Serbian Archbishops and Patriarchs
1. Sava I (Saint Sava), 1219-1233 (+1236)
2. Arsenije I Sremac (Arsenius I of Srem), 1233-1263 (+1266)
3. Sava II, 1263-1271
4. Danilo I (Daniel I), 1271-1272
5. Joanikije I (Joannicius I), 1272-1276 (+1279)
6. Jevstatije I (Eustatius I), 1279-1286
7. Jakov (Jakob), 1286-1292
8. Jevstatije II (Eustatius II), 1292-1309
9. Sava III, 1309-1316
10. Nikodim (Nikodemus), 1317-1324
11. Danilo II (Daniel II), 1324-1337
1. -12. Joanikije II (Joannicius II), 1338-1364-1354
2. -13. Sava IV, 1354-1357
3. -14. Jefrem (Ephraem), 1375-1380 and 1389-1390
4. -15. Spiridon (Spirydon), 1380-1389
5. -16. Danilo III (Daniel III), 1391-1396
6. -17. Sava V, 1396-1409
7. -18. Kirilo (Cyril), 1409-1418
8. -19. Nikon, 1418 to sometime after 1435
9. -20. Nikodim II (Nikodemus II), 1445-1455
10. -21. Arsenije II (Arsenius II), 1457-1463
11. -22. Jovan (John), archbishop..1508..
12. -23. Marko (Mark), metropolitan..1524..
13. -24. Pavle (Paul), metropolitan of Smederevo, 1527-1535
14. -25. Makarije (Macarius), 1557-1571 (+1574)
15. -26. Antonije (Anthony), 1571-1575
16. -27. Gerasim (Gerasimus), 1575-1586
17. -28. Savatije (Sabbatios), 1587
18. -29. Jerotej (Hieroteos), 1589-1590
19. -30. Filip (Philip), 1591-1592
20. -31. Jovan (John), 1592-1613
21. -32. Pajsije (Paisius), 1614-1648
22. -33. Gavrilo (Gabriel), 1648-1655 (+1659)
23. -34. Maksim (Maxim), 1655-1674 (+1680)
24. -35. Arsenije III (Arsenius III), 1674-1690 (+1706)
25. -36. Kalinik I, 1691-1710
26. -37. Atanasije I (Athanasius I), 1711-1712
27. -38. Mojsije (Moses), 1712-1726
28. -39. Arsenije IV (Arsenius IV), 1726-1737 (+1748)
29. -40. Joanikije III (Joannicius III), 1739-1746
30. -41. Atanasije II (Athanasius II), 1746-1752
31. -42. Gavrilo II (Gabriel II), 1752
32. -43. Gavrilo II (Gabriel III), 1755
33. -44. Vikentije Stefanovic (Vicentius Stefanovich)
34. -45. Pajsije II (Paisius II)
35. -46. Gavrilo IV (Gabriel IV)
36. -47. Kirilo (Cyril), 1758-1763
37. -48. Vasilije (Basil), 1763-1765 (+1772)
38. -49. Kalinik II, 1765-1766
39. -50. Dimitrije (Dimitrius), 1920-1930
40. -51. Varnava (Barnabas), 1930-1937
41. -52. Gavrilo (Gabriel), 1938-1950
42. -53. Vikentije (Vicentius), 1950-1958
43. -54. German (Herman), 1958-1990
44. -55. Pavle (Paul), 1990-2009
Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church
Second Edition by the Holy Synod of Bishops
Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church was published for the first time in “Glasnik”, Official Gazette of the Serbian Orthodox Church, No 7-8, the First of August (the Seventeenth of July) 1947.
Synod No. 1899/ Minutes No. 520 12-VI/30-V-1947
Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church
Whence certain regulations and provisions of the Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church ofthe Sixteenth of November, 1931 were declared null and void due to the changes in relations of the Serbian Church towards the state, and having in mind both severe consequences of the war and arising circumstances in life and work of the Church, the Holy Assemblyof Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church has made amendments to this Constitution which shall be implemented immediately due to the urgency on the day of publication in “Glasnik”, the Official Gazette of the Serbian Patriarchate. The Board of Directors of the Patriarchate shall present the aforementioned amendments aptly to the Council of the Patriarchate.
Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church
I Basic provisions
Serbian Orthodox Church is one and inseparable autocephalous church. It shall confess its religious teaching publicly; it shall conduct worship services publicly; it shall govern and administer ecclesiastical affairs autonomously.
Serbian Orthodox Church shall maintain dogmatic and canonical unity with other Orthodox Churches.
Serbian Orthodox Church shall have the dignity of Patriarchate.
Serbian Orthodox Church shall have its coat of arms as follows:
A shield is centered upon a porphyry-colored Patriarchal Mantle which is adorned by a double-bar Patriarchal Cross on the right and an Episcopal Scepter on the left.
The shield, which consists of a blue upper half and a white lower half, is adorned on the top by a Gold Episcopal Crown. The right side of the blue upper half of the shield contains a white portrayal of the Tower of Saint Sava in Chilandar. The left side of the blue upper half of the shield contains a white portrayal of the MonasteryChurch at the Patriarchate of Pech. The white lower half of the shield contains a Gold Cross of four equal sides with a Gold Tinder Stone in each corner of the Cross.
The official language of the Serbian Orthodox Church shall be Serbian written in Cyrillic. In exceptional and justified occasions this provision may be disregarded in terms of internal usage, and such special decision shall be made by the Holy Synod of bishop in accordance with this provision.
The Flag of the Serbian Orthodox Church is tricolored: red-blue-white, surmounted with a gold cross and tinder stones.
Legal entities of the Serbian Orthodox Church shall be: the Patriarchate, Dioceses, church congregations, monasteries, endowments, independent institutions or such funds, and some places of worship intended for the church purposes.
These legal entities shall acquire and hold both movable and immovable property in accordance with the law, and shall exercise pertaining rights and responsibilities.
The Serbian Orthodox Church shall govern and freely dispose of church property, church funds and endowments (trusts), within the scope of this Constitution and State regulations.
Church authorities shall decide independently upon acceptance of endowments intended for the ecclesiastical undertakings.
Serbian Orthodox Church shall perform an independent control of its revenues and expenditures.
The property of the Serbian Orthodox Church shall be used only for the goals of the Church, shall not be deprived nor used for any other goals, apart from the expropriation prescribed by law.
The Serbian Orthodox Church shall be governed upon:
- Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Orthodox Church;
- The rules of the Ecumenical Councils and thereof accepted the Apostolic Rules,Local Councils and the Holy Fathers;
- The Regulations of the Regional Councils and of the Synods of the Patriarchates, provided they were adopted by the Serbian Orthodox Church;
- The provisions of this Constitution;
- Regulations, book of regulations and general decisions of church authorities.
The organization of the Serbian Orthodox Church is church-hierarchical and church-administrative.
Church-spiritual, church-disciplinary and church-juridical authority, according to the canons and structure of the Serbian Orthodox Church, belong exclusively to thehierarchy. Thehierarchyexercises that authority through church-hierarchical representatives and bodies.
Matters pertaining to the organization and administration of real and personal property, endowments (trusts), funds and other affairs foreseen by this Constitution are under the supervision of the Episcopal authority, clergy and faithful of the respective church-administrative representatives and bodies.
Property and legal affairs of the Church are represented by the church bodies prescribed by this Constitution before the governmental authorities and other persons.
Ecclesiastical cannon law transgressions and penances shall be ones prescribed by this Constitution within the spirit of the cannons of the Orthodox Church.
Within the organization of the Serbian Orthodox Church are the following church-hierarchical and governing authorities and bodies:
- The Patriarch, the Holy Assembly of Bishops and the Holy Assembly of Synods, the Grand Ecclesiastical Court, the Patriarchal Council, the Patriarchal Board of Directors;
- Diocesan Bishop, Diocesan Ecclesiastical Court, Diocesan Council, Diocesan Board of Directors;
- Episcopal Dean;
- Parish priest;
- The Council of Church Congregation and the Board of Directors of Church Congregation and
- Superiors and Brotherhood of monasteries.
