Synkelos Damaskin Davidovich

Metropolitan Paul Nenadovich of Karlovtsy (1699—1768)

pages: 73-87


This great Serbian Orthodox Metropolitan, politician and diplomat, was the leader of the Serbian people living under the Austrian Empress Maria Theresia, who promoted Roman-Catholic Uniate politics towards all Orthodox faithful in the then Austria. (Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia were at the same time under the Serbian Patriarch of Pech i. e. occupied by the Turks).

It was in 1749 that Bishop Pavle (Paul) Nenadovich was elected as Metropolitan of Karlovtsy (Syrmium). Being well aware of the significance of education he made efforts towards the establisment of schools. Next to it, he founded some important Church-national foundations in the Karlovtsy Metropolia. As a great patriot Nenadovich used to send many capable young people to Viena, Budapest and other European cities to study philosophy, medicine, law, arts, etc.

Although he preached regularly in Church services, he sent circular epistles to be read in congregations. In his epistle of 13th May, 1754, he underlines the importance of establishing Sunday schools so that the faithful might get acquainted with the basic teachings of faith, prayers, national history etc.

Due to the fact that Metropolitan Nenadovich was a giant personality on the historical scene and a staunch defender of the Orthodox Serbians everywhere in Austria and Hungary as well as of the Romanians in Voyvodina — Banat, the Roman — Catholic Austria launched a Uniate propaganda and proselytism stronger than ever before. In order to force the Orthodox into the Unia, they also employed physical measures, so that the clergy and faithful were imprisoned, beaten, plagued and murdered. At that time the ill-fated Zhumberak region n. Zagreb and the Monastery of Marcha (the then Diocese of Bretania or of Marcha) had to accept Uniatism. In order to escape that, some 100.000 Serbians migrated between 1751 and 1753 to Russia, where they were cordially received. However, Nenadovich succeeded to win over the Orthodox Romanians in order to save them from ^jeopardizing woolf’s jaws« — from the Union with Rome. For that reason Nenadovich signed as Metropolitan of the Serbian and Romanian peoples«.

One of his enormous deeds is the erection of the today’s Cathedral of St. Nicholas at Sremsky Karlovtsy between 1758 and 1762. Metropolitan Pavle Nenadovich died in 1768 and was buried in its crypt.





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