Regarding a statement that monk Antonije, brother of the Crna Reka monastery in the Diocese of Raska and Prizren,  will hold a press conference tomorrow on February 24 2010 at the Media Center in Belgrade, regarding, as announced in the Media Center  "events in the Diocese of Raska-Prizren which cause mischief in public”, we consider our duty to explain who is the monk Antonije and what are his intentions and those who stand behind him.

Monk Antonije Davidovic, a former "deputy heugomen" of the monastery Crna Reka, known to the public  because he was previously involved in the protest, which disabled Anglican celebration of Christmas on December 24, 2002 at the Patriarchate. On that occasion, the monk Antonije and gathered pseudozealots verbally on roughest way insulted Patriarch Pavle of Serbia of blessed repose and Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral . Only a month later, on January 29, 2003, monk Anthony with a group of thirty like-minded individuals organized a protest before the new building of the Patriarchate. Then Patriarch Pavle of blessed memory, who personally went down among the gathered, warned monk Antonije that "his zeal is not according to reason" and that "he can address only through his competent Bishop." Antonije then replied to Patriarch: "I do not need anyone's blessing to defend the Church from a demolition and Orthodoxy from heresy " and warned Patriarch Pavle " not to go to heretics because with those departures renounce all canons. "( Already this procedure  eloquently testifies to the absence of any ecclesiastical awareness, and especially monastic conscience and spirituality of this man.)

Because of insolent behaviour, insulting Patriarch of Serbia and creating confusion in the Church, the Holy Synod of Bishops in April 2003 (by the act  no. 737), and then the Holy Assembly of Bishops on May 21, 2003 (AB decision no. 62/note 122) asked His Grace Bishop Artemije of Raska-Prizren to ” put unruly monk Antonije Davidovic, brother of the monastery Crna Reka, under the church court, or deprive him of monastic status and put him back among laymen." The Holy Assembly of Bishops asked Bishop Artemije to prohibit the monks of his  Diocese to do any activities outside their home Diocese, without the approval of competent diocesan bishops.”

This decision of the Holy Assembly of Bishops, which was signed by all the Bishops, as well as many other related noncanonical and unclessiastical behavior of individuals from Diocese of Raska-Prizren, Bishop Artemije have never performed, although the same was repeated at the Assembly in 2006 and 2009 , together with decisions about the launching of church procedure against protosyngellos Simeon Vilovski and about the closure of the Rade Neimar company. Although monk Antonije, in the meantime, "retired" in the hermit cell above Crna Reka, he has still remained active in his destructive actions against the Church.  During recent tragicomic protests before the Patriarchate, on February 13 this year, and then in front of the Gracanica Monastery, monk Antonije could be seen together with other monks of Crna Reka and the local heugomen Nikolaj.

Yesterday,on February 22, 2010,  monk Antonije emerged in the public with an interview in the daily newspaper Pravda in which he presented a series of brazen untruths and slanders about the Holy Synod of Bishops and Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church regarding the current situation in the Diocese of Raska-Prizren, and announcing a press conference on February 24 at the Media Center in Belgrade (of course, against the church order, without the knowledge and the approval of His Holiness Patriarch as the competent Archbishop of Belgrade-Karlovac).

Therefore we have here a man who lives outside of every church and monastic order, in the disobedience of the Church and its Bishop in charge, and it is now Bishop Atanasije. (We doubt that he would listen even Bishop Artemije, which he does not consider as spiritual elder but as a guru, in case Bishop would tell him not to do what he seems to do.) With all his wrongdoings until today he ruins the reputation of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Unfortunately, Bishop Artemije has protected monk Antony for years, as he persistently protected also protosyngellos Simeon and others, who caused an enormous material and moral damage to him, and the Diocese of Raska-Prizren, and to whole our holy Church.

We inform media operatives that all statements, written or oral, which monk Antonije Davidovic would give, represent  personal position of one irresponsible man, ofcompletely unbalanced behavior, and can not be  by the serious media considered relevant statements on the situation in the Diocese of Raska-Prizren and the Serbian Orthodox Church in wgole.

Because of his previous damaging action monk Antonije will soon bear all the canonical consequences because the decisions of the Holy Assembly of Bishops, which were been made before in relation to him, will be implemented.

Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Church

Delivers: Bishop Irinej of Backa, m.p.