The following ecclesiastical authorities and bodies of the Serbian Orthodox Church shall have their seals with the official Coat-of-Arms in the center and the corresponding inscription circumscribed:
- Archbishop of Pech, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovac, and Serbian Patriarch
- The Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church;
- The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church;
- The Grand Ecclesiastical Court of the Serbian Orthodox Church;
- The Patriarchal Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church;
- The Board of Directors of the Patriarchate of the Serbian Orthodox Church;
- Orthodox Bishop (Metropolitan) of the Diocese (place and name of the Diocese);
- Ecclesiastical Court of the Orthodox Diocese (place and name of the Diocese);
- Diocesan Council of the Orthodox Diocese (place and name of the Diocese);
- Diocesan Board of Directors of the Orthodox Diocese (place and name of the Diocese);
- Orthodox Episcopal Deanery (place and name of the Diocese);
- Serbian Orthodox Parish (place and name of the Diocese);
- Serbian Orthodox Church Community (place of the Diocese);
- Serbian Orthodox Monastery (place of the Diocese).
In case of necessity the items under numbers 12, 13 and 14 of this Article may be altered. This shall be decided by the Holy Synod of Bishops in accordance with the proposal of relevant Episcope.
Dioceses, monasteries and other institutions which have their historical seals may keep them and continue to use them.
The Serbian Orthodox Church is Episcopal with its main administrative division on dioceses in both church-hierarchical and church-administrative aspect.
The Serbian Patriarch shall be the Supreme Head of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
The title of the Patriarch shall be: The Archbishop of Pech, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovac and Serbian Patriarch.
The head of each diocese shall be a Bishop of the respective diocese, as its immediate Head. Pursuant to the church-cannon regulations, he shall be the main representative and administrator of everything that is church-spiritual, life and church order in a diocese, and shall govern the diocese with help of his clergy and faithful.
The Dioceses of the Serbian Orthodox Church shall be:
- Archdiocese of Belgrade and Karlovac, with its See in Belgrade;
- The Diocese of Banat, with its See in Banat;
- The Diocese of Banja Luka, with its See in Banja Luka;
- The Diocese of Backa, with its See in Novi Sad;
- The Diocese of Branicevo, with its See in Pozarevac;
- The Diocese of Budimlje and Polimlje, with its See in BijeloPolje;
- The Diocese of GornjiKarlovci, with its See in Plasko, i.e. Karlovac;
- The Diocese of Dabro-Bosnia, with its See in Sarajevo;
- The Diocese of Dalmatia, with its See in Sibenik, i.e. Split;
- The Diocese of Zagreb, with its See in Zagreb;
- The Diocese of Zahumlje-Hercegovina, with its See in Mostar;
- The Diocese of Zvornik-Tuzla, with its See in Tuzla;
- The Diocese of Zletovo-Struma, with its See in Stip;
- The Diocese of Zica, with its See in Kraljevo (Zica);
- The Diocese of Nis, with its See in Nis;
- The Diocese of Ohrid and Bitola, with its See in Bitolj;
- The Diocese of Pakrac, with its See in Pakrac;
- The Diocese of Raska-Prizren, with its See in Prizren;
- The Diocese of Skopje, with is See in Skopje;
- The Diocese of Srem, with its See in SremskiKarlovci;
- The Diocese of Timok, with its See in Zajecar;
- The Diocese of Montenegro and the Littoral, with its See in Cetinje;
- The Diocese of Sabac-Valjevo, with its See in Sabac;
- The Diocese of Sumadija, with its See in Kragujevac.
The title of the Metropolitan shall have the Bishops of the following Dioceses: Montenegro and the Littoral, Skopje, Dabro-Bosnia and Zagreb.
Apart from the Dioceses mentioned in the previous Article, the following Dioceses abroad shall as well fall under the jurisdiction of the Serbian Orthodox Church within the spiritual and hierarchical scope:
- The Serbian Orthodox Church in the United States of America and in Canada, with its See in Chicago, i.e. in the monastery of St. Sava near Libertyville;
- The Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Budimlje;
- Parts of the Diocese of Vrsac and Temisvar out of the borders of Yugoslavia, with its See in Temisvar;
- The Orthodox Diocese of Czech and Moravia in Czechoslovakia;
- Serbian Orthodox Vicariate of Skadar, with its See in Skadar;
- And Serbian Orthodox Churches, church congregations and parishes outside the borders of Yugoslavia (churches in diaspora).
The holy Assembly of Bishops shall address the matters of organizational, material and of any other kind that arise from the present relationship between the Diocese of Budimlje (item 2) and parts of the Diocese of Temisvar and Vrsac outside the borders of Yugoslavia, as constituent parts of former Metropolitanate of Karlovac, if necessary and jointly with the hearing of the Board of Directors of the Patriarchate, and in accordance with the agreement with other factors of jurisdiction.
Decisions on the establishment, naming, abolishment, arondation, and the See of the Dioceses, and establishment and abolition of the positions of Auxiliary Bishops (Vicar Bishops) shall be made by the Holy Assembly of Bishops, upon the agreement with the Patriarchal Council.
The Diocese shall be comprised of the Episcopal deaneries, church congregations, parishes and monasteries in terms of church administration.
Episcopal Deanery shall be comprised of the certain number of church congregations and parishes under the supervision of Episcopal Dean.
Decisions on the establishment, naming, abolishment and changes of Episcopal Deaneries shall be made by Diocesan Episcope upon the agreement with Diocesan Ecclesiastical Court and Diocesan Board of Directors, and that shall be reported by the Holy Synod of Bishops and Board of Directors of the Patriarchate.
Church congregation shall be comprised of the members of the Serbian Orthodox Church with a priest, within one specified territory that may include one or more places, in order to see the need of the church. Decision upon founding of church congregation shall be made by the Episcope in accordance with the agreement made with the Ecclesiastical Court and Board of Directors of Diocese, and that shall be reported by the Holy Synod of Bishops and Board of Directors of the Patriarchate.
Church congregation shall be comprised of one or more parishes.
Parishes of one place shall comprise one church congregation. Exceptionally, more than one congregation may be comprised provided that there are more than 50 000 Orthodox people.
Parish is a community of Orthodox people that are under spiritual guidance of one parish priest.
There may be more than one parish in one place, and several places may comprise one parish and one church congregation.
A parish shall be comprised of not less than 300 and no more than 500 Orthodox homes. Exceptions may be made in those places where terrain and other circumstances exclude such formation of a parish.
A home is each individual Orthodox family: spouses with their children or without them, or any joint family with one Elder, as well as a single individual of age who runs separate household.
Diocesan Bishop in accordance with the agreement made with Diocesan Ecclesiastical Court and Diocesan Board of Directors shall make decisions on establishment of new parishes as well as on abolishment and regulation of old parishes. This shall be reported to the Holy Synod of Bishops and Board of Directors of the Patriarchate.
Every Orthodox Christian shall be the member of a parish within his/her permanent residence.
A parish shall have its parish church. More the one parish may have common church. If there is more than one church in one parish, only one of them shall be parish church and others shall be local churches.
Exceptionally and occasionally, and pursuant to decision of Diocesan Bishop, parishes that do not have their churches may use monastery church for the purpose of parish church. In such case church congregation of respective parish is due to provide the temple with all necessities, if it serves as a parish church. In such congregations the Elder of a monastery shall be appointed a member of Board of Directors of Church Congregation due to his position.
Parish shall have its jurisdiction over its specific church registry books, church protocols and other prescribed books and its seal.
Provided there is more than one parish per one church, there shall be only one parish office with single church registry books and official books and one seal.
Monastery is a holy place, with place of worship and other buildings, as a community of persons of monastic order, joined in one spiritual brotherhood by solemn vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, dedicated to the prayer and work.
Monasteries shall serve to specific spiritual and charity purposes.
