the Serbian Orthodox Church
July 5, 2004
CONVERSATION OF SERBIAN PATRIARCH AND MONTENEGRIN
On Saturday, July 3, 2004 His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle,
together with His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro
and the Littoral, His Grace Bishop Irinej of Backa, His Grace
Bishop Joanikije of Budimlje and Niksic, and Archimandrite Jovan,
the newly elected Bishop of Dioclea, met with Montenegrin President
Filip Vujanovic. The necessity of affirming the constitutional
principle of separation of Church and state was emphasized during
the conversation. President Vujanovic expressed his conviction
in the necessity of respecting the constitutional provision of
noninterference of the state in the internal organization and
religious affairs of the Church. Patriarch Pavle expressed the
conviction that the Montenegrin and general public is well aware
that the mission of the Serbian Church has no political background
but is always oriented toward harmony and peace among the people.
His Holiness expressed support for Metropolitan Amfilohije’s
expectation that religious instruction will be introduced in
Montenegrin schools as soon as possible, in accordance with the
practice in all modern European states, and that the property
of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro will be restituted.
CONSECRATION OF BISHOP JOVAN OF DIOCLEA
Cetinje Monastery on the evening of Saturday, July 3, 2004 at
5:00 p.m. before the beginning of the Vigil the holy sacrament
of consecration of the newly elected Bishop Jovan of Dioclea took
place. Bishop-elect Jovan was invited to the hierarchs’ table
to take part in the breaking of the bread and the sharing of the
wine, the symbols of the Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ. Concelebrating with His Holiness Serbian Patriarch
Pavle were Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral;
Metropolitan Nikolaj of Dabro-Bosnia; Bishop Vasilije of Zvornik
and Tuzla; Bishop Irinej of Backa; Bishop Artemije of Raska and
Prizren; Bishop Pahomije of Vranje; Bishop Jovan of Sumadija;
Bishop Filaret of Milesevo; Bishop Joanikije of Budimlje and Niksic;
Bishop Grigorije of Zahumlje and Herzegovina; Bishop Atanasije
of Zahumlje and Herzegovina (retired); Bishop Joakim of Velicka;
and Bishop Teodosije of Lipljan. The choir of St. Peter of Cetinje
Seminary sang at the service. The vigil service was then officiated
by Abbot Jovan of Ostrog, the newly consecrated Bishop of Dioclea.
July 4, 2004 in the Resurrection of Christ Cathedral in Podgorica
His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle ordained Archimandrite Jovan
(Puric) as the Bishop of Dioclea and vicar (auxiliary) bishop
of the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral as appointed
by the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church
at its session in May of this year. Patriarch Pavle served Holy
Hierarchal Liturgy with the concelebration of twelve bishops and
numerous members of the clergy. Liturgy was attended by several
thousand faithful from Montenegro and Serbia, and many guests.
and Montenegro chief of staff general-colonel Branko Krga extended
his greetings (read by colonel Borisav Grozdic), as did a representative
of the Hellenic Republic, consul general Sotirios Atanasiou. Mr.
Samuel Avyatar, the representative of the mayor of Jerusalem for
Christian affairs, and Reis Efendi Fejzic, the representative
of the Islamic community, enhanced this prayerful gathering by
their presence with the latter presenting his welcoming remarks.
The new bishop received the congratulations of Protopresbyter
Gojko Petrovic, the rector of the St. Peter of Cetinje Seminary;
Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Momcilo Krivokapic, on behalf of the
Metropolitanate’s clergy; Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Ljuba Adzic
on behalf of Bishop Lavrentije, the clergy and faithful of the
Diocese of Sabac and Valjevo, the new bishop’s origin; as well
as Mr. Veselin Sijakovic.
one thousand of the faithful approached the Holy Cup and took
communion. In his first sermon as a bishop, the newly elected
Bishop Jovan spoke thus:
Your Eminences and Your Graces, dear fathers, brothers and sisters
the Lord looked upon the disposition of His servant, calling on
me through Your Holiness to assume the saintly office of bishop.
And now that all this has taken place, what can I say? I accept
with gratitude the words of the Holy Apostle Paul: “God was manifested
in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached
among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory”
(1 Timothy 3:16). I accept these words as my evangelical sermon
or program for “the great mystery of piety” and guarding of what
has been entrusted to me (1 Timothy 6:20).
what could I say at this moment? Is it easy to bear all weaknesses:
“Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am
not indignant?” (2 Corinthians 11:29) Is it easy to set the believers
an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity?
(1 Timothy 4:12) Is it easy to convince one, rebuke another and
exhort a third, and to be unfailing in patience and in teaching?
(2 Timothy 4:2) Is it easy to bear the responsibility for flock
and shepherds alike? There are well-known examples of servants
of God who for these very reasons experienced great hesitation
and fear. And we ask the question with them: Is all this easy?
