News has been updated
The Eparchy of Raska-Prizren reacted today regarding yesterday’s broadcast of TV Most from Zvecan, which stated that “Bishop Teodosije, known as a frequent critic of representatives of the state of Serbia and Serbs who do not share his opinion, secretly met with the Kosovo Interior Minister.” The Eparchy assessed the broadcast as „obviously politically ordered news“.
The Eparchy stated that the controversial meeting was not a „secret meeting“, but a conversation with the Minister of Interior from Pristina held in the presence of the OSCE mission on March 1st on the occasion of recent deportation threats of certain members of the clergy of the Raska-Prizren Eparchy.
„Since Serbian representatives, who still continue to participate in the work of the institutions in Pristina, have not yet shown minimum concern over these threats, about which the public has already been informed, Bishop Teodosije had requested a direct meeting with the Pristina minister facilitated by the OSCE mission in order to protect his monks and the clergy,“ the Eparchy wrote in a statement.
They further claimed that the goal of the meeting was to „enable the normal issuing of residence permits for those members of the Raska-Prizren Eparchy who do not have Kosovo documents and for them to be spared the intimidation of deportation by members of the Kosovo MIA“.
Guarantees were given at the meeting that such events will not be repeated in the future.
The Eparchy recalled that at the beginning of the year, monk Anthony (Mihailo Surlan) from the Zociste monastery, instead of receiving a routine extension of his residence permit, was told at the MIA office in Pristina that he would soon be deported from Kosovo because he had a Serbian Coordination Directorate passport.
TV Most used for cheap political confrontations
According to the Eparchy, Bishop Teodosije is a „political target,“ while the eparchy itself has been „slandered in the media for months“ because of its “loud opposition to the politics of partition and recognition of Kosovo, and because it is confirming the clear position of all Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church expressed in the SPC Parliamentary Assembly, both in May and November last year.”
“The tabloid news of TV Most,” the Eparchy further wrote, which was published „without any verification by representatives of the Eparchy,“ was used for „cheap political confrontations, creating a division among the people and undermining the reputation of the SPC“.
They conclude that „in this way, they showed a sad and worrying absence of elementary journalistic ethics and professionalism.“
TV Most broadcast yesterday that „the Bishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church secretly received the Minister of the Interior of Kosovo, Ekrem Mustafa a few days ago in Gracanica,“ naming him „the commander of Albanian special forces“ and that the meeting was „held secretly and the topic of the discussion and the occasion of this meeting, when Bishop Teodosije welcomed the Pristina official and his entourage, were not published.“
KoSSev tried to contact the editor-in-chief of TV Most, Ljiljana Jankovic, several times but was unable to get in touch with her prior to this news been published.
TV Most reacted to the allegations of the Eparchy of Raska-Prizren, stating that their broadcast from yesterday was done „in the public interest and without any hidden motives“. They did not explain why they did not contact the Eparchy about the details of the meeting. TV Most, however, expressed hope that the Eparchy will „promptly inform the public about its activities in the difficult days ahead of us“.
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