A great man is one who collects knowledge the way a bee collects honey and uses it to help people overcome the difficulties they endure - hunger, ignorance and disease!
- Nikola Tesla

Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.
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While their territory has been devastated and their homes despoiled, the spirit of the Serbian people has not been broken.
- Woodrow Wilson

Serbian Church In History - Abolishment of the Patriarchate of Pec

Article Index

ABOLISHMENT OF THE PATRIARCHATE OF PEC

After the “Great Migration” of Serbs of 1690 it is possible to follow the development of the Serbian Church and national history not only within borders of the Ottoman Empire, but also in wide regions of the Austrian Empire. Popular living conditions in regions under Turkish rule, and conditions under which the Church functioned there, were even more difficult now. Population constantly decreased in numbers. Two patriarchs were compelled to flee into Austria and Turks lost all confidence in Serbian clerics. Greeks immediately exploited this adverse state of affairs. After Patriarch Arsenije IV Sakabenta migrated to Austria, the Church in Constantinople asserted pressure on the Porte to install mainly Greeks, such as Joanikije Karadza (1739-1746), as Patriarch of Pec. In the short period of time between 1752 and 1765 eight patriarchs sat on the throne of Pec, five of whom were Greek. Patriarchate debts accumulated in Constantinople and no one was willing to pay them back. Last Serbian national to be elected patriarch before abolishment of the Patriarchate of Pec was Vasilije Brkic (1763-1765, Basil Brkych). He was banished to Cyprus as an enemy of Turkish State. He was succeeded by a Greek, Kalinik II (1765-1766), who performed an unprecedented deed — he resigned his title of Patriarch of Pec and, with other five bishops, sent a petition to the Oecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople asking for the abolishment of the Patriarchate of Pec. Accumulated Patriarchate debts were quoted as the main reason for this motion. Accordingly, Patriarch of Constantinople convinced the Sultan to abolish the Patriarchate of Pec (September 11th 1766), and place its dioceses under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Church in Constantinople: “From now on even the very name of Patriarchate of Pec is to be considered abolished, and its reestablishment forbidden under any circumstances”. Same fate was to be suffered by the Archbishopric of Ohrid only a year later. This state of affairs lasted all the way through until 1920 when the dignity of a Patriarchate was restored to the Serbian Church.

Abolishment of the Patriarchate announced grave days ahead for the Serbian Church. All Serbian bishops were removed and Greek nationals brought to take their place. These newcomers were called Phanariots (after Phanar — that part of Constantinople, i.e. Istanbul, where the Oecumenical Patriarch resided together with most of the well-to-do Greek nationals in the city) and were remembered for their lack of consideration for the welfare of Serbs under their jurisdiction. Most of them did not even speak Serbian.


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Dragoljub Pokrajac

Dr. Dragoljub (David) Pokrajac is a full professor of Delaware State University and IEEE member. He graduated in 1993 at the Faculty of Electronics in Nis (Serbia) with GPA 9.97, and obtained MS in Telecommunications in 1997. He attended Washington State University and defended his PhD dissertation in spatial-temporal data mining at Temple University (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA) in 2002. He is an author of numerous papers and book chapters and two patents.

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The Meaning of Reality

Essays on Existence and Communion, Eros and History

by Christos Yannaras

The collection of articles traces the thought of Christos Yanaras through his long journey in discovering the meaning of existence, communion, eros, and history. It is a cause of immense joy that no fewer than twenty articles of passionate significance and substance have at present been gathered together in this volume under the title The Meaning of Reality.

Yannaras is undoubtedly one of the most significant thinkers of our time. Kallistos Ware once described him as "the most creative and prophetic religious thinker at work in Greece today," while Rowan Williams characterizes him as "one of the most significant Christian philosophers in Europe." His very wide and no less deep education helps him to develop an inimitable blend of philosophy, theology, and social criticism, and to speak in an original way about the traditional and contemporary issues of human existence, as well as the latest challenges of modern empirical science and political engagement. A detailed knowledge of the writings of the Holy Fathers has always been his foundation amidst the labyrinth of modern thought - which is inimately bound up with psychoanalysis, environmental issues, human rights, postmodernism, and pluralism , to mention just a few. Insistence on the primacy, uniqueness, and eternal value of human personality prevails in almost all his works and inspires his own vigorous theological and ecumenical engagement, based on the Orthodox eucharistic and ascetic tradition.