SERBIAN CHURCH FROM 1766 TO 1920
After the forcible abolishment of the Pec Patriarchate Serbian Church found itself ina very grave situation in relation to both spiritual and political circumstances under which it was compelled to function. Serbian State had ceased to function centuries before. Serbian lands and Serbian ethnic territories existed, but were divided up between the Ottomans, the Austrians, the Hungarians and the Venetians. This tragic state of affairs was inflated by the loss of Church independence originally gained by St. Sava in 1219. Both the Church and the general population found themselves in very dire straits, i.e. circumstances much harder than what they used to be beforehand. Two very difficult and important tasks lay ahead: resurrection of the Serbian State and reestablishment of Church autonomy, i.e. autocephality. This proved to be a set of very difficult and torturous tasks to accomplish. It was a process that would last for more than one hundred years.
After the abolishment of the Patriarchate life of the Serbian Church could be followed in several regions populated by the Serb nation. Until its reestablishment in 1920 under auspices of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, there existed several mutually independent Church units of the Serbian Church: Metropolitanate of Karlovac, Metropolitanate of Montenegro (Crna Gora), Serbian Churches in Dalmatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, South Serbia and Macedonia.
(i) Serbia Between 1766 and 1830 Serbian lands under Turkish rule had bishops who were Greek nationals. They were popularly called “Phanariots” and were reputed as interested neither for the real needs and problems of Serbs under Turkish rule, nor for Serb inclinations towards freedom, which also included a need for domestic and not foreign bishops. Phanariots advocated Greek as the official language to be used in church services and often safeguarded Ottoman rather than Serbian interests. Domestic, lower, clergy was very poorly educated since no one really cared about the problem of priest education. Greek bishops worried about settling their financial obligations to the Porte and about their own personal welfare. Spiritual needs of Serbian people under Turkish rule were something they least cared about.
The only luck break for the Serbs was the fact that the “Sick Man of Bosphorus” was entering last phases of “his” existence. Europe was trying to solve the so-called “Eastern Question” which posed the problem as to what should happen next after the expulsion of the Turks from Balkans and Europe. Serbian popular revolts, the first being in 1804 under leadership of Djordje Petrovic (George Petrovich) and the second under Milos Obrenovic (Mylosh Obrenovich) in 1815, forced Turks to recognise Serbian statehood, which was, thus, renewed for the first time after the fall of Despotate in 1459. Serbia received the status of an autonomous principality within the Ottoman Empire. This was the first objective precondition for any plans concerning the renewal of Serbian Church independence. First step in that direction was achieved by Knez Milos Obrenovic in 1831 when the Patriarchate of Constantinople agreed to recognise Serbian Church autonomy and to remove all Greek bishops that had come into direct conflict with leaders of popular revolts in Serbia.
The first Metropolitan of renewed Serbia was Melentije Pavlovic (1831-1833, Melentye Pavlovych). He had been the archimandrite of monastery Vracevsnica (Vrachevnytsa) and had come to be known as a prominent fighting figure during both popular revolts. He encouraged insurgents and personally took part in several battle against Turks. His example was followed by many other priests such as: Luka Lazarevic (Luke), Mateja Nenadovic (Matthew Nenadovich), Hadzi Djera (Dyera), Hadzi Ruvim, St. deacon Avakum (Avaccum), abbot Pajsije and others. Metropolitan Melentije eventually came into conflict with Knez Milos and, subsequently, died a sudden death. However, he came to be popularly remembered as a great patriot always ready to suffer martyrdom in order to promote national interests.
Metropolitan Petar Jovanovic (1833-1859, Peter Yovanovych) came from the Metropolitanate of Karlova. He had solid theological and general educational background and, as such, he tackled the difficult problem of reestablishment of Church constitution. Emerging from enslavement by the Turks, Serbian Church needed to institute Church law, Church administration, priest education, general education etc. Metropolitan Petar took care of all this and more. He managed to procure educational books, attract teaching staff from abroad, and send many a young talent to receive good education in Russia. He was supported in his efforts both by Knez Milos and Knez Aleksandar. Many churches and monasteries were restored through Serbia. There was a general sense of enthusiasm to be felt everywhere — centuries old dream of freedom was starting to come true.
