Holy Archangels' Monastery near Prizren, Serbia

"You showed me the church of Yours as the source of health", Dusan's gift charter. -Full reconstruction was interrupted... -In June 1999 a monk from the monastery, Fr. Chariton, was abducted. -Now - a spiritual center gathering the remaining Orthodox people from Prizren and around. The young monastic brotherhood is full of religious enthusiasm and remains confident that one day Holy Archangels will be completely reconstructed.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

His Grace Bishop of Raska and Prizren Artemije (III part)


All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. (Matthew 26:31)
Many of them scattered from Kosovo/Metohija and many abandon their shepherd. Bishop Artemy with remains of his flock is still on the Christ path:

His Grace Bishop of Raska and Prizren Artemije (Radosavljevic) estimated that the representatives of the International community in Kosovo were only efficient in protecting Albanian minority in Serbia.
• Your Grace, you have initiated the action "LET THE PRAYER HELP US IN
RENOVATION OF THE SHRINES". It started, albeit with many complications,
with the Zociste monastery, without any support provided by the international
community. In the mean time, Banjska monastery was reconstructed;
and similar action is underway in Socanica, again without any support from
the international community. Could you, please, tell us about the renovation
of the shrines in Kosovo and Metohija? Do you expect any assistance from the
international community during future activities?

You see, since last year, when His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle
in the name and on behalf of the Serbian Orthodox Church signed the
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING FOR RECONSTRUCTION OF
SERBIAN ORTHODOX RELIGIOUS SITES with the Ministry of Culture
Youth and Sports of the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government in
Kosovo ("PISG") then the international community, according to a particular
project and through its own funding took part in the renovation which
includes only the churches destroyed during March pogrom. However,
the renovation is in progress, according to the information available. First
phase was already completed - it covered the activities of cleaning up the
debris from certain sites where the churches used to be and some less
serious repairs were performed. But, if continued in such a way, as far as
I am concerned, this will not be the real renovation. You know, a church,
which was not brought to its original function, cannot be considered as
renovated. And it cannot be brought to its function without the return of
exiled.
According to need we build new churches. Last year we have consecrated
three newly built churches in our diocese. Two of them are in the
vicinity of Novi Pazar, and one, dedicated to Saint Demetrios was built in Kosovska Mitrovica. Several churches are in the phase of construction
in Supnje near Raska, in Socanica a parish hall will be built, in many
monasteries the building is ongoing, many monasteries were renovated,
like Banjska monastery, Konculj, Djurdjevi Stupovi, Duboki Potok, Saint
Archangels…
Now we have planned the renovation of three nother monasteries -
Svetih Vraca (Saint Healers) near Lesak, Sveta Petka (Saint Paraskeva)
monastery near Leposavic and Presvete Bogorodice (Saint Virgin) monastery
- Devine Vode near Zvecan. The construction already started last
autumn, and as soon as winter is over and when the conditions become
convenient it will be continued.
This is the construction and renovation of monasteries, not of those
destroyed in this period, but those that were demolished during history.
Now the time has come to renovate them, and several monasteries were renovated until now, bringing new life into them and chanting.
• These days, Your Grace, there is plenty of talk about the future status of Kosovo and Metohija. Looking through the old issues of the Herald, one may find that as early as 2000 Richard Goldstone and his commission suggested the conditional independence for Kosovo and Metohija. Some eighteen months later the International
Crisis Group also made a list of possible solutions for the Kosovo and Metohija issue. Soon after, the USIP published a similar list. What is your opinion about such
trial balloons that are now getting the outlines of real solutions?
What do you think about the final status of Kosovo and Metohija?