Establishment of new monasteries, as well as joining of the existing ones, shall be performed by the Diocesan Bishop and the Holy Synod of Bishops shall give its final consent and report on it.
It is necessary to insure financial resources for survival and proper life of the community prior to establishment of any new monastery.
Monastic metochions are separate monastic properties, with or without belonging church. They are constituent parts of its monasteries and are under their governance.
All provisions of this Constitution referring to the monasteries shall be applied for both nunneries and friaries.
Buildings intended for the holy service, ecclesiastical offices, church-educational and charity services, institutes for the needs of church, Episcopal, monastic and parochial houses, Orthodox historic-cultural monuments (monasteries, church remnants), Orthodox cemeteries and courtyards of the aforementioned buildings shall be free of all public taxes.
The Holy Synod of Bishops shall publish the Official Gazette of the Serbian Orthodox Church. More detailed provisions on that shall be prescribed by the Holy Synod of Bishops, in accordance with the agreement made with the Board of Directors of the Patriarchate.
Appeals regarding the decisions and/or judgments of the church authorities are subject to a time limit of fourteen (14) days, counting from the day of receipt of the decision and/or judgment unless otherwise prescribed by this Constitution.
The appeal is considered to be timely if it is submitted by either return receipt or registered mail within the above prescribed time limit. Appeals are submitted through the same authority which issued the decision and/or judgment.
Members of monastic order may not possess any immovable property. After the death of a monastic member, his movable property shall belong to the monastery whose member he was, provided that he did not dispose of his goods during his lifetime.
Bishop may regard as his own only the property he acquired during his life, hold and dispose of it during his lifetime. Bishop may bequeath one third of such property at his discretion; the second third shall leave in his testament for the needs of the diocese; and the last third shall leave in his testament to the foundations or other individual funds for general necessities of the Church,
Bishop, who is not Diocesan Bishop, shall leave the second third in his testament to any diocese.
If a Bishop passes away without leaving his testament, his movable and immovable property shall be used to pay off the funeral costs and every debt he had, and the rest of it shall be divided by the Holy Synod of Bishops in accordance with the necessities of the Church.
When a bishop passes away Episcopal vestments, library and other ecclesiastical utensils shall belong to his Deanery.
Every member of the Patriarchal, Diocesan and Church Congregation Council, apart from the priests, as well as Secretaries and clerks of all church offices, as they assume their duties, shall take the following oath:
“I, (name and surname), pledge by my honor before Almighty God that I will be loyal to the Holy Orthodox Church, that I will conscientiously obey all Church Canons, the Constitution of the Church and other Church laws and regulations, that I will carry out correctly my duties, guard official information, and that I will always protect and defend the interests of the Serbian Orthodox Church. As I do this, so may God help me in this and the other world.” Members of the Ecclesiastical Courts (Episcopal deputies, church prosecutors, court secretaries, honorarymembers, as well as alternate members) shall take the following oath:
I, (name and surname), pledge by my honor before Almighty God that I will be loyal to the Holy Orthodox Church, that I will carry out my duties correctly and guard official information, and that in the dispensing of justice, regardless of the persons involved, I will hold to God’s law, the Holy Canons, the Constitution of the Church and other Church regulations. As I do this, so may God judge and help me.”
Everyone named shall take an oath before the president of respective office, or his deputy, and submit it in written form to him. The president or his deputy shall put a seal on it and file it.
The Church settles its needs with:
- The incomes of all kinds of church property, as well as of securities;
- Church taxes ;
- The assessment of liability for taxation to the congregations and monasteries;
- Charitable contribution and testaments, and
- Revenues from church institutes and institutions.
Tax prescribed by the church authorities shall be paid in both hierarchical and municipal domain for the official actions of church authorities.
II ORGANIZATION OF THE GOVERNMENT AND BODIES OF THE SERBIAN OTHODOX CHURCH
- The Patriarch
The Patriarch shall be elected from active Serbian Diocesan Bishops which govern their Dioceses for at least five years.
The election of the Patriarch between three candidates shall be made by the Patriarchal Election Assembly, proposed by the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, on the session with the attendance of at least two thirds of diocesan bishops, under the presidency of the eldest member of the Assembly, a Metropolitan, or if not any, the eldest Bishop, a member of the Holy Assembly of Bishops.
The names of three proposed candidates shall be given in written to the Patriarchal Election Assembly by the Holy Assembly of Bishops.
The Patriarchal Election Assembly shall be comprised of:
- Every active Diocesan and Vicar Bishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church;
- The Dean of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Belgrade;
- Rectors of the Faculties of Orthodox Theology;
- The President of the Main Federation of Diocesan Clerical Association;
- Episcopal regents of the following cities: Belgrade, Skopje, Cetinje, Zagreb, Sarajevo, Pech and SremskiKarlovci;
- Superiors of the monasteries: Zica, Sudenica, Decani, Patriarchate of Pech, St. Naum, Milesevo, St. VasilijeOstroski, Krusedol and Krka;
- Headmaster of monastic school and
- All members of the Board of Directors of the Patriarchate and all vice presidents of the Diocesan Council, provided that they are not members of the Board of Directors of the Patriarchate.
Clergy mentioned in this Article may be the members of the Patriarchal Election Assembly provided they are not under investigation or canonical restraint.
Patriarchal Election Assembly shall meet in the capital, Belgrade, or any other place prescribed by the Holy Assembly of Bishops, in order to elect new Patriarch, no later than three months from the day when the position of the Patriarch became vacant.
Patriarchal Election Assembly shall be convened by the Holy Synod of Bishops with the official written document, with specified day, hour and place of the meeting of the Patriarchal Election Assembly. The invitation shall be sent to the members together with delivery note twenty days before the meeting of the Patriarchal Election Assembly.
The Patriarchal Election Assembly shall be presided by the eldest member of the Assembly, a Metropolitan, or if not any, the eldest Bishop, according to its Episcopal seniority.
The Chairman shall open the Patriarchal Election Assembly. The Patriarchal Election Assembly shall elect upon the invitation of the Chairman two Secretaries, one of them being the priest and one of them being lay person; and two certifiers of the Minutes, one of them being the priest and one of them being lay person as well; all of them together with the Chairman shall inspect the proxies of all present members and govern the matters of the elections.
Thence, the Chairman shall call the Secretary to read the Resolution of the Holy Synod of Bishops on convocation of the Patriarchal Election Assembly, as well as the list of invited and present members of the Assembly.
When determined that no less than two thirds of members of the Holy Assembly of Bishops are present as well as the majority of members of the Patriarchal Election Assembly, the Patriarchal Election Assembly shall begin with the epiclesis of the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, the election shall be postponed and the case returned to the Holy Assembly of Bishop who shall determine the date of new elections.
Before proceeding to election, all members of the Patriarchal Election Assembly apart from the Bishop shall take before the Holy Assembly of Bishops the following oath:
“I, (name and surname),pledge by my honor before Almighty God and everything that is the most sacred and dearest to me in this world, that I shall bear in mind only the wellbeing and interests of our Holy Orthodox Church, Serbian people and fatherland during the consultations upon the election of the Serbian Patriarch, and that I shall give my vote to the candidate I believe that will carry off his duty of the Serbian Patriarchate most knowingly and in the best manner. As sincerely as I do this, so may God help me in this and the other world.”
Upon summoning the Holy Spirit and taking the oath, the Chairman of the Patriarchal Election Assembly shall read the act of the Holy Synod of Bishops and announce the names of three candidates listed in it, all three of them proposed by the Holy Assembly of Bishops for the election of new Patriarch.
Only the members prescribed by this Constitution shall attain and participate in the election of the Serbian Patriarch.
Members justifiably absent from the Assembly may authorize and specify the Bishop present to the Assembly to vote on their behalf.
Election of one of the three candidates proposed by the Holy Assembly of Bishops shall be performed by the secret ballot, with ballot papers previously distributed by the Secretary to the present members of the Patriarchal Election Assembly.
The Secretary shall call the listed members of the Assembly, each of them shall put his ballot paper in the box positioned on the table of the Chairman.
