Legal proceedings to be initiated for return of New Kalenich Monastery to the Serbian Orthodox Church

The Serbian Orthodox Diocese for Australia and New Zealand New Gracanica Metropolitanate has announced today, with deep regret, that it intends to commence legal proceedings against the Free Serbian Orthodox Church Diocese for Australia and New Zealand Property Trust Limited for breaches of the terms of a charitable trust relating to the Property Trust's use of the St Sava New Kalenich Monastery in Wallaroo, NSW.

The Monastery is held by the Property Trust subject to the terms of a charitable trust for the purposes of the broader Serbian Orthodox Church. It therefore falls under the direct supervision of the Diocesan Bishop, His Grace Bishop Irinej and is subject to his lawful directions.

The Property Trust's breaches include denying His Grace and other clergy access to the Monastery, allowing non-canonical church services to be conducted at the Monastery by a defrocked priest and causing unauthorised alterations to be made to the Articles of Association of the Property Trust.

As these breaches were not rectified by a deadline notified in writing to the Property Trust on 24 May 2010, the Diocese has instructed its legal advisers to petition the Attorney General of New South Wales, as the Minister responsible for the enforcement of charitable trusts in NSW, for his formal consent to the commencement of legal proceedings against the Property Trust to restore the Monastery to its proper canonical order.