Information Service of
the Serbian Orthodox Church

July 8, 2004


On Sunday, July 11, 2004 at 7:00 p.m. a spiritual evening will take place on the plateau in front of the church of St. Kyriakos and the Ruzica Church in the Kalemegdan Fortress in Belgrade. The event is dedicated to the 600-year anniversary of the Serbian capital of Belgrade and will include a keynote address by Jovanka Kalic of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Also participating in the program will be Ljubivoje Tadic, the Vrelo vocal and instrumental ensemble from Ruma, the Mokranjac Choir of the St. Sava Cathedral in Belgrade, the Ruzica Church Choir, the Pirg group, and several Serbian poets.


The numerous Serbs living in the Austrian city of Linz are preserving their faith. At the beginning of his work in the meadow of God, Father Dragan Micic gathered his parish members in a small chapel. Thirteen years ago, by the will of God, an agreement was reached with representatives of the Roman Catholic Church to allow the Serbian Orthodox Church to use an abandoned church built in 1936. To the great joy of all Orthodox believers, the church was refurbished and dedicated to St. Basil of Ostrog the Miracle Worker. After paying rent and all other utility expenses during this period, recently an agreement was reached to purchase the same church. Thanks to his tireless work Father Dragan Micic won the confidence of his parishioners who immediately agreed to support this God-pleasing act by daily donations. The agreed upon price for the church and land on which it stands is 450,000 euros to be paid over the next 10 years.

The formal signing of the purchase agreement and payment of the first installment of 50,000 euros took place at the beginning of June this year. On that occasion His Grace Bishop Konstantin of Central Europe served Holy Hierarchal Liturgy with the concelebration of the following priests: Novo Lazic from Gmunden, Darko Knezevic from Enns, Petar Knjeginic from Bregenz, host Dragan Micic and diocesal protodeacon Bratislav Bozovic. During the Holy Liturgy the Bishop ordained Fr. Dragan as protopresbyter. The signing of the agreement took place after the service and the signatories were Bishop Konstantin and Fr. Dragan on behalf of the Serbian Orthodox parish of Linz, and the director of the financial service, Mr. Herbert Price on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church.

Miodrag Mecanovic


A meeting recently took place in the Republic of Croatia’s Ministry of Culture between representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church headed by His Eminence Metropolitan Jovan of Zagreb and Ljubljana and representatives of the Croatian Government Religious Communities Relations Commission headed by Croatian culture minister Bozo Biskupic. This was their first meeting after last year’s signing of an agreement between the Croatian state and the Serbian Orthodox Church that went into effect on January 1, 2004.

A communique was issued after the meeting stating that the two commissions discussed the priority of returning nationalized property of the Serbian Orthodox Church, financing the maintenance of cultural properties owned by the Serbian Orthodox Church, rebuilding of churches damaged during the war, property and health insurance for clergy and the status of members of the clergy who are citizens of Croatia. Metropolitan Jovan emphasized that according to the agreement every diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church has already appointed a member of the clergy for hospitals and prisons, and that talks are being conducted with the Croatian Defense Ministry regarding Serbian Orthodox priests in the Croatian Army. Metropolitan Jovan emphasized that the Serbian Orthodox Church should consider appointing a bishop for the military like the Catholic Church, which already has a military bishop.

It was advised at the meeting that the Croatian Ministry of Culture is co-financing 23 programs for the protection and preservation of the Serbian Orthodox heritage in Croatia. Parishes of the Serbian Orthodox Church have so far submitted 43 requests for restitution of nationalized property on the territory of the city of Zagreb; so far 28 decisions have been enacted for the restitution of property. Resolution of requests for the return of extremely large properties located in prime locations in the city is currently in progress.

Source: Vecernji List daily, Zagreb, July 6, 2004


The afternoon of Tuesday, July 6, 2004 Republic of Croatia President Stjepan Mesic and his associates visited Krka Monastery. Bishop Fotije of Dalmatia and the brotherhood of Krka Monastery welcomed the eminent guest. President Mesic visited the monastery for about half an hour and viewed the monastery church and other highlights. He expressed satisfaction that he was able to visit this holy shrine and pleasure at its visible restoration. At the same time President Mesic agreed with Bishop Fotije that the revitalization of industry in this part of Dalmatia is critical in order to enable people to return their homes and find jobs.

Mr. Mesic expressed interest in the return of the monastery’s treasury and the arrangement of the exhibition area. In his words of welcome His Grace Bishop Fotije sincerely welcomed Mr. Mesic and emphasized the importance of Krka Monastery as a spiritual, educational, cultural and historical center of the Orthodox Serbs, as well as a destination during this time of European integration by thousands of tourists from throughout the world but mostly from the European Union thus continuing the rich mission of this shrine in our time.


Thieves originating from our own as well as from neighboring countries are increasingly targeting Church treasures in Gornje Ponisavlje and the entire Pirot area. The latest in a string of thefts involved the theft of icons, which occurred a few days ago. Unknown perpetrators vandalized three churches in the municipality of Pirot and stole many old and valuable icons. A total of 11 icons were stolen from the church in the village of Zvonce, and two each were stolen from Bazovnik and the church in Dojkinci, the oldest and most valuable among the looted relics. Hierarchal exarch Father Hristivoje Nikolic is convinced that an organized gang is behind the thefts with an excellent knowledge of the value of church artifacts and even better success in selling the looted goods in Western European countries. Chiefly the crown icons are being stolen as in the case of Dojkinci.

Source: Vecernje Novosti daily, Belgrade, July 8, 2004


On Tuesday, July 6, 2004 an exhibition of icons and mosaics by the students of the Academy of Arts and Conservation at the Theological Faculty of the Serbian Orthodox Church was opened as part of the “Choirs among the Frescoes” event. Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Dr. Dimitrije Kalezic opened the exhibition, saying that the icon is extremely valuable in Christianity because it represents its incorruptible archetype. The icon exists to be painted, restored and reconstructed. He emphasized that this exhibition is a delight to behold and inspiration for the soul; thanks to the performance of the Holy Prince Lazar Choir of Krusevac the same evening, it was also a delight to hear. The exhibition will be open until June 15, 2004.


Yesterday on the feast of the birth of St. John the Baptist, Bishop Irinej of Backa served Holy Hierarchal Liturgy in the church of the Ascension of Our Lord in Subotica. After consecrating the site last night Bishop Irinej placed the cornerstone for the building of the Orthodox Church of the Holy Protomartyr Stefan in the hamlet of Kelebija near Subotica.

Source: Nacional weekly, Belgrade, July 8, 2004


Continuing its campaign to collect aid for the restoration of monasteries in Kosovo and Metohija through the cooperation of the Russian Duma with the Moscow Patriarchate Representative Office in Belgrade, this “embassy of Russian culture and tradition” in Serbia after organizing several premiere movie showings in the Yugoslav Cinema Theatre prepared a fundraising concert by the Glinka String Quartet. All proceeds from the concert will be donated to the fund for restoring the destroyed monasteries in Kosovo and Metohija.

Source: Politika daily, Belgrade, July 8, 2004

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