The counting of votes shall be performed by the Chairman and two certifiers of the Minutes (Article 46). The Chairman shall take one ballot paper at a time and read loudly the name of the candidate written on it, then pass it to the following two members who shall read it loudly as well. The Secretary shall write immediately in the Minutes the number of ballot papers submitted and number of votes obtained by each candidate, as well as the number of empty ballot papers, if any.
Votes not given to the candidates as prescribed by the Article 43 of this Constitution shall be considered null and void.
The candidate who obtained the absolute majority of votes shall be elected the Patriarch.
Provided that none of the proposed candidates obtain the majority of votes, two of the candidates with the largest number of votes shall be shortlisted. Provided that two candidates receive equal number of votes during the first round of voting, the shortlist shall be made of: the candidate with the largest number of votes, and one of the other two candidates with equal number of votes, who has higher rank or Episcopal chirotony.
Provided that both of the candidates obtain equal number of votesduring the short list, the election between these two candidates shall be performed by drawing of lots.
The name of the Patriarch elected shall be announced by the Presiding of the Patriarchal Election Assembly and he shall close the session of the Assembly.
Minutes of the Patriarchal Election Assembly shall be signed by the Chairman, Secretaries and minutes certifiers, elected in accordance with the Article 46 of this Constitution.
Acts and minutes of the work of the Patriarchal Election Assembly shall be kept in the archive of the Holy Synod of Bishops, and certified copy shall be kept in the archive of the Board of Directors of the Patriarchate.
The Patriarch shall be enthroned on the following day, during the Episcopal Divine Liturgy, in such manner prescribed by the Holy Assembly of Bishops.
Thereafter, the newly elected Patriarch shall assume his rights and duties of the Supreme Head and Elder of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
The Patriarch shall have the rights and duties of the Diocesan Bishop in his archdiocese, and shall govern the archdiocese with help of his Auxiliary Bishops (Vicar Bishops).
The Patriarch, as a Supreme Head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, apart from the rights vested in him by the cannon law, shall also:
- Represent the Serbian Orthodox Church before other autocephalous churches;
- Represent the Serbian Orthodox Church on ecclesiastical, governmental and folk festivities;
- Maintain the unity in the hierarchy of the Serbian Orthodox Church;
- Ordains personally or through endorsed Bishops and in accordance with the ecclesiastic rules those persons who were elected Diocesan Bishops or Auxiliary Bishops (Vicar Bishops).
- Consecrate myrrh for the entire Serbian Orthodox Church;
- Give the leave to the Diocesan Bishops outside their Dioceses;
- Wear, as special ecclesiastical decoration, white ‘panakamilavka’ with a cross on it and panagia with all Serbian saints, bestowed from the State to the first Serbian Patriarch of restored Serbian Patriarchate, which remain as a legacy of all Patriarchs;
- Has a primacy during the Holy Services, and shall be addressed as ‘Your Holiness’ (‘Svjatjejsi’ in Church-Slavonic);
- Be mentioned during the Episcopal liturgies by the Bishops of entire Serbian Orthodox Church;
- Gives ecclesiastical awards and honors, in accordance with the provision prescribed by the Holy Assembly of Bishops;
- Issues decrees to appoint officials in accordance with this Constitution;
- Govern churches and missions abroad, where no organized Serbian Orthodox Diocese exists.
- Holy Assembly of Bishops and Holy Synod of Bishops
- General and common provisions
The Holy Assembly of Bishops shall be comprised of every Diocesan Bishopand shall be under the presidency of the Patriarch.
The Holy Assembly of Bishops, as the highest hierarchical representative body, shall be ecclesiastical legislative power in terms of religion, holy services, ecclesiastical order (discipline) and internal order of the Church, as well as the supreme judicial authority within the scope of its jurisdiction (Article 69, Item 28).
The Holy Synod of Bishops shall be comprised of the Patriarch, the President, and four Diocesan Bishops, the members.
The members of the Holy Synod of Bishops shall elect the Holy Assembly of the Bishop for two years term, namely each year the two of them.
The Sessions of the Holy Synod of Bishops shall be convened within narrow composition of two members under the presidency of the Patriarch and within expanded composition with all members.
Members of the Holy Synod of Bishops are entitled to travel expenses and allowances when on duty.
The Holy Synod of Bishops shall be the highest executive (governing and administrative) and judicial authority within their scope (Article 70, Item 35)
The Holy Synod of Bishops shall decide under the presidency of the Patriarch upon regular and extraordinary convocation of the Holy Assembly of Bishops.
The Holy Synod of Bishops may make binding decisions, apart from the election of Bishops (Article 105), provided that the majority of all Diocesan Bishops is present.
The Holy Assembly of Bishops and the Holy Synod of Bishops shall make their decisions unanimously or by the majority of votes. The vote of the president shall decide upon equal number of votes.
If the Patriarch is prevented due to any reason to perform his presidential duty in the Assembly, or Synod, he shall be replaced under his approval by the eldest Metropolitan according to his Episcopal Seniority, a member of the Assembly, or Synod. If there is no such Metropolitan, the Patriarch shall be replaced by the eldest Bishopaccording to his Episcopal Seniority, a member of the Assembly, or the Synod.
If the Patriarch is unable to perform his duty for longer period of time or on more permanent basis, when the throne of the Patriarch becomes vacant, the authority of the Patriarch shall have the Holy Synod of Bishops; the Holy Synod of Bishop shall announce that to the Diocesan Bishops and government.
Presidential duties of the Patriarch in the Holy Assembly of Bishops and Holy Synod of Bishops shall perform then the eldest member of the Holy Synod of Bishopsaccording to his Episcopal Seniority, a Metropolitan, or the eldest Bishop according to his Episcopal seniority, provided that there is no Metropolitan.
In the aforementioned cases, ecclesiastical legislative acts, regulations and principal decisions shall not be passed as prescribed by rule.
Provided that the Holy Assembly of Bishops, or the Holy Synod of Bishop, due to an urgent and immediate need, exceptionally as in cases mentioned in Articles 61 and 62, has to pass some ecclesiastical legislative acts, regulation or principal decision for the Church, the Patriarch shall be informed about such doings afterwards and give his approval. In case of disagreement, the case shall be submitted for discussion and final decision to the Holy Assembly of the Bishop under the presidency of the Patriarch.
All decisions made by the Holy Assembly of Bishops and the Holy Synod of Bishop of canonical and ecclesiastical nature and related to the religion, holy services, ecclesiastical order and internal order of the Church shall be valid and executive.
All decisions made by the Holy Assembly of Bishops and the Holy Synod of Bishop shall be introduced in special minute (protocol). Such Minute shall be signed by all members present and participants.
The Holy Assembly of Bishops and the Holy Synod of Bishop shall perform their affairs immediately or through local deaneries and bodies.
The Cabinet of the Patriarchate shall perform tasks of the Holy Assembly of Bishops, the Holy Synod of Bishop and the Cabinet of the Patriarch, all under the immediate supervision of the Patriarchate.
The Holy Assembly of Bishops and the Holy Synod of Bishop may invite clergy and laypeople that are not the members of those bodies to attend their sessions in order to hear their expert opinion.
