Information Service of
the Serbian Orthodox Church

April 28, 2004


On Wednesday, April 28, 2004, His Beatitude the Serbian Patriarch Kyr Pavle, together with His Eminence Metropolitan Nikolaj of Dabro-Bosnia and members of the Holy Synod of Bishops, His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral and His Grace Bishop Grigorije of Zahumlje-Herzegovina, visited the seriously wounded. priest from Pale, Jeremija Starovlah, and his son, catechist Aleksandar at the Military Medical Academy.

After the visit Metropolitan Nikolaj stated that Father Jeremija's condition was somewhat improved but there is still no improvement in Aleksandar's condition.

On this occasion the Metropolitan again expressed his sincere acknowledgement and gratitude to the physicians of the Tuzla Medical Center who did everything in their power and that of modern medicine to help the seriously wounded priest and his son achieve this improvement. Considering the serious nature of their injuries, without the great effort and investment of physicians and medical staff at Tuzla Hospital, Father Jeremija and Aleksandar would not be alive today.

Although speaking with difficulty, the seriously wounded Father Jeremija thanked the Patriarch and the bishops for their visit. Unfortunately, the condition of Catechist Aleksandar is such that he is still not conscious.

Metropolitan Nikolaj, who visited the Starovlahs for the seventh time, said that the wounded had no bullet wounds and that Father Jeremija still cannot remember how everything happened and how they were wounded. Despite a visible improvement in comparison with the first days after they were wounded, the present stabilized condition of the patients still does not give true hope of recovery. Their conditions still remain very grave and, according to physicians, it is difficult to make any sort of prognosis.


On Wednesday, April 28, 2004, His Eminence Metropolitan Nikolaj of Dabro-Bosnia visited the Mufti of Belgrade, Hamdija Jusufspahic, as well as the mosque that had been set on fire.

On this occasion the Metropolitan expressed his regret because of the setting on fire of the mosques in Belgrade and Nis, and he said that those who committed this act were enemies of both God and men, as well as enemies of themselves.

The Metropolitan pointed out that all faithful people, regardless of their confession, are duty bound to respect their own holy shrines and those of others, and that the people who were involved were Godless and nothing was holy to them. Every extremism breeds only greater extremism and can bring nothing good but only evil. The Mufti of Belgrade received Metropolitan Nikolaj of Dabro-Bosnia very warmly.


In the night between Saturday and Sunday (April 24-25, 2004) graffiti appeared on the churchyard wall of the Orthodox church of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God in Imotski with the ominous Ustashe message: "SRBE NA VRBE" (literally, "[Hang] Serbs from the willow trees").

The appearance of this ominous graffiti was reported to the local Split, Dalmatia district police headquarters by Father Djordje Knezevic, the priest in Imotski. According to official reports, the police is working on solving this unfortunate occurrence.

This ominous graffiti with the recognizable echo of a ghost from not so long ago has stirred great unrest among Orthodox Serbs in Imotski and the surrounding area.


On Thursday, April 29, 2004 at 7:15 p.m. at the Faculty of Machine Engineering of the University of Belgrade, the citizens' association Srpski Sabor Dveri (Serbian Assembly Portal) is organizing a conference entitled "CHRISTIANITY AND MODERN ART" which will include a roundtable on the new Mel Gibson film "The Passion of the Christ".

Participants in the roundtable will include His Grace Bishop Grigorije of Zahumlje-Herzegovina; Mr. Zoran Savic, the director of the distributor "Millennium Film"; deacon Nenad Ilic, writer and director; Bogdan Lubardic, assistant professor of the Theological Faculty in Belgrade; Matej Arsenijevic, editor of "Crkveni zivot" (Church Life) magazine; and Vladimir Dimitrijevic, Orthodox publicist.


On Saturday, April 24, renowned Serbian academician Dr. Vladeta Jerotic was the guest lecturer on the topic "War and Orthodoxy" at the "Slovo Ljubve" (The Letter of Love) conference organized by the Serbian Orthodox church of the Orthodox church parish of St. Sava in Vienna and held in the auditorium of the church of St. Sava. Previous guests at this event have included poets Miodrag Pavlovic, Matija Beckovic and Metropolitan Amfilohije.

Vladeta Jerotic is a neuropsychiatrist by profession and a professor at the Orthodox Theological Faculty in Belgrade. He has written many very popular books in many fields, approximately 300 scientific and professional works, and he is the recipient of many recognitions, including the Order of St. Sava of the First Degree. He is one of the founders and a member of the managing board of the Psychotherapeutic Society of Serbia, a regular member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Medical Academy and the Association of Writers of Serbia.

Dr. Vladeta Jerotic's guest appearance in Vienna aroused great public interest and among the numerous guests in the church hall were the ambassador of Serbia-Montenegro Mihajlo Kovac and his wife, as well as the advisor for the diaspora, Nikola Dimitrievski, and his wife.

Vladeta Jerotic is a writer of firm principles who has managed in a period full of fury and hate to preserve calmness, gentleness and the ability to hear out the opinions of others. Dialogue for him has always been the best way of arriving at the truth. As a physician he has helped the ill and empathized with them. Religion instilled him with the hope that life has a purpose, that the spirit filled with faith can triumph over suffering.

After the lecture there were questions from those present and then our academician signed copies of his book for the numerous guests.

The preceding day Dr. Vladeta Jeretic held a very interesting lecture for Viennese clergy and religious instructors on the topic of "Confession and Psychotherapy".

Text and photo: Miodrag MECANOVIC


On Thursday, April 29, 2004 at 7:30 p.m. in the small auditorium of Kolarceva Zaduzbina (the Kolarac Endowment) a promotion will be held for the book of author Nadja Andrejevic, "Oci otaca" (The Fathers of the Fathers).

Speaking regarding the book will be His Grace Bishop Irinej of Backa, His Grace Bishop Lavrentije of Sabac-Valjevo, Dr. Dimitrije Kalezic, Predrag Dragic-Kijuk and the author.

Excerpts from the book will be recited by actor Petar Bozovic.

The book is a collection of interviews with Orthodox patriarchs of the world, led by His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew. Additionally, the author spoke regarding Christianity and the two thousand years of its existence with the (now deceased) Patriarch of Jerusalem Diodor, the Patriarch of Moscow Alexey, the Patriarch of Alexandria Petros and many other patriarchs. Thus, between the covers of this book are 14 interviews with the heads of almost all of the Orthodox Churches.

The first part of the book consists of interviews while the second part is an addendum providing basic information, mainly historical, for every Orthodox church.

The reviewer of the book is Father Dr. Radomir V. Popovic, who in his review says: "Although it is increasingly difficult to speak today about Orthodox geography when faced by the challenges of globalization and the formation of the 'global village' into which the modern world is increasingly transforming, the book of Belgrade journalist Nadja Andrejevic 'Oci otaca' at this point in time is welcome as long awaited and necessary to fill the great gap in our general knowledge of the Orthodox Christian world."

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