Year 1859 marked a highpoint of a long-standing dynastic dispute in Serbia. After spending a considerable number of years in emigration, the aged Knez Milos returned and initiated the brief period of his second rule (1859-1860). Metropolitan Petar had to leave Serbia for political reasons and was succeeded by his ex-student, then Bishop of Sabac (Shabats) Mihailo Jovanovic (Michael Yovanovych), who was a graduate of Kiev Seminary. He was head of the Serbian Church for quite a long time (1859-1881; 1889-1898 and managed to continue the productive work of his predecessor. He especially concentrated upon Church and spiritual education, priest education and textbook writing, and became renowned for his sermons. He was a prominent advocate of national interests in those Serbian lands remaining under Turkish rule (South Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Herzegovina etc.). It was during his achipastoral rule that Serbia was internationally recognised as a sovereign state (Berlin Congress of 1878), and that Serbian Church became autocephalous again (1879). However, Metropolitan Mihailo Jovanovic soon came into conflict with the Serbian government on the matters of State involvement in purely ecclesiastical affairs, and government inclination towards a pro-Austrian foreign policy. He was compelled to leave the country (1883-1889). Serbian became a Kingdom in 1882 and thus, under King Milan Obrenovic (Obrenovich), managed to renew its centuries old status for the first time after the battle of Kosovo.
The exiled Metropolitan Mihailo toured the Holy Land, the Holy Mount, also spending five years in Russia. After King Milan abdicated in 1888, Metropolitan returned to Serbia and continued his previous work: organisation of Church and parish life, education of teachers and priests, book writing and publishing, translation of ecclesiastical literature, creation of welfare foundations etc. He was very enthusiastic about the idea of pan-Slavism in the Slav South, and was renowned as such both domestically and internationally.
Church of the Kingdom of Serbia was known at the beginning of the 20th century as Metropolitanate of Beograd which, with its few dioceses, achieved great spiritual rehabilitation in every sense of the word. Together with its people it suffered great tribulation and losses during Balkan Wars (1912-1913) and the First World War (1914-1918). The liberation of 1918 was received with optimism as was the reestablishment of the Serbian Patriarchate.
(ii) Metropolitanate of Karlovac was initiated within the Austrian Empire after the Great Migration of 1690. The immigrant Patriarch Arsenije III Carnojevic constructed the very first Serbian Church organisation in Austria. It was based upon privileges that he and the people received from Emperor Leopold I in 1690, 1691 and 1695. This Church organisation was first known as the Metropolitanate of Krusedol since it was based in Krusedol monastery from 1708 to 1713. It changed its name to Metropolitanate of Karlovac after 1713 when the See was moved to Sremski Karlovci. From the point of its very initiation, Metropolitanate of Karlovac came under the spiritual jurisdiction of Patriarchate of Pec, and Patriarch of Pec, Kalinik I, granted it autonomy.
It was not an easy task to organise either ordinary or Church life in Austria. It was a matter of safeguarding both the interests of national identity and those of the Orthodox faith under difficult circumstances of living in a very strong Roman Catholic state. From its very arrival into Austria, the Serbian Church came under pressure to form a Union with Rome. There were areas where this Union was forced upon it (Diocese of Marca). Bishops and priests had to cope with this very difficult problem and they turned to Russian for support. It is from Russia that the Serbian Church in Austria received her service books and other necessary items. Teachers (Suvorov and Kozachinski) came from Russia and formed first Serbian schools. Austria did not look favourably on these connections of its Serb subjects with Orthodox Russia, and it did everything it could to have them obstructed or, even, prevented from occurring. It exerted political, educational, state, and ecclesiastical pressure in order to cancel privileges originally given to the Serbs and to have these newcomers subjugated to Hungarian and Austrian nobles. It also encouraged some tendencies within the Roman Catholic Church to convert ordinary Serbian folk to Roman Catholicism.
Serving as frontier soldiers, Serbs protected those areas of the Austrian Empire that bordered with Turkey and, when needed as such, their privileges remained intact. When Empress Maria Theresa abolished part of this military frontier as an example of her conciliatory policy towards Hungarian nobles who demanded this of her, Serbs became very dissatisfied with their new status of Hungarian nobles’ serfs. Some one hundred thousand of them decided to emigrate to Russia and they did so between 1752 and 1764. They settled in those areas that form part of today’s Ukraine naming these regions Slavjanoserbija (Slavyanoserbia) and Nova Serbija. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for them to blend completely into their Russian surroundings and loose their national identity. Metropolitan Pavle Nenadovic (Paul Nenadovich), a contemporary to those developments, did everything he could to help his people and dissuade them from migrating en-masse into uncertainty. He also resisted all external coercive pressure to form Union with the Roman Catholic Church. He prevented forced Union of Romanian Orthodox in North Hungary, but was unable to resist the same happening to his own people in the diocese of Marca. Serbs in Zumberak fared the same. This Union was achieved with the aid of military authorities and by physical mistreatment of Orthodox clergy and their faithful. However, there were examples of solidarity of the common Roman Catholic folk with their Orthodox neighbours. Some Croatian nationals joined the Serbian revolt of 1755 in Severin. In their petition to Empress Maria Theresa they asked her to allow peaceful coexistence of Roman Catholic and Orthodox faithful and prevent the Union since it only brought confusion and calamity to all sides in question. This indicates that the Orthodox did not suffer by the actions of ordinary Roman Catholic folk, but by those of the specially prepared Roman Catholic “missionaries”. They were the ones who baptised those already baptised and who did all they could to eradicate national and Orthodox identity among Serbs, using methods that were all but Christian in their character.