- The area of jurisdiction of the Holy Assembly of Bishops
The Holy Assembly of Bishop, whose duties were presented in the Article 57 of this Constitution, shall:
- Interpret Orthodox ecclesiastical teaching, having in mind provisions determined by the Holy Church in accordance with the Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition;
- Organize internal and external mission of the Church for the purpose of fortifying, protecting and disseminating of religion and chastity of Christian ethics; establish bodies necessary to perform that as well as the institutes, institutions and associations;
- Prescribe curriculum for Orthodox catechism and mind about religious and moral education of youth and faithful;
- Prescribe qualifications of candidates for all ordinary, extraordinary and missionary ecclesiastical services;
- Establish ecclesiastical and monastic schools;
- Define all matters of cult in accordance with general ecclesiastical provisions and in the spirit of Orthodox religion;
- Establish institutions and institutes for: manufacturing of ecclesiastical fresco painting, and all ecclesiastical items for publishing of liturgical books, cherishing of church chanting, as well as of other ecclesiastical needs; prescribe rules for establishment of ecclesiastical museums, preservation and restoration of ecclesiastical artifacts and monuments;
- Canonize saints and prescribe services for their celebration;
- Interpret cannon laws, general and special provisions and publish their almanac;
- Define duties and prescribe disciplinary provisions for clergy and other church-hierarchical bodies and officials;
- Prescribe vestments for both higher and lower clergy of both orders;
- Prescribe church-judicial proceedings for all Ecclesiastical courts;
- Prescribe provisions on church-matrimonial affairs;
- Passes regulations concerning life of monastic communities as well as life of regulations concerning Manor House;
- Prescribe directions for the service of confession;
- Establish institutions for orphans and neglected children of the priests, and well as other institutions for educational and charitable causes, according to the agreement with the Patriarchal Council;
- Strives to establish the relationship between the Church and State as well as mutual relations between religion and denomination in the State in good manner and with no harm to the Orthodox Church;
- Define and govern official list of candidates for the title of Bishop, and elects the worthy of them for Bishops or Auxiliary Bishops (Vicar Bishops);
- Elect rectors of Orthodox seminaries and headmasters of monastic schools;
- Elect among clergy and according to the agreement with the Patriarch the Main Secretary of the Holy Assembly of Bishops and Holy Synod of Bishops;
- Supervise the work of the Holy Synod of Bishops;
- Prescribe regulations for the Synod Fund (Article 259) and approve its annual estimate of the expenditures and revenues, as well as balance sheet;
- Make decisions on tithe on church congregations, monasteries and dioceses within its jurisdiction and in accordance with the agreement with Patriarchal Council in terms of Article 40 Item 3 and Article 263, and shall see every need of the Serbian Orthodox Church in agreement with the Patriarchal Council;
- Approves the regulations of association of the clergy of wedded clergy and monastic clergy, as well as of every other association that works in favor of the Orthodox Church, and supervise them over the Holy Synod of Bishops;
- Establish its Rules of Procedure, and approve rules of procedures and rules for church-hierarchical bodies, unless otherwise stipulated by this Constitution;
- Addresses conflicts of jurisdiction between hierarchical and church-administrative bodies;
- In the first and last instance:
- Disputes between Bishops and the Holy Synod of Bishops, and Bishops and the Patriarch;
- Cannon law offences of the Patriarch;
- In the second and last instance: all cases judged by the Holy Synod of Bishops in the first instance;
- Alleviate, in accordance with both the plea of the person sentenced and detailed proposal of the competent Diocesan Bishop, the sentences imposed by the Grand Ecclesiastical Court, prior to their execution, namely: lifetime prohibition of officiation, deprivation of ordination and deprivation of ordination with excommunication;
- Perform other affairs not mentioned in this Constitution but which come under their jurisdiction in accordance with this Constitution and cannon law regulations.
- Jurisdiction of the Holy Synod of Bishops
In addition to his rights and duties according to article 59 of this Constitution Holy Assembly of Bishop in his competence shall:
- maintain dogmatic and canonical unity and relations with the remaining Orthodox Churches;
- preserve, defend, maintains and promote the Orthodox faith, repelevery activity which is contrary to Orthodox teaching and harmful to the interests of the Serbian Orthodox Church;
- take care of spreading the orthodox faith and conduct the affairs of internal and external church mission;
- take care of maintaining relation and unity of Christian churches;
- Judge, approve and grant within his own competency books of theological literature, and other books of faith-moral context in general;
- Cherish the life and work of theological and monastic schools and institutes for preparing and education of candidates for all church services, select teachers and educational staff, and take care of their education, appoint and dismissthem from office;
- ensure the promotion of church literature, select scholarship for studying certain subject, and grant awards for writers;
- Appoint the editor and directs the official and other publications ;
- Manage activities related to the translation and publication of the Scriptures, the works of the Fathers and ecumenical work and all local church councils;
- Ensure the regular and proper conducting of worship services and general church order;
- assess and publish liturgical books and their translation;
- approve the manufacture of icons for church and private use;
- Grant blessing for the building of the holy temples and monasteries;
- provide guidance for the development of the church items , clothing and other church needs;
- ensure uniformity and perfection of church chanting, establish and monitor chanting school;
- Take care are of the church art , church art monuments , antiquities and other church items, give an explanation of the regulations on issues of religious marriage and church and protect sanctity of church marriage;
- takes care of church charities and educational institutions and church museums;
- supervise the work of the Bishops;
- take care of ecclesiastical charitable an educational institutions;
- handle church funds and endowments (Foundations) and appoints their administrators;
- take care of the poor of the Diocese and appoint administrator of the Diocese;
- give the rank of Archimandrite and give pectoral cross to archpriest, on the written proposal of diocesan bishop;
- handle ecclesiastical endowments that are entrusted to its management;
- ensure that the relationship between church and state and internal-religious relations in the true sense of the law are held without prejudice to the Orthodox Church ;
- prepare the agenda and prepare proposals for the Holy Synod, and conduct its decisions;
- establish committees (section) of experts to prepare material for its work and the work of Holy Synod of Bishops;
- elect, in agreement with the Patriarch, officials and their office staff and as well as the Grand Ecclesiastical Court;
- propose for the approval to the Holy Synod of Bishops its rules of procedure ;
- discuss all conflicts of jurisdiction of church-hierarchical authorities unless this Constitution otherwise ordered;
- lead superintendence over the work of the association of wedded clergy and monastic order, and all other associations working on behalf of the Orthodox faith and the Church;
- study the reports of the Great Ecclesiastical Court and implement them to the Holy Assembly prepared and proposed;
- submit an annual report on its work to the Holy Assembly of Bishop;
- finally decide on the establishment , merger and disassociation of the monastery;
- perform all other duties under the Constitution that the Holy Assembly of Bishops specifically delegated;
- judge in the first instance: a) disagreements between bishops; b) the canon law transgressions of bishops; c) disciplinary officials transgressions and adjudicate their disputes; g) in the last instance disciplinary transgressions teachers of the schools.
3. The Grand ecclesiastical Court
The Great ecclesiastical court is high judicial authority for ecclesiastical adjudication and church matters. Judges transgressions of clergy of both orders, judges transgressions of the faithful, judges within its jurisdiction, on the validity, annulment, and divorce of a church marriages. Also all disputes of the internal church government that doesn’t belong to the jurisdiction of the Holy Assembly and Synod of Bishops.
See of the Grand ecclesiastical Court is the residency of the Patriarch
The Grand ecclesiastical Court is permanent and it is consisted of:
- Three Bishops, members of the Holy Synod, that delegates the Holy Synod of Bishops and among one is appointed for the vice-president;
- Two (2) honorary members who have alternates chosen by the Holy Synod for four years;
- One administrator from the clergy.
In the case of absence of the president or Bishop, members shall be substituted by the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops appointed by the Holy Synod of Bishop.
Honorable members of the Ecclesiastical Court, their alternates, and the secretary are appointed from among those clerics who have baccalaureate and/or graduate theological education and/or have legal education. Those candidates who have completed a lesser theological seminary must have at least ten years of court, church educational, parochial or church-administrative service.
For the Great ecclesiastical Court clerk may be appointed cleric who baccalaureate more theological and possibly legal science, and spent the church-judicial and church-administrative service for at least five year.
Members of the Ecclesiastical Court, their alternates, and the Secretary cannot be related, by blood to one another, nor to the President up to andincluding the fourth (4th) degree, nor can they be related by law or by spiritual relationship up to and including the second (2nd) degree.
The judicial body of Grand Ecclesiastical Court, which renders decisions by casting votes, consists of: The President, for members, and clerk.
In the case of absence, members of the Ecclesiastical Court shall be substituted for by designated alternates and, if necessary, by the Secretary of the Ecclesiastical Court.
