Communiqué of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church
Addressing the state of Serbia and the Serbian people regarding the signing of the agreement in Brussels.
Text of an agreement was signed in Brussels "on principles which regulate normalization of relations "between "Belgrade" and "Pristina", which is, of course, an euphemism in place of "Serbia and Kosovo", or between the Prime Minister of Serbia and "the Prime Minister of Kosovo," i.e. an individual from the wanted list issued by Serbia. Undeniable is impression that it represents a complete withdrawal of Serbia's institutions from the territory of its southern province and setting up limited autonomy of the Serbian community in the area to the north of the Ibar Bridge in Kosovska Mitrovica within Taci's establishment, therefore, an indirect and silent but still practical recognition of the government system in Kosovo and Metohija which is independent of Serbia's government structures. The situation is further aggravated by the fact that the Serbian government agreed to an uninterrupted “European integration” process for Taci's Kosovo (without mentioning Metohija, which sounds too Orthodox and Serbian, and there is no mention of Serbia in this context), and there is no doubt that after such a prohibitive price for the famous “date on the start of accession talks”, and the talks with an unknown number of new conditions and uncertain outcome, the price of EU accession itself would probably be embodied in the formal recognition of “an independent Kosovo” by Serbia and its obligation not to interrupt “Kosovo” in getting the UN membership.
As it seems, this is more of a simple surrender rather than some sort of a bargain with our own centuries-old most important territory in spiritual and historical terms, and this move was designed by major masterminds to mark the 100th anniversary of the liberation of the old Serbia from the Ottoman Empire after five centuries of slavery (1389 - 1912/1913).
We believe that even a partition of the territory would make a better, fairer and more sustainable solution compared to the agreement. We also ask about the reasons behind the visit of Serbia's high delegation to Moscow several days ago if it was already willing to accept “the maximum of possible” which was below “the minimum of the desired” from the standpoint of elementary state and national interest of Serbia.
Taking into account all that was mentioned here, and even more what remains unsaid, but implied, we appeal to the members of the National Assembly of Serbia and the Serbian President that, before God, the history of Serbia and their own conscience, measure and balance their moral and historical responsibility when deciding upon giving or withholding the consent of Serbia as a state to this text of agreement.
We also appeal to the Serbian people who survived and remained in their centuries-old homes in Kosovo and Metohija and to all the rest of Serbian people, wherever it lived, that, regardless of the decision of the national leadership of Serbia, they do not recognize the tyranny of force and injustice but to consider Kosovo and Metohija always as their country for all times and at the same time not denying that it is also the land of those ethnic Albanians who have been living there together with Serbs for centuries.
The Church will, anyway, stay with its people and in its sacred places in Kosovo and Metohija. This gives it the right and the duty to send this appeal.
Archbishop of Belgrade-Karlovci
and Serbian Patriarch
I R I N E J
From the Office
of the Holy Synod of Bishops