The entire history of the Metropolitanate of Karlovac was marked by its struggle to maintain Orthodox faith and national identity among the Serbs who were a minority in the great Austrian Empire. Specially noted for their efforts in this direction were metropolitans Pavle Nenadovic (1749-1768) and Stefan Stratimirovic (1790-1836, Stratymirovich). They both did all they could for the Church and the faithful. Stratimirovic even helped revolts in Serbia in 1804 and 1815. The only long-term guarantee for survival proved to be maintenance of national culture and education through constitution of and support to Serbian schools. A Gymnasium was opened in Sremski Karlovci and in 1794 a Seminary. This Seminary educated Orthodox priests throughout 19th century and not only for the needs of the Karlovci Metropolitanate. This period also saw a flourishing of monasteries throughout the Metropolitanate. Books were printed, periodicals (Matica Srpska) and newspapers published. Many a famous iconographer, painter, writer and poet marked this age of Serbian Karlovci-style culture. All this happened under the auspices of the Church, which proved to offer the most solid guarantee for the spiritual and physical survival of the Serbs as a nation.
During the archipastoral rule of Metropolitan Josif Rajacic (1842-1848-1861, Joseph Rayachich), Metropolitanate of Karlovac rose to the level of a Patriarchate and Serbs received a sort of political autonomy (Srpska Vojvodina, Voyvodina) within the Austrian Empire.
In two centuries of its autonomous existence Metropolitanate of Karlovci was organised on the basis of privileges originally received from Austrian authorities. Position of Serbs and their Church was specifically regulated in reforms brought about first by Empress Maria Theresa and later by Emperor Joseph II. Serbian Church-public Council of 1769 regulated its status in a special paper named Regulament and, later, in Deklaratorij published in 1779. These acts regulated the life of the Metropolitanate of Karlovci all the way through until 1868. Emperor Frances Joseph I published a special edict regulating Serbian Church affairs and this edict was in force until the unification of Serbian Churches in 1920.
Austrian Empire was outlived both by its Serbian nationals and by their Church. For more than two centuries Serbs succeeded to organise themselves both nationally and ecclesiastically. City of Sremski Karlovci became to be known as the “Serbian Zion” and Novi Sad as “Serbian Athens”. Serbian schools: the Seminary, Gymnasium, Teacher Training Schools, and others, maintained the same educational standard expected of all state run schools within the Hapsburg Empire. As businessmen, writers, artists etc., Serb nationals formed a distinguished part of the society they lived and functioned in, and yet they succeeded in maintaining their specific spiritual and national identity.
(iii) Metropolitanate of Montenegro (Crna Gora) After several unsuccessful attempts, Turks managed in 1499 to crush the resistance of the ruling Crnojevic (Tsrnoyevich) Dynasty and annex their domain which covered a good part of today’s Montenegro. Turks never managed to subdue all Serbian mountain dwellers in these regions. However, most of them did pay taxes to the Ottomans, but since these payments were never regular this came to be the cause of many conflicts with the oppressor. Most serious point of concern was the fact that as time went on, quite a considerable number of Montenegrins converted to Islam. This became a very serious matter until definite action was taken at the beginning of 18th century during the reign of Metropolitan Danilo Petrovic Njegos (Daniel Petrovich Nyegosh) to solve this problem. The event of the so-called “purge of converts” inspired Njegos to write his poem “Gorski Vijenac” (“Mountain Wreath”). Serbs fought several battles against Turks, most famous of which was the battle of Carevi Laz in 1712. It ended as a major defeat for the Turks. However, Ottoman retaliation was fierce and it was during this period of time that they sacked the monastery of Cetinje. This initiated Montenegrin links with Imperial Russia, which was to become the main benefactor of Montenegro by giving it both economic and political support.
