc.
Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral observed the traditional Saint Simeon’s Assembly in the capital of Montenegro Podgorica, which is organized annually in honour and to the glory of the progenitor of the holy Nemanjics dynasty, Stephen Nemanja, later Saint Simeon the Mirrh-Gusher.
The Divine service at the Cathedral church of Resurrection of Christ was celebrated by Archbishop of Cetinje and Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral Amfilohije together with six Bishops of our Local Church – Atanasije of Bihac-Petrovac, Joanikije of Budimlje-Niksic, Joakim of Polog-Kumanovo, Marko of Bregalnica, Jovan of Nis and Jovan of Pakrac-Slavonia, and many priests and deacon in presence of hundreds of faithful.