Three centuries of the Metropolitanate of Karlovci
The Diocese of Srem is for the second time in the month the host to His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, and on this occasion the clergy, monks and the faithful gathered from all areas, in order to welcome Serbian Patriarch Irinej.
His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, officiated the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy with the concelebration of Their Graces Bishops: Vasilije of Srem, Lavrentije of Sabac, Irinej of Backa, Ignjatije of Branicevo, Lukijan of Osek-Polje, Hrizostom of Zvornik-Tuzla, Nikanor of Banat, Lukijan of Budim, David of Krusevac and Atanasije of Bihac-Petrovac.
Students of the Karlovci Seminary and the choir Saint Nicholas sang responses.
Bishop Vasilije of Srem held a welcome note speaking about the joy because of this gathering of the church and the people, about the significance of the Metropolitanate of Karlovci for the Serbian Orthodox Church and for the spiritual and national identity of the Serbian people.
One should emphasize that there were 1, 2 million believers in the Metropolitanate of Karlovci before the beginning of the First World War living in Slavonia, Croatia, Hungary, today's Romania, and of these more than a half in the Serbian Vojvodina. In that time we had more than 720 formed parishes with 126 filial parishes, 777 churches, 722 canonical priests, and along with them a great number of monks who served in monasteries and other church institutes as the church-school congregations.
Marking the 300th anniversary of the Metropolitanate of Karlovci represents the significant jubilee for the Serbian Church, which through its turbulent history had a role of the mother, spiritual guardian, and which was deeply rooted in the national tradition, culture, literacy and the development of scientific thinking.
The Divine Liturgy was attended by Minister of Education and Science in the Government of the Republic of Serbia Mr. Tomislav Jovanovic, President of the Assembly of Vojvodina István Pásztor, representatives of the authorities of the Republic and the Province, mayors of several cities of the Diocese of Srem, mayor of Sremski Karlovci, representatives of the diplomatic corps, representatives of the Serbian Armed Forces, people from public and cultural life, Secretary General of the Serbian Academy of Sciencies and Arts academician Dimitrije Stefanovic, Director of the Office for Cooperation with Churches and Religious Communities Dr. Mileta Radojevic with his assistant Tomislav Brankovic.
Following the concluded Liturgy the all gathered went in the endless procession and went to the Upper church, where the memorial service for patriarchs Georgije Brankovic and Lukijan Bogdanovic of blessed repose was held.