His nephew Metropolitan Sava, who lacked fighting spirit, succeeded metropolitan Danilo. He came to be aided by his nephew, the future Metropolitan Vasilije (Basil), in the task of running the country and the Church. Vasilije visited Russia three times on Church and State business and he even died there in 1766. Abolishment of the Patriarchate of Pec in 1766 was a great loss both for the Church and the Montenegrin population in general. Confusion brought about by difficult times was exploited by a mysterious usurper calling himself Scepan Mali (Schepan Maly, Stephen the Little) who falsely claimed to be the assassinated Russian Emperor Peter III. He, somehow, even managed to be installed as the ruler of Montenegro (1767-1773), but was himself assassinated by a Greek mercenary of the Turks. Metropolitan Sava then continued ruling both the Church and the State. He made several unsuccessful attempts to re-establish the Patriarchate of Pec and, as his predecessors, leaned heavily on Russian support.
Metropolitan Sava was succeeded by Metropolitan Petar I Petrovic (St. Petar of Cetinje). He was very obstinate in achieving reconciliation between, and unification of, Montenegrin families (clans), which were often in open conflict with each other. Metropolitan Petar II Petrovic-Njegos (+1851) is renowned not only as a spiritual and stately ruler of Montenegro, but also as one of the most famous Serbian bards of poetry. All metropolitans ruled form the Cetinje monastery where they managed both Church and State affairs. They lived in very difficult times: there was always the Turkish menace, and then there was also the difficult task of educating the ordinary folk in faith and civilised behaviour. Especially persistent on the matter of popular education were the two last metropolitans. They cared a great deal about priests and monks, and even managed to have some books printed.
Metropolitan Petar II was succeeded by Knez Danilo (1851-1860) who received his hereditary title from Imperial Russia. He was neither monk nor priest thus ending a long period of theocratic rule in Montenegro. Montenegrin state increased in its size after wars of 1876 and 1878, and another diocese was established there – the Diocese of Zahumlje (Zahumlye) and Ras. As was the case with Serbia, Montenegro gained its international recognition as a sovereign state at the Congress of Vienna in 1878. In 1920 Montenegro, i.e. Metropolitanate of Montenegro, became part of the re-established Serbian Patriarchate.
(iv) Orthodox Serbs in Dalmatia For centuries, Serb spiritual centers in Dalmatia were monasteries such as Krka, Krupa and Dragovic (Dragovich). After re-establishment of the Pec Patriarchate they came under the spiritual jurisdiction of Metropolitans of Dabro-Bosna who were appointed Patriarch’s “Exarchs for the Whole of Dalmatia”. After the Peace of Karlovac (1699) and the Peace of Pozarevac (1718, Pozharevats), Turks lost Dalmatia and it came under the rule of the Venetian Republic. Venetians put all Orthodox faithful in Dalmatia under the spiritual jurisdiction of Archbishop of Philadelphia who had previously agreed to a Union with the Roman Catholic Church. Serbs opposed this move and never accepted his jurisdiction while staying firmly faithful to the Pec Patriarchate. As a result, Venetian authorities forbade Serbs to elect and appoint their own bishops. It is interesting to know that this prohibition was completely ignored, and that Orthodox Serbs elected as their bishop archpriest Simeon Koncarevic (Koncharevich) from Benkovci (Benkovtsy). He was ordained by the Metropolitan of Dabro-Bosna, but quickly banished from Dalmatia by Venetian authorities. He became author of several texts concerning history of Dalmatia but died in Russia as a truly homesick man.
Napoleonic Wars brought the French as new rulers of Dalmatia and the first Orthodox bishop to be elected in French Dalmatia was Venedikt Kraljevic (1810, Benedict Kralyevich). He had Greek ancestral background, and being an easily intimidated man by nature who feared Austrian authorities’ backlash against him, he agreed to the Union with Rome when French finally abandoned Dalmatia to Austrian rule. Local population and clergy fiercely objected this state of affairs and he was compelled to emigrate. Serbian Church in Dalmatia came under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Metropolitanate of Karlovac in 1828. This initiated an age of rapid prosperity for the diocese. Especially notable Church personalities of this period were Bishop Josif Rajacic (Joseph Rayachich), later to become patriarch in Sremski Karlovci, Stefan Knezevic, renowned as an excellent organiser, and canonist Nikodim Milas (+1915, Nicodemus Mylash).
