extracted 'confessions' implicating the bishop in antistate activities. They had allegedly discussed the return of the monarchy and even the possibility of assassinating President Tito. On the testimony of the priests Bishop Arsenije received a sentence of eleven and a half years, even though he was already over seventy. He had certainly opposed the priests' associations and Patriarch Vikentije's attempts to reach an accommodation with the regime, but the sentence was out of proportion to any possible offence. On appeal, the sentence was reduced to five and a half years, but Arsenije was released, a sick man, in August 1956, while still being barred from any public duty. He retired from his bishopric, and after the official expiry of his sentence in 1960 he accepted the titular see of Budim.
Patriarch Vikentije died in 1958, having achieved more than a little success in keeping the church alive in difficult circumstances. Most notably, he had managed to keep open a seminary in Belgrade for the training of future priests. President Tito sent a wreath to his funeral, which was attended by government representatives, as well as many delegations from foreign churches. His successor was Patriarch German, elected by a substantial majority. He outlived Tito by many years, remaining in office until his death, aged ninety-two, in 1991, just when Yugoslavia was on the verge of disintegration. His achievement was to steer his church into better times and ensure that it became the most unrestricted of all the Orthodox Churches existing under communist regimes. In this he was, of course, aided by the expulsion of Yugoslavia from the Soviet bloc and by its subsequent inclusion in the 'Third World' group of nations.
German had been a married parish priest in the inter-war years, having studied law at the Sorbonne. He was transferred to the office of the synod in 1938 (aged thirty-nine). His wife died in 1951, so he took monastic vows and was soon consecrated bishop, spending a short period in the United States from 1956. He was a tireless traveller and knew personally church leaders all over the world.
On his election as patriarch, German did not renounce any of his predecessor's policies, dealing firmly with the priests' associations, rather than abolishing them. He had a great impact in ecumenical circles, but faced many problems at home, not all arising from the communist dictatorship. By far the most serious of these was the secession of the Macedonians, who formed their own independent church in 1967. Macedonia has, since time immemorial, been a territory disputed between Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece, but had never been an independent territory (that is, until the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990s). The Bulgarians occupied it during the Second World War, but the Soviets decreed that it should become a constituent state of Yugoslavia.
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