Holy Apostle Paul says of himself: “I protest, brethren, by my
pride in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every
day!” (1 Corinthians 15:31) And truly, the life of a living servant
of God is a continuous burning, a death to the point of stupor,
difficulty and suffering. The great burden of the bishop’s office
is placed upon me at a very difficult time in service to the Lord
and the nation, and hence the Apostle Paul through Your Holiness
urges me to act in all things as a model and authority for the
faithful in the building of the church and in acts of divine philanthropy.
where can I “a spirit of timidity” (2 Timothy 1:7) find and draw
strength and power for all this? From the same source the much-loved
student of Christ, St. John the Theologian, drew it. In other
words, it means to serve the Divine Service and not to neglect
the gift given by prophetic utterance when the council of elders
laid their hands upon you (1 Timothy 4:14) but always to keep
in mind the words of the Apostle Paul on the dangers of the secular
“not submitting to the yoke of the polytheists”. All this is not
easy but requires tearing of the being and endurance to the end.
What is necessary for all this is, first and foremost, the help
of the Heavens and all the Saints as well as the help of all of
you, the people of God.
believe and confess what in the words of the Holy Apostles “not
that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming
from us; our competence is from God” (2 Corinthians 3:5); that
success in the service of the Lord and those close to us does
not depend so much on human ability and capability as it does
on the grace that “is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians
12:9). I believe and confess that by the laying on of your saintly
hands, although unworthy I too have received the blessing of the
apostolic succession, curing and compensating all weaknesses.
pray that your prayers, my Holy Fathers, Divinely Wise Archpastors,
brothers and sisters, will make me a seasoned worker in the Vineyard
of the Lord planted by the Lord’s Hand and that I will have no
need to be ashamed before Him “rightly handling the word of truth”
(2 Timothy 2:15). Pray that God grant me the steadiness and decisiveness,
gentleness and tolerance that comes with life experience.
I wish to thank everyone: my Fathers – teachers, parents, brothers
and sisters for their prayers, and for everything in my life.
Since words of gratitude to the good people who have given me
everything cannot be enough, I pray to God that by bearing the
Bishop’s Cross in a worthy manner I can repay them all and all
others for the love they have shown me. I also hope that my spiritual
Father will not leave me without love but continue to advise me
as a wise and experienced Father. Hoping for support from all,
I freely say to Your Holiness and the saintly fullness of the
church: “Before you stands a servant of God – May his fate be
according to your word.” Amen.
Liturgy all present were invited to partake in the luncheon. Bishop
Jovan of Dioclea once again thanked his teachers and spiritual
fathers, first and foremost, His Holiness Patriarch Pavle, the
Bishops and his parents, as well as all those who helped him throughout
his life and his teachers and professors at the Seminary and the
BISHOP ATANASIJE JEVTIC RECEIVES LITERARY AWARD IN CHICAGO
Ivanka Milosevic Foundation from Chicago has been awarded the
“Three Handed Mother of God” Literary Award for 2003 to His Grace
Bishop Atanasije (Jevtic) of Zahumlje and Herzegovina (retired).
The award was announced on St. Vitus Day in the Serbian National
Library in Chicago, the endowment of Milun and Nada Nikolic.
The award is given to Serbian writers whose life’s work, inspired
by the teaching of St. Sava, expresses the being of their nation,
its foundations and holy objects, in poetic form.
The Foundation’s Board of Directors gave special consideration
to Bishop Atanasije’s translation of the Psaltirea with nine
biblical songs published by the Brotherhood of St. Simeon the
Myrrh-Gusher (2000) and the holiday sermons of St. John of Damascus
published by the Serbian Literary Association Circle (2002),
stated Dragica Milosevic, the president of the Foundation.
The award consists of the Icon of the Three-Handed Mother of
God, the Charter, a monetary award of 3,000 U.S. dollars and
the publication of a book in the newly launched library of the
Society of Poets of the Serbian Literary Association. The award
will be presented to Bishop Atanasije on the eve of the feast
of the Icon of the Three-Handed Mother of God, July 23, 2004,
GROUP BAPTISM IN JOSANICA MONASTERY
One hundred and seventy two people were baptized yesterday in
Josanica Monastery near Jagodina. His Grace Bishop Jovan of Sumadija
performed the holy sacrament of baptism and anointment. “You
are new Christians. Baptism has brought you into the Church.
It is never too late to become a part of the Church but that
does not mean we should wait for old age to become baptized,”
said Bishop Jovan.
There was a great deal of public interest in the group baptism.
Several hundred automobiles of various registrations parked yesterday
around Josanica Monastery, where group baptisms have been performed
Source: Blic daily, Belgrade, July 5, 2004
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