bosnia report
New Series No: 39-40 April - July 2004
Our aim is Holy Serbia and above that a Heavenly Serbia
by Bishop Atanasije

Bishop Atanasije speaking in Valjevo, Serbia, on the 25th anniversary of the death of Father Justin, a Serb monk much revered these days by the Orthodox bishops.


'No one talks about the Jews, the Germans, the Americans being nationalist; they call it something different - American strategic interest. The Americans are worse than the Fascists and Nazis- just try to intrude on American interests, on where they have come to impose their interests, to impose chauvinism. In their eyes we are all an inferior civilization because we’re not like them. These are demonic pretensions, so never fear, let all that Belgrade Euro-muck be, they can fit into a minibus - two Natashas, two Sonjas, two - what's he's called? - Mirko Đorđević’s - they unfortunately gained influence with the former DOS government, which used to collect all kind of scum; deviants who demonstrated in favour of their perversions in the middle of Belgrade...' [applause].

'They wish to denationalize us and make us Europeans. Thank you, no, we do not wish their entry ticket to their Europe, as Dostoyevsky used to say, as Father Justin used to say. That sliver of Europe, they call that Europe. When Carl Bildt, then supremo of Bosnia, came to visit me at Tvrdos, I did not sit down. I said welcome, do you know where you have come to? You have come to the Balkans, a Holy Land. We have Apostle Paul's cave, we have a church from 280 A.D. with foundations from a monastery of Emperor Constantine, we have graves from the fifth century, we are an old nation. Did you know that not only our churches and our monasteries, but even our Herzegovina sheep byres, are older than all your palaces and the American Congress...'

'When Father Justin died [he] was like an angel, white, luminous, he was already in heaven. I felt he was a man of God, sent by God. His room remains fragrant to this day, although the sisters have been washing and airing it. He had a fine sweat. There are people with a bad smell, unfortunately the poor Muslims, because they eat suet. Let me tell you what happened in the village of Brdica, where a good man, a hospitable man, used to invite travellers to his home. One morning he invited two, the wife - all clean - offered food, but then she became distressed, saying: "Very sorry about the stink, I did the cleaning, sorry about the stink", and repeated that several times. After they had left the husband told her: "Don't be silly, it was they who stunk because they were Muslims", which the poor woman had not known. A Muslim once said in Bosnia: "You [Serbs] are lucky, because you need to wash only once." Father Justin was a saint, he had that wonderful, fine smell which you can still feel when you enter his room. '

Translated from Vreme (Belgrade), 15 April 2004


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