An Orthodox Seminary was established in 1833 in the city of Sibenik (Shybenick) – Dalmatia. It was moved to Zadar in 1841. This school left a profound imprint on clergy education in Dalmatia.
In 1867 there occurred an administrative change which regulated Hapsburg Empire’s internal affairs in a new way. According tot his change Province of Dalmatia, with its Dalmato-Istrian and Boka Kotorska (Bocca di Cattaro – Bay of Kotor) Orthodox dioceses, came under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Romano-Russinian Dicoese of Bukovina, which received its new status as the Metropolitanate of Bukovina and Dalmatia. This state of affairs persisted until the final collapse of Austria-Hungary in 1918 and the unification of Serbian Churches.
(v) The Church in Bosnia and Herzegovina After the Patriarchate of Pec was abolished this Church came under jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Its new bishops were, again, Phanariots – Greek nationals. Orthodox Christians in Bosnia and Herzegovina were in a very difficult position. In 1875 a popular rebellion against the Turks broke out, and the 1878 Berlin Congress allowed Austria-Hungary to occupy the region. Only after 1880, and according to a convention agreed between Austria and the Patriarchate of Constantinople, did the Church here succeed in obtaining from some sort of autonomy from Constantinople and the right to its own hierarchy. First Bosnian metropolitan was Sava Kosanovic (1881-1885, Kosanovich) who proved to be a very energetic man. He immediately started to re-constitute and improve Church life for Orthodox Serbs. However, he was immediately faced with strong opposition from Austrian occupying authorities headed by Benjamin Kalaj (Kalay). Accordingly, Metropolitan Sava was compelled to leave Bosna.
(vi) Old Serbia and Macedonia These regions were also under jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, with its own set of Phanariot bishops. Serbia proper, Bulgaria and Greece became independent in the 19th century and tendencies towards liberation were noted also here. In 1870 Bulgarians managed to secure from the Porte an autonomous Church Exarchate which included regions around Nis (Nish), Pirot (Pyrot), Vranje (Vranye), Skoplje, Bitolj, Debar and Strumica (Strumitsa). However, Council of Eastern Patriarchs convening in Constantinople in 1872 branded the Bulgarian Exarchate as schismatic for being too nationalistic in its character. Bulgarians installed Bulgarian bishops in Serbian regions of the Vardar Valley and this caused great popular dissatisfaction. Serbia and its government reacted accordingly. After Nis, Pirot and Vranje became part of Serbia in 1878, these regions were immediately put under jurisdiction of the Serbian Metropolitanate. However, South Serbia and the Vardar Valley still had to wait to obtain their national, Serbian, ecclesiastical hierarchy. Throughout 19th century Serbian educational and missionary work maintained a level of high activity here. In 1871 a Seminary was created in Prizren soon to be followed by other numerous schools, publishing houses, and cultural societies. Serbian bishops were installed in Prizren (1896), Skoplje (1897) and Veles (1910). These dioceses became part of the Serbian Church in 1920.
(vii) Unification and Re-establishment of the Serbian Patriarchate First World War ended in 1918. Out of the rubble and ashes of the fallen Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires there arose several new independent states. For the first time in their history South Slavs became united within boundaries of a same state – Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. In Beograd of 1919 there convened a council of all those bishops whose dioceses once belonged to the Patriarchate of Pec, and this meeting announced the spiritual and administrative unity of the Church within new political boundaries. All conditions were met for the re-establishment of the old Patriarchate of Pec, which had been abolishe din 1766. New State authorities, headed by King Petar I (Peter), extended their respective support to this decision.
Serbian Church turned to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, as to its mother Church, and informed it about latest developments. Oecumenical Patriarchate gave its consent to the revival of the Serbian Patriarchate and immediately issued a corresponding Thomos. A Council of bishops then convened in Sremski Karlovci on the day of August 30th/September 12th 1920 (Feast Day of All Serbian Saints) and reached the decision to elevate the Serbian Church to the level of a Patriarchate. First Patriarch of the newly formed Patriarchate became Dimitrije Pavlovic (1920-1930, Demetrius Pavlovich), Metropolitan of Serbia. He was installed in Beograd that same year and in 1924 in the monastery of the Pec Patriarchate. During Patriarch Dimitrije’s archipastoral rule several new dioceses were established. Theological Faculties were created in Beograd and Zagreb, and a Seminary in Bitolj.
