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Very Reverend Protovicar
Father Nemanja S. Mrdjenovich
Moderator of the “St Philaret of Moscow” lecture held in memoriam Nebojsha M. Krstich in St. Lazarus Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria, Sydney (see here).
01 December 2013
“Your Grace, Very Reverend and Reverend fathers, dear brothers and sisters, thank you all for coming tonight.
My name is Nemanja Mrdjenovic, as many of you know, I am a priest of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and I have been a member of Center for Research of Orthodox Monarchism since 2004, currently serving as its Director, and I’ll be your host tonight.
We have just served a memorial service for late Nebojsha M. Krstich, the founder of the Centre. Before I hand over to Fr. Michael, please allow me to say a few words about Nebojsha and about the work of the Centre.
Nebojsha M. Krstich was born in Nish in 1964. Professionally he was a sociologist and a theologian; he was an apostle of the reborn Serbian orthodox patriotism and he died as a martyr in an assassination which was never fully investigated but had a clear overtone of certain Yugoslavian secret services. The assassination happened in 2001, on the feast of the Entrance of the Holy Theotokos into the Temple, so these days we are commemorating the twelfth anniversary of this sad event that influenced the entire Serbian society.
Nebojsha had a unique charisma that transformed everyone and everything around him. For his theological works he received a Saint Sava award from His Holines Patriarch Pavle. His missionary work through the school attached to the Saint Alexander Nevski Church in Belgrade brought about the most organised and most influential sociological, theological and political patriotic force in modern Serbian History.
In 2001, he and Nenad M. Jovanovich founded the Centre for Research of Orthodox Monarchism. His early martyrdom shook the foundations of the whole Serbian patriotic scene. His friends who followed him and looked up to him went their different ways. The political organisation he had just started organising fell apart. The Centre also suffered and needed a whole year to reorganize and start functioning properly.
Thank God we had Rev. Deacon Nenad M. Jovanovich who was a chairman of the only functioning study board at the time, the Board for heraldic and genealogical studies. Deacon Nenad was the first director after Nebojsha and he did an amazing job at reorganising the whole organisation into a well functioning international association. His successor as the director was Rev. Father Boshko Marinkov whom I succeeded last year.
Centre operates under the high patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Alexander Karageorgevich, son of HRH Prince-regent Paul Karageorgevich; and spiritual patronage of His Grace Bishop Irinej of Australia and New Zealand.
The work of the Centre is divided among five different boards. I’ve already mentioned the board for heraldic and genealogical studies, then there are Boards for Culture, History, Political theory and Theology.
Our Board for heraldic and genealogical studies is one of the biggest authorities in the world for Orthodox ecclesiastic heraldry and many of its members are globally known and recognized experts. The Chairman of the board is Rev. Deacon Nenad M. Jovanovich, and one of its members is also professor Ljubodrag Grujich an official Officer of arms of the Karageorgevich Royal family and one of the authors of the modern Coat of arms of the Republic of Serbia.
Rev. Fr. Bosko Marinkov, one of the best modern Serbian poets, chairs the Board for culture. This board has published three books of poetry inspired by orthodoxy and patriotism. In a few weeks, together with the esteemed Serbian publishing house “Ukronija” we will publish the first Serbian translation of “Народная монархия” (People’s Monarchy) by Ivan Solonyevich. Among other members of the board we have young poets, well known iconographers, painters, journalists etc. As with the Board for heraldic studies, the list of names is long and almost all traditionally Orthodox lands are represented.
Our board for political theory is chaired by a young Belgrade lawyer Mr Stefan Stojkov, whom many of you know as one of the founders of the “Nomokanon” lawyers society. Mr Boris Stojkovski, a PHD candidate and one of the youngest lecturers of the Novi Sad University, chairs our Board for history. And this lecture tonight is the result of the work of our newly established Board for Theological studies.
After ten years of very active work, participation in many international conferences, exhibitions, lectures, etc. there is simply not enough time for me now to go through our results in detail. But I sincerely invite you to check out our website. You will find tones of interesting material. Have a look, and if you find it interesting, by all means feel free to join in.
However, I should mention one more thing. As I said Nebojsha is not among us any more but his spirit is still the driving force not only in the Centre, but in the deeds of all Serbian orthodox monarchist. As we can see, his deeds were so great that he is even able to gather us together here in Sydney, Australia, twelve years after his death. That is why our Executive board, with the consent of Nebojsha’s family, decided to establish an annual memorial plaquette “Nebojsha M. Krstich” which will be awarded to those who show the best example of the ethos of Orthodox monarchism. This memorial plaquette will be awarded annually on the 04th December, starting from 2014.
When Nebojsha talked about orthodox monarchism or patriotism he would often quote three great figures of the Orthodox Church of the XIX and XX century: Saint Philaret of Moscow, St. Bishop Nikolai of Zhicha and Bishop Danilo (Krstich). When we decided to commemorate his martyrdom in Australia, we thought it would be best to go back to the fundamentals and to start from the beginning, from St. Philaret of Moscow whose feast day is tomorrow, 02nd December.
And who would be a better presenter of this subject than the Very Rev. Mitred Archpriest Dr Michael Protopopov.
Father Michael is the Chancelor of the Australian and New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and one of the most educated Orthodox priests in Australia. He lectured at universities in Melbourne over the last few decades. He is a member of the Order of Australia, Russian Imperial Order of Saint Ana, Order of the Eagle of Georgia, Order of Saint Sava of the Serbian Orthodox Church and a recipient of many other prestigious awards. Father Michael is well versed in Orthodox monarchism, and it is also interesting to note that, as a descendant of a noble Russian family, he was born in Belgrade in 1944.
So without further ado, I now invite Fr Michael to address you.”
After Father Michael has finished the lecture (see here):
Thank you Father for this outstanding, very enlightening and edifying lecture. Dear brothers and sisters please put your hands together once again for Fr. Michael.
The floor is now open for questions.
I would like to thank Fr. Michael once again for this amazing lecture and of course for the relics of Saint Philaret. Please allow me also to thank everyone who helped and made this event possible. Firstly to His Grace Bishop Irinej who gave his hierarchical blessings but also participated in planning and executing preparations for the event.
Also, a big thank you to all my coworkers from the Centre, especially to Rev. Deacon Nenad Jovanovich and to Mr Srechko Nikitovich, one of our incredible young designers and an esteemed heraldist.
As well, to Fr. Miodrag Perich and the Saint Lazarus parish, especially to the parish choir and to the Very Rev. Archdeacon Siluan, Protodeacon Petar Mrakich and the choirmaster Mrs Dragana Milanovich.
A big thank you Mrs Ratka who provided the catering for tonight and to all of our Serbian and Russian media in Sydney and Australia who advertised this event. MIS TV, Serbian radio program of Beo radio, SBS serbian radio, Serbian Voice newspapers, the official websites of the Serbian and Russian Churches in Australia and of course to our photographer Mr Radivoj Mackovich who is always with us. Once again, thank you all for coming tonight, and I hope we will soon meet again in even greater numbers.