ORTHODOX CHURCH: PATRIARCH PAVLE DEAD. MGR. HOÈEVAR (BELGRADE), "A MAN OF UNITY"

"A man of unity and deep Christian testimony". This was the Serbian Orthodox patriarch Pavle, who deceased yesterday, aged 95, as commemorated by mgr. Stanislav Hoèevar, archbishop of Belgrade and president of the International Bishops Conference "Saints Cyril and Methodius"". "We are left with his great desire to promote communion and union among Christian", stated mgr. Hoèevar to SIR, telling that, when he went to see him in hospital in the years of his disease, the patriarch "told him about the urgent need for unity among Christians and prayed to God for it". The news reached the Serbian Catholic Church when card. Franc Rodé was in Belgrade. "Card. Rodé and the apostolic nuncio – the archbishop goes on – and I immediately contacted the Orthodox Church and went to the Patriarchate to express our sympathy and pray for the patriarch". Mgr. Hoèevar expresses the "gratitude" of the Catholic Church to Pavle, who, "at the time of his mission", organised two meetings between the Serbian Bishops Conference and the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade in 2003 and in Novi Sad in 2005; in addition, "Pavle was the very first Orthodox patriarch to attend a Eucharistic celebration in our cathedral in Belgrade".

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