“Since its founding in 1198, the Hilandar Monastery has been a unique centre of Serbian spirituality, culture, education and tradition.” This or a similar formulation was heard in the Assembly 90 times in one day. The Serbian state has been financially supporting the Hilandar Monastery for literally centuries, but it is now the Government has decided to bring that help into law. It was an opportunity for the MPs to express themselves as great believers, but also to criticise the imaginary enemies of this law.
“With this Law, we are obliged to keep the holy lineage of Saint Simeon the Myrrh-flowing, which itself sprouted from the Hilandar stone at the place where our Holy Father Simeon rested. Never planted, never watered, and for more than 800 years it has borne miraculous fruits.”
“With this Law, we officially repaid Hilandar for the mission it had carried out for our people during the eight centuries of its existence, for the mission it still conducts today, and that is the preservation of our spirituality.”
“This is the first convocation in which we do not have a single ungodly person. So, do you notice that the Holy Mother of God arranged for us to put this law on the agenda on the day [we celebrate the nativity] of the Blessed Virgin Marry and to vote for this law in the convocation in which there is not a single atheist.”
“I'm just afraid that as soon as this Law is passed, we will again be attacked because we spent the money of the citizens of the Republic of Serbia on some monasteries, some monks, some priests and the attacks will again come from those who attacked us because of the monument to Stefan Nemanja.”
“Maybe someone will criticise this, as well, because we have individuals who absolutely criticise everything in Serbia. They also criticised the erection of the monument to Stefan Nemanja, but also everything that is currently being built in Serbia, and they even criticised road networking, i.e. the construction of roads and railways.”
At the end of the debate, Minister without Portfolio Nenad Popović expressed his satisfaction, because, as he says, he had the opportunity to be in the delegation when President Aleksandar Vučić visited Hilandar on Christmas this year and “made a historic decision” on this Law.
“This means that the Hilandar Monastery will receive funds from the budget every year, which will be used for the life and renovation of this shrine of the Serbian people. When that Law will be passed, it is up to the state to decide and no one will be able to change this policy.”
Dear Minister, the very institution in which you made this statement can change the law, imagine this. The Assembly has the say, and the Minister only proposes.
For the Open Parliament, Mirjana Nikolić.