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Serbia: Great War Centenary. Mgr. Hocevar (Archbishop), “ecumenical programme to promote reconciliation and peace”

To mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, the Archdiocese of Belgrade will be holding a series of celebrations from 9 to 11 November in the context of the conclusion of the Year of Communion, proclaimed to remember the Great War that has changed the map of the Balkans. “We have prepared a rich programme with an ecumenical, spiritual and cultural flavour”, the Archbishop of Belgrade, Mgr. Stanislav Hocevar, told SIR news agency. The aim is “to inspire all to work for reconciliation, peace and cooperation”. Mgr. Hocevar also mentioned the rebuilding of the premises of the Archbishop’s House (former Austro-Hungarian embassy). “Another significant moment – he added – will be the signing of a peace message by the representatives of religious communities next to the monument dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Mother of Europe, so that all the peoples of Europe may be united in diversity”. The programme begins on Friday, 9 November, with a conference entitled “European Identity” which will be attended by Metropolitan Porfirije from the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church; by Orthodox Bishop Jovan Culibrik; the EU representative in Belgrade, Sem Fabrizi; Serbia’s chief negotiator with the EU, Tanja Miscevic; and by other bishops from the Balkans. The conference intends to reflect on the “philosophy of war” to achieve peace. Three panels are on the agenda: “Freedom is responsibility”; “Thesis, antithesis, and synthesis”; and “The East for the West, the West for the East – the Balkans have always been Europe for Europe”.

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