Serb Orthodox Church hierarchs expressed regret in connection with the incident which occurred near the building of the Serb Patriarchate on the night of catholic Christmas. A group of protesting young Serbs upset a Christmas Anglican divine service, Radio Jugoslavija reports.
The service was held in the Orthodox Church Patriarchate in Belgrade, the fact that was probably very disagreeable for some people. The Serb Orthodox Church reported that “the initiators of the incident obviously don’t understand the basic Orthodox and Christian principles; judging by their aggressive behavior these people are not friends to the Serb people and the Serb Orthodox Church.”
The incident was also condemned by the Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica, Chairman of the Yugoslav Parliament Chamber of Citizens, Dragoljub Micunovic, Yugoslav Minister for National and Ethnic groups, Rasim Ljajic, Serbian Minister for affairs of religious groups, Vojislav Milovanovic, representatives of the republic’s political parties and others.
Vojislav Kostunica said: “Freedom of speech, including the religious freedom, are democratic achievements of the civilization; they mustn’t be infringed upon, especially by force.”
Meanwhile, Belgrade Catholic Archbishop monsignor Hocevar said in an interview to Yugoslavia’s leading newspaper Politika before Christmas, that “Serbs must be patient, brave and staunch in the complex process of changing the mentality of the past.” He stressed, those who don’t want to keep step with the time and don’t consider the Serbian mentality the mentality of the past, are not friends to the Serbian people and must be blamed.
Over the three years of his staying in Belgrade, Hocevar noticed “aspiration for a dialogue from all sides, which demonstrates that we are following the right way.” He says, it is a pleasant sign.
Monsignor Hocevar is a member of the ecumenical “Papal Council for Christians’ Unity”. He is known for his participation in a joint action organized by the Catholic and official Serb Orthodox Churches; Serbian newspaper Blic reported about the action. Stanislav Hocevar married mixed Orthodox and Catholic couples in the city of Smederevo. A young priest from the Serb Patriarchate prepared the Serbs for the wedding, and the Catholics were prepared by a Catholic priest. As Blic reported, “but for the clothes of the priests, it would be impossible to say who is Catholic and who is Orthodox.” As for the Anglican chief, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowen Williams, he is not very much conservative and isn’t remarkable for the adherence to “the old order.” For instance, Williams openly says that he has nothing against homosexual priests. As it turned out, he says that people who interpreted the Bible before him, did it in a wrong way. Williams says: “Unisexual relations may be based on infatuation.”
How is it possible? The progressive spirits of the numerous “friends of the people” who came to Serbia are not welcomed by some of the Serbian people, and they even upset the Anglican divine service. How is it possible? Serb and Yugoslav governmental officials, and not only, are at a loss for answers to the question.
PRAVDA.Ru will probably get back to the incident near the Serb Patriarchate building on Christmas night.
Picture: Serbia State Emblem
Sergey Stefanov PRAVDA.Ru
Read the original in Russian: http://world.pravda.ru/world/2002/5/14/37/4924_Belgrad.html
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