Serbian Culture Minister Vladan Vukosavljevic sent a note to the Vatican protesting what he said were tensions caused by Albanian Catholic priests who served mass on the ruins of a Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo.
Albanian Catholic priests recently served mass on the ruins of the 14th century Orthodox cathedral of St Nicholas which was destroyed in an earthquake. Serbian media reported that the Albanian clergy and politicians had declared the church a Catholic temple.
Vukosavljevic’s not said that “Albanian Catholic clergy on the territory of the self-proclaimed state of Kosovo had unnecessarily provoked tensions and desecrated religious and historic monuments of the Serb people”. The letter was handed to the Papal Nuncio in Belgrade Lucan Suriani and was addressed to the President of the Pontifical Council for Culture Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi.
Serbia and the Vatican maintain “pronounced good cooperation”, the minister wrote and recalled that the Novo Brdo archaeological site includes the Santa Maria del Monto Nuovo Catholic church which the Albanian clergy could restore and use.
“The rich history of Christian culture in the Balkans and Serbia could and should allow the Catholic and Orthodox faithful to perform their rites in sacral buildings which represent the expression of their faith and cultural heritage with dignity,” the minister wrote in the letter.