Voices from Russia

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Biography of Patriarch Pavle of Serbia

Filed under: biography,Christian,Orthodox hierarchs,religious,Serbia — 01varvara @ 00.00

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Patriarch Pavle Stojčević (1914-2009)… photo courtesy of Sasha Ressetar… thanks a million!

Patriarch Pavle, whose secular name was Gojko Stojčević, was born 11 September 1914 on the feast of the Beheading of John the Baptist in the village of Kućanci in Slavonia (Yugoslavia). He graduated from high school in Belgrade and the seminary in Sarajevo. Then he continued his education at the Theological Faculty in Belgrade. During the Second World War, Gojko was among the refugees in the monastery of the Holy Trinity in Ovčara, where he became a novice. In the monastery, the future First Hierarch of the Serbian Church taught catechism to the children of refugees. After the war, Gojko went to the Annunciation Monastery at Ovčara, where he took his monastic vows in 1948 and was ordained to the rank of hierodeacon. From 1949 to 1955, hierodeacon Pavle was part of the brotherhood of the Rača monastery, and he carried out a variety of monastic obediences. In 1954, he was ordained to the priesthood, and, in 1957, elevated to the rank of Archimandrite. From 1955 to 1957, he studied the Scriptures, New Testament, and liturgics at the Theological Faculty of Athens.

On 29 May 1957, in the Cathedral in Belgrade, Archimandrite Pavle was consecrated as Bishop of Raška and Prizren took place. As head of the diocese of Raška and Prizren, he was actively engaged in the construction of new churches and worked to restore and preserve Orthodox holy places in Kosovo and Metohija. He travelled extensively and served in many of the parishes of his diocese. However, Bishop Pavle never neglected his academic work and teaching. In 1988, the Theological Faculty in Belgrade awarded him a doctorate in theology.

In November 1990, a decision of the Holy Synod elected Bishop Pavle Stojčević the First Hierarch of the Serbian Church to replace the ailing Patriarch German Đorić (Vladyki German died less than a year later in August 1991). The enthronement of Bishop Pavle as the 44th Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church took place on 2 December 1990 in the cathedral church of Belgrade. During his ministry, Patriarch Pavle visited many dioceses of the Serbian Church in the former Yugoslavia and abroad. His Holiness visited his flock in Australia, America, Canada, and Western Europe. His Holiness Patriarch Pavle wrote several books, and, for more than twenty years, The Journal of the Serbian Orthodox Church published articles by him on the liturgy. For a long time, he was President of the Synodal Commission for the translation of the New Testament Holy Scriptures.

On 13 November 2007, Patriarch Pavle was hospitalised in the hospital of the Military Medical Academy in Belgrade. On 8 November 2008, he tendered his resignation, claiming infirmity, but, on 12 November, the Archpastoral Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church decided not to grant the petition of the patriarch. During the period of the patriarch’s incapacity, the Holy Synod undertook to carry out his duties, and Metropolitan Amfilohije Radović of Montenegro and Primorsky was the effectual locum tenens.

15 November 2009




Serbia Declares Mourning after the Death of Patriarch Pavle

Filed under: Christian,Orthodox hierarchs,religious,Serbia — 01varvara @ 00.00

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Mourners pass the coffin of Patriarch Pavle Stojčević of Serbia (1914-2009) in Belgrade today… many thanks to Sasha Ressetar for sending on this photo.

The Serbian government declared a three-day national mourning period starting Monday after Patriarch Pavle died at 95 on Sunday. President Boris Tadić called the death of the patriarch “a huge loss” and said Pavle “united the nation”. Pavle called for peace and reconciliation in the 1990s during ethnic conflicts that resulted in the break-up of Yugoslavia. The patriarch, who was elected to head the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1990, died today of cardiac arrest during his sleep after having been hospitalised for two years in the Belgrade Military Hospital, doctors said. In the year 2000, the Serbian Church called on Slobodan Milošević, then president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to resign, after NATO air raids put an end to his crackdown on Kosovo Albanians.

Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, a deputy head of the MP Department of External Church Relations, said Patriarch Pavle was “a righteous man of our time”. Fr Nikolai said he symbolised “the spiritual unity of the Serb nation” and added that Pavle was “a great friend of the Russian Orthodox Church”. Patriarch Pavle’s burial will be at the Rakovica monastery in Belgrade on Thursday, local news agencies said after a meeting of the Church’s Holy Synod.

15 November 2009



Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Pavle Dies at 95

Filed under: Christian,Orthodox hierarchs,religious,Serbia — 01varvara @ 00.00

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Patriarch Pavle Stojčević of Serbia (1914-2009).

