The Serbian Orthodox Church
to her spiritual children at Christmas, 2011
By the Grace of God
Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch, with all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church to all the clergy, monastics, and all the sons and daughters of our Holy Church: grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, with the joyous Christmas greeting:
Peace from God! Christ is Born!
“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son…”
With the genealogy of Jesus Christ, “the Son of David, the Son of Abraham” (Matthew 1:1), dear brothers and sisters, begins the Gospel of Christ, God’s blessed and joyous news to mankind.
On this day of the joyous Feast of the Nativity of Christ all Christian hearts throughout the world are filled with the song of the angels of God, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men”. (Luke 2:14) This Day is a great joy for the entire world “for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord”. (Luke 2:11)
Today, on 12th December 2011, in attempt to enter the F.Y.R. Macedonia, on the border-crossing Medzitlija, on the border with Greece, the Archbishop of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje kyr kyr Jovan was arrested and taken to the “Idrizovo” prison, near Skopje. Upon the false accusations by the schismatic organization in F.Y.R. Macedonia, in 2010 Archbishop Jovan was sentenced a prison term, but because the court process was performed in his absence, he has the legal right to request a repeat of the procedure. Therefore, it is expected that in three to five days he should be released from prison, and granted a new court procedure during which he would defend himself from freedom. Only as a reminder, on 16th November 2010 Archbishop Jovan was arrested on the Bulgarian border, upon a request by the Macedonian bureau of Interpol, in regard to exactly this court sentence, but the Court in Bulgaria released him with a rationale that the court verdict in F.Y.R. Macedonia was a result of the persecution on religious grounds, which the Archbishop undergoes for nine years already, and not because he was indeed guilty according to the criminal law.
The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church with this appeal addresses all participants of the drama in the northern region of Kosovo and Metohija, with the warm prayer to God, the only Source of true peace, unity and love among peoples and nations, that they not allow this drama to be turned into a tragedy.
From 28-30 October, the Volos Academy for Theological Studies held the first international conference and honorary event entitled "Metropolitan of Pergamon John Zizioulas: Person, Eucharist, and the Kingdom of God in Orthodox and Ecumenical Perspective." The conference, as well as the entire honorary event, were broadcast live on the internet TV channel intv.gr .
The Committee of the Holy Assembly of Bishops for the preparation of marking the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan as a co-organizer along with the Association of non-government organizations of South-East Europe - CIVIS, Austrian foundation PRO ORIENTE and Swiss PEACE AND CRISIS MANAGEMENT FOUNDATION organizes a promotion of the book - collection of works of the conference participants UNCHANGING VALUE AND PERMANENT ACTUALITY OF THE EDICT OF MILAN - TOWARDS THE GREAT JUBILEE OF 2013, which was held in Nis, at the St. Sava's House of the Diocese of Nis, from February 24-26 of this year.
The promotion of the book will be held
in a great amphitheatre of the Faculty of the Orthodox Theology
(11b Mije Kovacevica str. , Belgrade),
November 3, 2011, beginning at 19:00 hours
At the promotion about this collection of works will be discussed by: His Grace Bishop Dr Irinej of Backa, His Grace Bishop Dr Porfirije of Jegar, Professor Dr Bogoljub Sijakovic, monsignor Dr Andrija Kopilovic and Ms. Mirjana Prljevic, the international secretary general of the CIVIS Association.