A member of the Ecclesiastical Court who has a personal interest or who has participated in the investigation of the subject being adjudicated shall not take part in the deliberation.
The President and members of the Ecclesiastical Court shall cast their vote in the rendering of decisions independently.
The Ecclesiastical Court shall render valid decisions by majority vote, starting from the youngest member.
The Grand Ecclesiastical Court in the second and last instance shall consider, approve, modify and annulet the decision and judgment of Diocesan ecclesiastical Courts, ex officio or upon the submitted complaint.
Ex officio ecclesiastical Court shall discus:
1 ) the judgment of Diocesan ecclesiastical courts , which follows the dissolution of marriage ; 2) judgment of the Diocesan ecclesiastical courts on the guilt of theboth clergy order, imposed:the loss of services, or the title , b) the lifetime ban for practicing liturgical sacerdotal c) the deprivation of priesthood ; g) the deprivation of priesthood with expulsion from the church community ; 3) verdict on finally lay- off from the church community , 4) decision Diocesan Ecclesiastical Courts of competent Hierarch to the Grand Ecclesiastical Court .
All other decisions and judgments of the Diocesan Ecclesiastical Courts shall be discussed by the Grand Ecclesiastical Court only on appeal.
The Grand ecclesiastical Court shall decide the disqualification of certain Diocesan Ecclesiastical Courts, as well as the conflict of jurisdiction between the court, and in this case shall determine which Diocesan court judge. Also shall decide on the disqualification of a president and members of the Grand Ecclesiastical Court.
4. Patriarchal council
The Patriarchal Council shall be the legislative body in external matters (material-financial) of church administration.
Patriarchal council consists of:
- The Patriarch ;
- Four members of the Holy Synod of Bishops or their deputies who are determined by the Holy Synod of Bishops;
- Dean of the Orthodox Theological Faculty ;
- Two representatives of the monastery;
- A rector of the seminary;
- One wedded clergy from each Diocese ;
- Vice-president of Diocese Council, and
- Ten lay person.
Members, d) and e) shall be appointed on the proposal of the Holy Synod, and members under f) on the preposition of Diocesan Bishops, the Holy Assembly of Bishops.
Members under g) shall be appointed on the proposal of Patriarch of the Holy Synod and Patriarchal Board of Directors adopted at a joint meeting.
The Patriarch shall convene Patriarchal Council and determine place and time of the meeting. From convening a meeting of the Council shall pass at least one month.
Mandate of the Patriarchal Council last for six years. The Council shall convene in regular session every two years, and also in the case of necessity:
a)when Patriarch with Holy Synod of Bishops or Patriarchal Board make that decision;
b)when the partial majority of council members make proposal in writing to the President marking the items that will be addressed. In this case the meeting shall be convened no later than within thirty days.
President of the Patriarchal Council is the Patriarch, or his lawful deputy (Art. 61 and 61)
Council shall elect vice-president from among the members of the faithful, and four secretaries, and two clerical and two lay parties.
Patriarchal Council duly resolved if are present more than half of all members. Decisions shall be made by majority vote of those present. In the case of an equal division of votes the vote of the chairman is crucial. He shall pronounce decisions.
If Patriarchal Council render a decision which,in the opinion of the Holy Synod opposes the Church rules, or is not in accordance with the principles of the Orthodox Church, Patriarch shall maintain the decisionof the execution and return the case to the Council for a new resolution. But if Patriarchal Council remains the first of its decision, the Patriarch shall, in the opinion of the Holy Synod, refer the matter to the Holy Synod, which is masterful to annul the decision of the Patriarchal Council, if it finds that it is against the rules and principles of the Orthodox Church.
Meetings of the Patriarchal Council are public, except for cases when the Council itself decide to be secret.
Chairman of the Patriarchal council shall chair meetings by the rules and maintain order during the council work.
Patriarchal Council, in exercise of its powers shall:
- Adopt, with prior approval of the Holy Synod of Bishops, the regulation of active and Pension Benefits to Parish clergy, theological teaching staff, monks and other school staff ecclesiastical courts, diocesan and vicar bishop and Patriarch.
- Determine the positions of officials and other servants for external ecclesiastical jurisdiction , and shall issue a regulation on their official relations , as well as their active and pension funds too ;
- Adopt, with prior approval of the Holy Synod of Bishops, regulation of pension fund of the Bishops and all the other ecclesiastical-hierarchical and self-management officials and employees, as well as on serving their widows and orphans.
- prescribe disciplinary rules for employees outside of church administration ;
- with prior approval of the Holy Synod of Bishops , render a decision the Regulation on the administration, operation , control and oversight of church funds , endowments ( trusts ) and assets;
- ensure the material resources to cover all the needs of the whole Serbian OrthodoxChurch under the provisions of this Constitution , and make decisions about tax assessment in parishes and monasteries , and the dioceses within the meaning of Art . 69 paragraph 24 and Art. 263
7) adopt rules of procedure for its work
8)approve in its jurisdiction , regulations and rules of procedure prescribed by the competent bodies and lower bodies ;
9) cooperate with the Holy Assembly of Bishops in amendments to the Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church;
10) cooperate with the Holy Assembly of Bishops in establishing institutions and institutes , whose subsistence shall be charged to the invoice of expenditures and revenues for the general purposes of the Church ;
11) finally decide , in agreement with the Holy Synod, about the debt and alienation of the immovable ecclesiastical property which are intended needs of the Church , and approve such decisions regarding diocesan, monasteries and ecclesiastical-congregation property, in either case , if the sum exceeds 2,000,000 - RSD ;
12 ) review and approve the final accounts for the general purposes of the Serbian Orthodox Church , which are submitted by the Board of directors of the Patriarchate and perform other duties as general church administration if by this Constitution dos not belong to another jurisdiction.
5. Board of directors of The Patriarchate
Board of directors of The Patriarchate has the ultimate executive authority over the ecclesiastical-administrative bodies and the executive body of the Patriarchal Council.
Board of directors of The Patriarchate consists of:
a) The Patriarch, or his lawful deputy (Art. 61 and 62) as president;
b) Two members of the Holy Synod;
c)onerepresentative of the monastery ;
g) three priests , and
d)seven lay person.
Members, b ) , c) , d) and e) have the same number of deputies and position.
The members of the Holy Synod shall determine the Holy Synod from their environment, and the other regular members and their deputies shall determine the Holy Assembly from their environment, for six years.
Board of directors of The Patriarchate shall conduct jobs until they are certain and the duty introduced new members of the Board of Directors of the Patriarchate.
Board of directors of The Patriarchate shall elect from their faithful members the vice president, preferably from the headquarters of the Boards or from the nearby surroundings.
Board of directors of The Patriarchate may have legal advisors for its legal affairs.
Patriarch or his lawful deputy, shall convene regular meetings of the board in the See of Patriarch every year in the spring and in the falls, and early on when he decide , or when requested in writing at least by half of the members of theBoard of directors of The Patriarchate, marking the exact item for which they seek to convene an extraordinary session.
If the Patriarch is assured that a decision is against the provisions of the existing church rules or regulations, or in opposition to the principles of the Orthodox Church, is authorized to suspend the execution of the decision and order a new hearing. If neither this discussion would not reach agreement, Patriarch refer the matter to the Council for decision. In the event that Patriarchal Council take a stand andBoard of directors of The Patriarchate shall be treated under Art .87of the Constitution. If the subject is of an urgent nature, the Patriarch has the right, if it finds that there is an urgency, to direct it to the Holy Synod, which is lawful to issue a final decision on it.
Board of directors of The Patriarchate in accordance with its jurisdiction shall resolve, if at present more than half of all members. Decisions are made by majority vote of those present.In the case of an equal division of votes the vote of the Chairman. He pronounces decisions.
In case of need, particularly where an approval of the Holy Synod and Board of directors of The Patriarchate is necessary, Patriarch or his deputy shall convene a joint meeting of both bodies for consultation and dispute.
