Every second Saturday of the month, 4 pm - Divine Liturgy in English of Sunday - Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family, Duke Street, London W1K 5BQ. Followed by refreshments.
Next Liturgy: Saturday 14th July - 3pm Great Vespers, 4pm Divine Liturgy for Sunday

To purchase The Divine Liturgy: an Anthology for Worship (in English), order from the Sheptytsky Institute here, or the St Basil's Bookstore here.

To purchase the Divine Praises, the Divine Office of the Byzantine-Slav rite (in English), order from the Eparchy of Parma here.

The new catechism in English, Christ our Pascha, is available from the Eparchy of the Holy Family and the Society. Please email johnchrysostom@btinternet.com for details.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Patriarch Pavle of Serbia: Memory Eternal

Patriarch Pavle of Serbia died on Sunday aged 95. His funeral took place today, Thursday 19th November, led by Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. The Pope was represented by Cardinal Sodano, Secretary of State of the Holy See.

Patriarch Pavle was loved for his humility and holiness as a monk, people recognising that like them he too had been overwhelmed by the atrocity into which Serbia was dragged by Slobodan Milosevic.

He had led the 7-million strong Serbian Orthodox Church for 19 years since 1990. As Yugoslavia collapsed into civil war, critics accused him of failing to rein in bishops and priests who encouraged nationalism. He had also been accused of standing by, and remaining in contact with Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, currently on trial at the Hague for war crimes in Bosnia. But he steadily opposed President Slobodan Milosevic, denying his regime and that of Karadzic in Bosnia, official sanction from the Patriarchate. He expressly condemned violence on all sides, including the destruction and deaths at the hands of Serbs. And under his leadership, the Synod demanded Milosevic's removal.

The Patriarch was also criticised for associating with the Croatian Catholic hierarchy, but it did not deter him from trying to build bridges and peace with Catholics and Muslims. He opposed the independence of Kosovo (which was in his former diocese), with its deep historical significance for Serbian Orthodoxy and the importance of its monasteries for Serbian spiritual life, the preservation and renewal of which he had made a priority during his patriarchate. A good number of Kosovo churches and monasteries were destroyed or damaged, but Pavle resisted the urge to enmity and the calls to retribution, at the same time as trying to ensure that Serbian Orthodox monks, nuns and lay people could remain in the hope of better times, peace and and even reconciliation. He was after all aware of the hundreds of mosques and Catholic churches destroyed at Serbian hands in Bosnia and Croatia.

At the funeral Liturgy, Patriarch Bartholomew described Pavle as a "great spiritual leader" during the turbulent era for the nation.

"His face and appearance were radiant with holiness and righteousness," he said. "He was a true monk, a man of endless prayers, kind and calm but also a fighter who does not back down and is ready for any sacrifice when needed."

Serbia's President Boris Tadic, who attended the Liturgy, thanked the late Patriarch "for having been there for us with his deeds and message that we should always be human and never respond to the evil in the others with the evil within us."

Even though, Pavle was symbolically still head of the church, he had given up the day-to-day running last year because of ill health. There were rumours of attempts formally to remove him, but these were overcome. During his illness. the Church was led by Metropolitan Amfilohije, who may possibly succeed him as Patriarch.

Here is the obituary from The Times. And here is the obituary from the Daily Telegraph.

We will post an appreciation in due course from the Chairman, Fr John Salter.

Memory Eternal!

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