Serbia: Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Pavle Dies

Head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, His Holiness Patriarch Pavle, died on Sunday, November 15.

He was 95 years old, and for the past two years he was being treated at the Military Medical Academy in Belgrade.

Patriarch Pavle was chosen to head the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1990 and was the 44th patriarch.

He was said to be a humble person, who lived a simple lifestyle of an Orthodox monk. He was revered by the Serbian believers, as well as followers of other religions.

On occasion of his death, Serbia’s government declared a three-day mourning, starting Monday.

Serbian bloggers did not remain indifferent, either. They reacted to the death of Patriarch Pavle, as well as to the decisions of the government related to his passing.

Blogger Constrictorial wrote (SRP):

[…] I think that he was a human who worked, above all, for the reconciliation of people from this region […] in the time of war, he was one of the rare people who called for peace. […]

[…] I think that he was a modest man who was emitting love, sincerity and honesty. […]

At the end of his post, the blogger quoted Patriarch Pavle’s words:

Finally, as always, I must repeat what's always remains the same: be humane towards those who are constantly seeing us as their enemies; don’t hurry with hugs, but extend hands to everyone who realizes that we have to live as humans if we couldn’t live as brothers. Care for good relations with our neighbors who, even under the highest pressures, didn’t forget that we had to be oriented towards each other. […]

Teofil Pancic, a journalist, published his article titled “The Politics of Condolence” on the Pescanik web site. He wrote this (SRP), among other things:

[…] This is neither the place, nor the time for detailing about Gojko Stojcevic’s [civil name of Patriarch Pavle] character and works. No doubt that he led his Church so that it was not deviating from the widespread and tragic mistakes which inconceivably held Serbia back over the last 20 years. It is also true that other bishops, if they had been in his place, would have been more extreme. It is the fact that he, with his own lifestyle, which suited the popular, that is, idealized show about monks, acquired the mass respect of ordinary people, who are tired because they live in a destroyed society in which all the vagabonds and tramps, including those in cassocks, earn suspiciously bloody millions and drive around promoting their own banditry by various expensive cars and jeeps. […]

Blogger Aleksandar Vasovic reacted severely to the government’s decision to pay expenses to businessmen for all the workers who would attend the ceremony of the Patriarch’s funeral on Thursday. In his post titled “How much is Serbia’s mourning?”, he wrote (SRP):

[…] Why didn't the government, if it is so God-fearing, appeal to the faithful businessmen and workers to spend their one-day earnings, which it approved generously for them for the day of the Patriarch’s funeral, on the help for the poor and homeless persons, for the hungry ones and on maintaining community kitchens? […]

The Republican Broadcasting Agency has ordered state-funded electronic media to stop broadcasting musical programs because of the three-day mourning, and blogger Srdjan Mitrovic criticized (SRP) one Serbian cable operator for blocking of several channels:

SBB [Serbian Broadband] has blocked all music channels because of the days of mourning. […]

[…] I hope that they won’t remember to block cable internet because, God forbid, music could be broadcast through it. […]

P.S. On Channel TV 1000, they are showing soft porno films. Just so you know.

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