Church Constitution was introduced while Patriarch Varnava Rosic (1930-1937, Barnabas Rosych) was the head of the Church. Dioceses of Zagreb and Mukacevo-Prjas (Mukachevo-Pryash) were formed. Between 1931 and 1947 Serbian Church consisted of 27 dioceses and a vicarate in Skadar (Scodra – Albania). Church life was on the move in all regions. Many monasteries, churches and Church buildings were erected, some of these being the present Patriarchate building in Beograd, monastery Vavedenje (Vavedenye, Entrance to the Theotokos into the Temple) etc. The construction of the edifice of the great St. Sava cathedral was initiated in Beograd. Patriarch Varnava firmly resisted introduction of great privileges to the Roman Catholic Church in Jugoslavija (“The Concordat Crisis”). He maintained that these would certainly undermine positions of the Orthodox and those of other faiths in the country. He died unexpectedly during the night between June 23rd-24th 1937 when the Concordat legislation was carried to in Parliament. The Holy Synod was also against government pro-Concordat policy, and the government was soon forced to withdraw this new legislation.
Patriarch Gavrilo Dozic (1938-1950, Gabril Dozych) had erected the Patriarchate Library in Sremski Karlovci and the dormitory for the students of theology in Beograd. Second World War broke out soon. Patriarch and the Holy Synod were against government policy of Jugoslavija becoming partner to the Tripartite Pact of Germany, Italy and Japan. During this war (1941-1945) the Serbian Church suffered numerous fatalities: Metropolitan of Dabar-Bosna Petar, Bishop of Benjaluka (Banyaluka) Platon, Bishop of Gornji Karlovci (Gornyi = Upper) Sava, the Chezh-Moravian Bishop Gorazd. 5 of 15 of its priests, monks and school divinity teachers were also killed. In 1942 relics of St. Lazar and some other saints were moved to Beograd. Patriarch Gavrilo was incarcerated by the Germans, first in monasteries Rakovic (Rakovitsa) and Vojlovica (Voylovitsa), and then in the concentration camp of Dachau in Germany. Until his return, his duties were taken over by the Holy Synod headed by Metropolitan Josif (Joseph) of Skoplje.
After the Second World War had ended Serbian Church did not receive war reparations then estimated as high as 3,311,637,509 dinars. Communists separated Church from the State and confiscated 70,000 hectars of its land and 1180 buildings it had owned, value of which was estimated at eight billion dinars. Patriarch Gavrilo died under very suspicious circumstances.
During the archipastoral rule of Patriarch Vikentije (1950-195, Vicentius) communist pressure on the Church increased to a very high level. In 1952 Theological Faculty was expelled from the University of Beograd because Patriarch refused to consider the so-called “Macedonian Church” issue. He died suddenly in 1958.
Patriarch German’s (1958-1990); +1991, Herman) term of office was the longest of all. New dioceses were formed: West European 91969), Australian (1973), Dioceses of Vranje (1975, Vranye), and Canada (1983). Seminaries in both Krka monastery and Sremski Karlovci were re-established, permission was received from authorities for the cathedral of St. Sava to be continued to be built 91985), new Theological Faculty building was erected, and many church periodicals and papers re-instituted. Two schisms occurred within the Church — one in America (Bishop Dionisije Milivojevic [Dionysius Mylivoyevich]) in 1963, and the other in the dioceses of Southern Serbia (the so-called Macedonian Orthodox Church in Skoplje). American schism was overcome in 1992.
Patriarch Pavle Stojcevic (from 1990, Paul Stoychevich) was first of all instrumental in solving the problem of the American schism and then he formed some new dioceses: Diocese of Britain and Scandinavia, Diocese of Central Europe, Diocese of Mileseva, and Diocese of Budim. The break-up of Jugoslavija as well as wars in Bosnia and Herzegovina and other western Serbian regions brought lots of evil, misery and hardship on the Serbian population and its Church as a whole. Serbia and Montenegro formed the Federal Republic of Jugoslavija. Most of the dioceses of the western Serbian regions became deserted during the war, their Serb population being forced to flee into emigration. Many churches and monasteries were destroyed.
Certinje Seminary was re-established in 1992.
Serbian Orthodox Church of today has: 32 dioceses, 3578 parishes, 204 monasteries, 1900 parish priests, some 230 monks and 1000 nuns, five Seminaries (in Beograd, Sremski Karlovci, Prizren, Srbinje [Serbinye] and Cetinje), two Theological Faculties (in Beograd and Libertyville, USA), and the Theological Institute in Beograd.