Information Service of
the Serbian Orthodox Church

June 8, 2004


His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle received two senior representatives of the oldest media corporation in the Balkans on Tuesday, June 8, 2004, in the Patriarchal residence of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Darko Ribnikar, the general director of “Politika” Newspapers and Magazines, Joachim Zaumsegel, deputy general director, and Mirjana Kuburovic, a representative of the daily’s journalists who has been covering events related to the Serbian Church for many years, visited the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church to personally deliver a donation toward the restoration of the burned part of Chilandar Monastery. Joining in the fundraising campaign “A Gift for Chilandar” launched by the Serbian Patriarchate after the catastrophic March fire at the only Serbian monastery on the Holy Mountain, the “Politika” directors presented Patriarch Pavle with a check for 1.8 million dinars. This considerable sum was collected by the sale of one of the editions of “Politika’s” Home Library sold on Saturday. Twenty-five dinars was set aside for every copy of the book sold to help with the restoration of the renowned medieval monastery devastated by fire three months ago.

Receiving Mssrs. Ribnikar and Zaumsegel as representatives of the public voice whose significance “is great at any time but especially in today’s time of crisis and difficulty,” Patriarch Pavle spoke also of the devastating destruction of Orthodox Christian holy shrines in Kosovo. Even worse than the destruction of the churches and monasteries, he emphasized, is the suffering of the people on all sides. His Holiness expressed agreement with Mr. Ribnikar’s observation that “faith is truly essential for our suffering people in order to endure all these troubles” and added that this was also true in the past during five centuries of Turkish occupation.

Pointing out the readiness of “Politika’s” management team to jump in and help at the first news of the fire at Chilandar, Mr. Zaumsegel spoke about fundraising campaigns in Germany benefiting the suffering people of Kosovo.

The cordial meeting and discussion was also attended by protodeacon Momir Lecic, the head of the Office of the Serbian Patriarch, and protodeacon Radomir Rakic. Patriarch Pavle thanked the donors for their wonderful and significant gift, which represents a gift not only to the Church and Chilandar but also to the whole of Serbian culture. Patriarch Pavle expressed praise for “Politika’s” for keeping its readers informed regarding important events and wished Mssrs. Ribnikar and Zaumsegel, and all “Politika” employees, all the best, urging them to remain faithful to the renowned tradition of the respected daily.


His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle received Zivadin Jovanovic, the president of the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals. Jovanovic informed His Holiness of the views of the Forum, a non-governmental and non-partite alliance of citizens, on national and state priorities of Serbia and Montenegro. He emphasized that the priority is the preservation of national, cultural and spiritual unity, as well as protection of the lives of the Serbian people and monuments of Serbian spirituality and culture in Kosovo and Metohija, an integral part of Serbia.

Jovanovic presented His Holiness with a book by the Belgrade Forum on Kosovo and Metohija, displaced and missing persons, international terrorism and the Serbian emigrant community.


Seventeen year-old Dimitrije Popovic was murdered on June 5, 2004 at approximately 2:30 a.m. in downtown Gracanica. The murderer was in an Audi passenger vehicle and opened fire from an automatic weapon on Dimitrije, who stopped with three of his friends in a fast-food restaurant in Gracanica while returning from a party. With the exception of Dimitrije, who was killed instantly, no one else was harmed.

Responsibility for this tragic event lies with KFOR command which only a few days ago dismantled KFOR control checkpoints on access roads to and from Gracanica which provided some degree of security to the Serbs since the Albanian vehicles passing through the Serb settlement were controlled and the eventual flight of an attacker was impossible. This once again proves that the reduction in KFOR forces is a green light to Albanian terrorists to continue their attacks against unprotected Serb civilians.

Bishop Artemije visited the family of the late Dimitrije Popovic and served the funeral service for the murdered boy. The Bishop addressed a sharp message to the international mission in Kosovo and Metohija, saying that the continuation of ethnic violence and terrorism is a direct consequence of the unwillingness of the international community to confront organized Albanian terrorist gangs and mafia. According to Bishop Artemije, the international community’s policy can be rightly called a policy of tacit approval and passive collaboration in ethnic cleansing and deserves the strongest of condemnations. The violence in Kosovo and Metohija will never end until the chief organizers and inspirers of the policy of ethnic cleansing and terrorism are brought to justice instead of selling the world stories about “democracy”, stated Bishop Artemije.


As part of the Forum on Orthodoxy Mr. Goran Radenkovic will be discussing spiritual life in the modern world and the ascetic labors of Christians with His Grace Bishop Joanikije of Budimlje-Niksic at Vuk Karadzic Cultural Hall located at Kralja Aleksandra Boulevard number 77A, on Thursday, June 10, 2004, at 6:00 p.m. All interested persons are invited to attend.

[Serbian Translation Services]

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