Items that do not suffer the delays shall be resolved presidentially, or to chief executive board, which consists of the chairman or his deputy (Art. 61 and 62), two priests and three lay parties. These members are elected from among Patriarchal board of directors, preferably from the seat of the Patriarchate or the nearest environment. Presidential decision and the decision of the select board shall be submitted to theBoard of directors of The Patriarchate to subsequent approval.
Board of directors of The Patriarchate in its jurisdiction shall:
1) issue, and run, if its scope includes , regulations and decisions of the Patriarchal Council;
2) control the selfgoverning ecclesiastical authorities in their work, and therefore if necessary send his special envoys;
3) adopt for the general needs of the Serbian Orthodox Church estimation of expenditures and revenues, and prepare annual financial statements submitted for approval Patriarchal Council;
4) approve for the needs of Diocese expenditure and revenue on annual balance sheets of the Dioceses and approves of Diocesan tithe applied unto parishes and monasteries;
5) approve the establishment of the funds, receiving foundationsand their rules ;
6) manage funds, endowments (the Foundation ) and goods that are intended for the general needs of the Church , and supervise and controlall church funds , foundations ( foundations ) and goods.
7) ensure that church, monasteries and all other ecclesiastical institutions have legal proof of ownership of their property;
8) prepare and develop within the scope of their jurisdiction reports and proposals in the area of church government and submit them to the Patriarchal Council ;
9) publish printed reports on the status of all church funds and endowments ( Foundation ) ;
10) finally solve the debt and the alienation of immovable ecclesiastical property which are intended for the general needs of the church , and approve such decisions regarding diocesan, monasteries and ecclesiastical –congregational properties, in both cases , if the amount does not exceed 2,000,000 dinars;
11) finally to write off claims that belong to the general church property of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and for that proved to be that debtor can’t collect retirement of that property , and approve such decisions regarding diocesan, monasteries and ecclesiastical –congregational and receivables and write stuff if the sum exceeds , and that, in receivables 50,000 dinars , and in fact the retirement 100,000 dinars;
12) approve the decision in all cases taking or renting ecclesiastical –congregational and diocesan properties, or properties of monasteries ,if the price exceeds the tenure of 200,000 dinars a year, for other property regardless of the amount of leased rates.
13) decide on appeals finally in the last instance , on those cases that Diocesan Councils , and committees addressed in the first or second degree ;
14) elect its permanent officials and other servants that Patriarch sets and determine by the decree;
15) operate in agreement with the Holy synod educational and charitable institutions for the whole Church , which serve to burden the invoice of expenditures and revenues for the general purposes of the Church. Exceptions are monks, theological and other religious- educational schools and institutes, whose management falls under the jurisdiction of the Holy Synod;
16) seek to establish funds and endowments for the benefit of the Church;
17) prescribe rules of procedure for itself and for Diocesan Council advices, approved by patriarchal Council;
18) perform as needed also other duties of material nature , if this Constitution does not fall within the jurisdiction of which the other.
6. Diocesan Bishop
Diocesan bishops at their arch pastoral call, according to teachings and rules of the Orthodox Church, has full hierarchical authority in matters of faith and morals , and liturgical officiation and arch pastoral care in his diocese .
Diocesan bishop, as the immediate leader and representative of their dioceses , with the cooperation of the clergy and the people , shall operate and manage the overall comprehensive , internal and external , religious and church life in the Diocese.
For Diocesan and Auxiliary Bishops can be chosen the one :
a)that meets all the requirements of the canon law provided for rank of the bishop in the Orthodox Church ;
b) who is regularly finished Orthodox Theological Academy and Faculty of Orthodox Theology;
c) who is a citizen of Yugoslavia,this requirement does not apply to Serbian Orthodox Bishops
Diocese out of the country;
g) which with his zealous religious service , as well as its distinguished life and dedicated work on the good of the Church and the nation gained general appreciation and demonstrated ability for the position of Bishops.
Diocesan and Auxiliary Bishops (Vicar bishops) are elected by the Holy Synod under preside of the Patriarch.The choice of bishops conduct theHoly Assembly Bishops when they are present two -thirds of all Diocesan Bishops.
For the selection of bishops, when unanimity can‘t be reached, voting is secret, and decision shall be made by an absolute majority. If the votes are so divided that no candidate receives an absolute majority of votes, shall be immediately access to the shortlisted between the two who received the most votes. The Patriarch shall decidewhich candidate will be shortlisted from those who were given an equal vote. Absent member of the Holy Assembly of Bishops may delegate in writing their vote to one of the present members of the Holy Synod of Bishops, provided that one Bishop shall be authorized with a single voice.
Patriarch shall declare the elected candidate when the selection is made.
To newly elected and consecrated Bishops, Patriarch shall issue letter, signed by the Patriarch and the members of the Holy Synod. Letter shall be published in the Official Gazette of the Patriarchate.
All government offices and ecclesiastical authority in the diocese shall be subordinate to Diocesan Bishop.
Apart from the rights and duties of the ecclesiastical and canonical regulations, Diocesan Bishops in accordance with their jurisdiction shall:
1) teach and enlighten the clergy and people of the Diocese of words, deeds and pastoral epistle ;
2) preserve, maintain and defend the people of the Orthodox faith , countering any action which is contrary to Orthodox teaching and detrimental to the interests of the Serbian Orthodox Church;
3) point and approve clergy and people to establish and organize religious charities , spiritual and educational, patriotic and generally useful institution for the advancement of religion and morality in the nation ;
4) ensure the regular and proper worship, and the church order in general ;
5) endeavor that churches and monasteries are supplied by the holyantimonies , holy peace , clerical vestments and visions, and liturgical books , and settled on time and correct all the other needs of the church;
6) determine, in accordance with the need ,the liturgy at the church during extraordinary , national and state festivity;
7) give a blessing for building , where necessary , churches , chapels , cemeteries and seek to be kept in good condition ;
8) ensures that the churches ,monasteries and chapels are built in a style that is adopted by the Serbian Orthodox Church and that the churches , monasteries and the homes of the faithful are supplied by icons in the Orthodox spirit ;
9) take care of keeping the old ecclesiastical properties;
10) sanctify temples;
11) ordain persons worthy of the priesthood, referring them to the duty and give them letter about it;
12) propose to the Holy Synod fordecorations clergy for highlight exemplary life and ecclesiastical , and Christian-educational work and characterized them in accordance with their jurisdiction;
13) define the worthy clergy among his deputies in all diocesan jobs and dismiss them and report to the Holy Synod;
14) appoint diocesan preachers and confessors of the clergy in the diocese;
15ss) suggest, set and establish the titles and duties of church and church administrative officers, clerks and servers, by the provisions of this Constitution;
16) set capable persons for religious teachers in the schools in their diocese and keep control over their work ;
17) give, on the proposal of monastery abbot, blessing to worthy persons for entry into the monastic order;
18) provide in its jurisdiction blessing and dismissal in ecclesiastical-marital processes and other jobs under the regulations and the ecclesiastical and canon decisions of the Holy Assembly of Bishops ;
19) judge clergy of both rank about less ( disciplinary ) guilt , and shall punish them for these offenses with a warning , prohibition of Communion up to 15 days and the prohibition of liturgical sacerdotal for a month, and for the greater guilt shall refer them the Ecclesiastical Court , judge faithful and impose penalties of temporary deprivation of individual rights and honor of the Church , all these decisions are enforceable ;
20) mitigates the sentence imposed by Diocesan ecclesiastical Court , and that up to half of the sentences imposed.