With such a huge problem, it is natural that for its solution
many different viewpoints and suggestions are being circulated. This
applies to every opinion launched from time to time by the international
community - Crisis Group, Washington, Brussels or whomever - this is in
fact an attempt to resolve the problem in a certain way. More or less all
those attempts boil down to one alternative - to grant independence to
Kosovo and Metohija, which would mean to satisfy the requests and the
historic dream of Kosovo Albanians to create, in the first stage, a second
Albanian state in the Balkans with the next step leading to unification of
Kosovo with Albania and the creation of a Greater Albania.
What will be the outcome, what will be the final status of Kosovo
and Metohija - it is difficult to talk about that right now - the negotiations
should start soon. It is inadmissible and incomprehensible position of the
international community, which itself insists so much upon the negotiations
to start as soon as possible, and to include both the representatives
of the authorities from Belgrade as well as the representatives of Kosovo
PISG, at the same time many are giving the proposals which in advance
indicate the result and talk about an independent Kosovo. In this way
they prejudice the results of the negotiations that are yet to take place.
Recently Doris Pak said that Serbia should pay more attention of its birth
rate rather then take care about its "lost” territories. In this way she gives
in advance, before the negotiations even started, the opinion that Kosovo
is lost territory for Serbia and the Serbs. From where did she get that right
? Only from the position of power, sole power.
If this is so, why negotiate at all? If the international community has
the opinion that Kosovo should be independent, let them do it, let them
grant independence to Kosovo, but without our consent.
However, the international community has that in view in any case,
but its intention is to talk Serbia and representatives of Serbian negotiation
team to agree or to force them to accept the independence in order
to give the legitimacy to the independence of Kosovo and by that consent
the validity of this act.
In my opinion Serbia cannot and must never accept that act. International
community can do whatever it likes, it can force upon us any solution
it wants, but with clear knowledge that what was forced upon by raw power cannot last for long. What was grabbed by force, it would be taken
back by force. Whenever.
• What would be your comment, Your Grace concerning three events in January-
Declaration by Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja, death of Bishop Mark Sopi,
and death of Mr. Rugova?

Unfortunately, it is an obvious intention of those three municipalities
from Southeast Serbia to use the negotiation period about Kosovo and
Metohija and achieve some of their political goals. In my opinion, they will
garner the sympathies and support for their intentions by the international
community. Because this is also to the detriment of Serbia, too.
How far they will succeed is still to be seen.
Concerning other events, the death of Mr. Sopi and of Mr. Rugova
which happened within ten days, they for sure represent large changes
in Kosovo and Metohija and one can expect certain turbulences. That
might happen, most of all, in the Albanian community, as there will be
the struggle for the prestige of Mr. Rugova's position. During that struggle
Serbs could become the collateral damage. It is to be seen whether the
international community will allow something like that to happen. According
to my sense, it seems to me that the international community will not
allow the struggle to burst into flames in Kosovo and Metohija, as this will
jeopardize the negotiations. Since the international community cares deeply about the negotiations, I believe it will find the ways and means to solve the issue of Mr.
Rugova's inheritance in a peaceful manner. We shall see.
• It seems like there exist a certain cyclic manner not only in the repetition of and in leaving the promises unfulfilled, but also in the crimes over Serbs, especially children. Do you think that the quote from the beginning could be applied today, too?
Completely. As I said, there is difference in quantity, but not in quality. As I already said, there are, in number, by far less crimes at the moment. The reason for this situation is in much lower number of Serbs that remained in Kosovo and Metohija, and on the other hand, the circumstances under which Serbs live has stabilized in a certain way, and they also learned to take a bit more care of themselves in the meantime. Anyhow, such attacks still do occur. You see that the children were beaten in Mogila, hand grenades were thrown at the house of Mr.
Todorovic in Cernica, and many and many other incidents which happened until today. Especially now, after the death of Mr. Rugova, we do not know what else may happen in
Kosovo and Metohija. The International community promised and foreswore that it will not allow the violence or pogrom on the scale as it was on March 2004, or any
violence in Kosovo and Metohija at all. However even after March there
were numerous different assaults or murders, and they certainly meant
they would not allow such massive outbursts of violence. We will see what
will come out of it. Our hope is in our Lord, our God, we are devoted to
Him, we live and we try to survive in Kosovo and Metohija. Our intention
is to help the exiled Serbs to return to Kosovo and Metohija in as many a
number as possible and as fast as possible. We rely upon the assistance
of our state, the representatives of our authorities, as well as upon the
international community. Only through joint efforts, I hope, the return of
the exiled to Kosovo and Metohija could become more stable and could
expect a better outcome. This problem cannot be resolved by forced
solution, and the issue of Kosovo and Metohija will not be and cannot be solved by any self proclamation of independence.


to be continued

New sites of supporting Christian survival in Kosovo and Metohija:
Russians for justice
Polish for justice
Italians for justice

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home