The Serbian Orthodox Church announced that Patriarch Pavle died on Sunday morning, at the age of 95, and that the country will observe 3 days of official mourning. Two years ago, the Patriarch entered the military hospital in Belgrade with a variety of undisclosed health problems.

Pavle became Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1990, just before the collapse of the ex-Yugoslav Federation and the rise of Serb nationalism. Under his leadership, the Orthodox Church became hugely popular. The majority of the Serbian population of 7.5 million are Orthodox. Before his elevation to the position of 44th Patriarch of the Serbian Church, Pavle served as Bishop of Kosovo, which Serbia considers as its southern province and the cradle of Serbian culture and history.

After 1999, Pavle visited Kosovo several times to express his support for the spiritual pastors and for the Serbian minority that remained there. Under Pavle, the Serbian Orthodox Church moved to obstruct the independence of Kosovo, which the Albanian majority eventually declared in 2008. For the past several years, The Serbian Church was widely suspected of having supported ex-Serb Bosnian leaders, including Radovan Karadžić, helping to hide them from the authorities seeking to bring them to justice. During his Patriarchate, Pavle succeeded in imposing the voice of the Church throughout Serbia through the introduction of religious classes in schools. The majority of Serbs today consider their Orthodox Church to be the institution in which they have most trust.

15 November 2009

Sofia News Agency


Editor’s Note:

I apologise for the tone of the article… I am looking for objective material, but it ain’t easy, friends and neighbours. The Serbs are the favourite whipping boys of the PC crowd and such nasty leftist sorts rule the editorial desks in most news outlets. I believe that any so-called Orthodox Christian who supports the dismemberment of Serbia is not faithful to Christ and His Church and is a faithless papist Uniate in all but name (I stand by this… I am not ashamed to support my Orthodox co-religionists to the bitter end).


Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Pavle Dies

Filed under: biography,Christian,Orthodox hierarchs,religious,Serbia — 01varvara @ 00.00

Patriarch Pavle of Serbia

Patriarch Pavle Stojčević of Serbia (1914-2009), who died today in Belgrade. Vechnaya Yemu Pamyat!

Patriarch Pavle, who headed the Serbian Orthodox Church during the break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s as Serbs warred with neighbours of other faiths, died today, a top church official said. Pavle, 95, died at a special apartment in Belgrade’s Military Hospital where had been treated since 2007 for age-related ailments, Bishop Amfilohije Radović, the acting head of the church’s Holy Synod, said in a statement. “The death of Patriarch Pavle is a huge loss for Serbia”, President Boris Tadić said in a statement. “There are people who bond entire nations and Pavle was such a person”. Although nominally still head of the church until death, Pavle had given up its day-to-day running in 2008 as his health deteriorated. Hundreds of mourners flocked to the main Saborna Crkva church in downtown Belgrade after the announcement of his death.

Pavle was born Gojko Stojčević in 1914 in Kućanci, a village then in the Austro-Hungarian empire that is now in Croatia. In 1957, he became bishop in charge of Kosovo, by then home to an Albanian majority. He openly spoke of the hardships faced by the province’s minority Serbs, and on one occasion in the 1970s was attacked and beaten. The fate of Kosovo remained top of his agenda after he became patriarch in 1990, when growing tensions between Yugoslavia’s Orthodox, Catholic, and Muslim faiths were leading toward the communist country’s violent break-up.

Critics say Pavle failed to contain hard-line bishops and priests who stoked Serb nationalism against Catholic Croats and Muslim Bosnians and publicly blessed paramilitaries who committed war crimes in Croatia and Bosnia. After the war, he became more vocal in politics and openly criticized the policies of Serbian President Slobodan Milošević. After Milošević’s ouster in 2000, Pavle’s focus shifted back to Kosovo, by then a United Nations protectorate, patrolled by NATO, following the end of a 1998-99 conflict.

A modest man who often preferred public transport to a chauffer-driven car and who cobbled his own shoes, Pavle was popular among most clergy members and the faithful. However, critics said Pavle allowed the church to slip into nationalist policies and failed to mend ties with Orthodox churches in neighbouring Macedonia and Montenegro. He also played a pivotal role in the church’s opposition to the pope’s desire to visit Serbia.

Pavle’s death clears the way for top clergy to appoint a successor after a period in which they suffered division on how to proceed during his illness. A secret vote at a conclave attended by at least two-thirds of the 40 Serbian bishops will elect his successor. It remains unclear who will replace Pavle. Analysts say moderate bishops may be willing to trade the position for more influence in the Holy Synod among hard-line bishops opposed to pro-Western policies of the current Serbian government. Since 2008, hard-line Metropolitan Amfilohije Radović, who divides his time between Belgrade and Montenegro, has served as acting church leader.

15 November 2009


As quoted in Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty


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