21) by the provisions of this Constitution shall decide about liturgical sacerdotal of the clergy accused the court of guilt (Article 219 ) and determines their deputies;
22) give a leave of absence to the clergy and officials sin their scope of absence;
23) define deputies for the absent and ill monastery abbot , hierarchal governors and Parish priests ;
24)supervise the work of the Bishops and the clergy in the Diocese of both rank;
25) lead superintendence of the work and life of the church institutions of his diocese ,propose to the Holy Synod the appointment and dismissal of teachers and of teaching staff of the Institute ;
26) perform in his diocese canonical visits by the ecclesiastical rules , sends specialdelegates from capable and worthy individuals and give them advice, to review diocesan and regency office , monastic administration and parishes ;
27) endeavor that all orders, resolutions and decisions of higher church authorities are timely and accurately communicate ;
28) Take care, in assistance with Diocesan Ecclesiastical Court and Diocesan Steering Committee, that all ecclesiastical government offices and authorities in the diocese perform their duties conscientiously and properly and that all operations shall be carried by the existing regulations;
29) submit to the Holy Synod reports with their proposals on their archpastoral work and general condition of the diocese.
Diocesan Bishop can have his deputy to replace him within the limits of the powers given to him .
For deputies of the Bishops shall beappointed clergy of both ranks that have the conditions stipulated by the Constitution for members of the church courts.
Holy Assembly can remove Diocesan Bishop of the administration only by the canonical sentence, or resolved by the demonstration of weakness, or by established termination of one of the conditions referred to in Article 104 and on reasonable request for retirement.
Vacant diocese manages administrator, who is appointed by the Holy Synod. Selection of Bishops vacant dioceses shall be performed within the stipulated canons.
While the chair of the bishop is vacant, it shall not be taken up any job that would take into account diocesan organization, and shall not be run any major changes in the business that former Bishops were initiated.
As soon as one diocese become vacant, Diocesan ecclesiastical Court shall determine committee of three persons to inspect the inventory and receive property and things of the diocese. If something is missing, the court shall send the Holy Synod, who shall issue a decision on compensation.
All movable and immovable assets of the diocese received by the inventory shall be submitted in writing to the administrator and the newly appointed Diocesan Bishop.
7. Diocesan ecclesiastical court
Diocesan ecclesiastical Court has authority of diocesan Bishop for ecclesiastical and judicial affairs and internal church administration.
Chairman of the Diocesan ecclesiastical Court is Diocesan Bishop, who by his authority shall be replaced his deputy.
When Bishop preside his deputy shall participate in the trial as a member of the court.
Diocesan EcclesiasticalCourt assembled:
a) the president ;
b) two honorary members, who are deputies;
v) Secretary Clerk) and
g) the required number of lower staff .
All the staff of the Ecclesiastical Court appoint and dismiss competent diocesan bishop and report thereon to the Holy Synod.
For members Diocesan of the Diocesan ecclesiastical Courts, their deputies and secretaries (clerks) may be placed clergy that finished at least high school seminary and have at least ten years of court , ecclesiastical- educational, Parish or ecclesiastical-administrative service. Priority is given to those candidates who have more ecclesiastical and possibly legal education.
For the scribes diocesan church courts shall appoint people who have finished secondary theological school, and for officials, that finished four years of high schools.
The duty of the ecclesiastical-judicial prosecutor shall officiate cleric designated by the Bishop.
Members of the Diocesan ecclesiastical Court, their deputies and secretary (clerk) can notbe related either mutually or with the chairman listed in Art.75
Ecclesiastical Court makes valid decisions in a panel composed of the president, or his deputy, and two members of the clerk ( secretary or clerk ) .
Members of the Court shall be replaced by the deputies (also honorary members) and if necessary, the Secretary of the Ecclesiastical Court.
Member of the Diocesan Ecclesiastical Court which is personally interested, or who participated in the investigation, shall not rule.
Diocesan ecclesiastical Court shall decide on the disqualification of members of the court. In that resolution hierarchal deputy or secretary, shall replace the member whose disqualification is sought. If it is asked an exemption for more than two members Grand Ecclesiastical Court shall resolve the matters.
The Chairman and members Diocesan ecclesiastical Court give their vote in deciding completely independently, managing to that according to their conscience, and the provisions of the canon – law.
Diocesan ecclesiastical court shall make decisions by majority vote. Voting shall start from the youngest member of the court.
Members of the Court who would not agree with the decision are entitled to put their written reasoned opinions. Dissenting opinions are not sent to the civil parties.
All decisions of Diocesan ecclesiastical Court, made in the sessions in which Diocesan Bishop is not present shall be submitted to him for approval. If Bishop does not agree with the decision of the Diocesan ecclesiastical court, he may refer the matter for retrial to the Diocesan ecclesiastical Court, and if Diocesan ecclesiastical Court stands by its original decision, the Bishop may refer the matter to the Ecclesiastical Court which shall in term of the breach give their mandatory instructions . In this case, the decisions of the Diocesan ecclesiastical Court shall be suspended to the decision of the Grand Ecclesiastical Court.
Decisions taken at the meetings of the ecclesiastical courts shall be recorded immediately in the minutes and the minutes shall be signed by all the members who have judged or resolved, and also by the clerk.
Decisions and judgments issued by these decisions shall be signed by a president and clerk.
Cases shall be addressed by the order they arrive at the court, except those which the chairman or his deputy, as urgent and of greater importance placed on the agenda.
Chairman shall distribute the work of all submitted cases referred to court. He shall open and conclude the session and manage the affairs of the discussion and the trial, ensuring that the tasks that fall within the scope of work of the Ecclesiastical Court are finished and dispatched at a certain time s.
In the scope of the internal administration of church affairs, Diocesan ecclesiastical court shall work by s the instructions and orders of the Diocesan Bishops.
About the guilt of the priests, Diocesan Bishops after carrying surveying,if he finds that the act comes into the circle of his jurisdiction, shall make a decision,, otherwise , he shall submit the case to the Diocesan Ecclesiastical Court for proceedings .
Diocesan ecclesiastical court,
a) as judicial authority shall :
1)judge transgressions of clergy of both orders;
2) judge transgressions of the faithful that is temporary excommunicated the church community for a while and finally;
3) judge, under its jurisdiction , disputes about the validity , annulment and divorce of the church marriage ;
4) resolveconflicts between priests , as well as disputes over diocesan income and the movable or immovable property of the church clergy determined to enjoy;
b) as authority of the Diocesan Bishops for the internal affairs of church government Diocesan Ecclesiastical Court shall:
1) supervise under the direction of Bishops parish clergy , parish office and the Episcopal regency ;
2) communicate and execute orders and decisions of higher ecclesiastical judicial authorities ;
3) help diocesan archbishop in all matters of diocesan administration , and keep his orders in the jobs that fall within its own jurisdiction ;
4) takes care of the provisions of this Constitution , about the inventory of the diocese in cases of relocation , retirement or death of Diocesan Bishops ;
5) decide on the changes in the church register books .
Decisions of the Diocesan ecclesiastical courts, which are not subject of consideration of the higher authorities are executive and they shall be performed by a regional church authorities.
8. Diocesan council
Diocesan council is a representative office in matters of church administration.
Diocesan Council includes:
a) diocesan Bishop of his deputy ;
b) two members of Diocesan ecclesiastical court ;
g) by a priest and a lay person from each regency ;
d ) five lay-persons appointed by theDiocesan archbishop in agreement with the Ecclesiastical Court and Board of Directors of The Patriarchate.
Members of the clergy are appointed by the Holy Synod of Bishops and members of the faithful appointed by the Board of Directors of the Patriarchate
,both on the proposal of the Bishops.
Members under c) and d)deputies are appointed in the same way in the same number of and members of the g) in the same regency.
Chairman of the Council is Diocesan Bishop or his deputy, if Bishop is unable to attend the general sessions.
If Bishop during his work of Diocesan Council is temporarily prevented from preceding he shall be replaced in the presidency over the Council by the vice president.
Diocesan Council shall choose Vice President, from their environment, from among the members of the laity and two secretaries, one ordained and one lay person, by a simple majority vote.
The mandate of the Diocesan Council shall last for six years. Diocesan council shall convene Diocesan Bishop, or administrator, of the Diocese at least once a year in regular session, and in the extraordinary sessions if necessary.
Diocesan Council shall validly resolve when more than half of the members are present and shall make decisions by majority vote. In an equal division of votes, the vote of the chairman shall decide.