Public Statement Issued by the Holy Synod of Bishops on the Latest Developments in Kosovo and Metohija

During its extraordinary session held at the Patriarchy on the 17th of February 2008, the following statement on the latest developments in Kosovo and Metohija was issued by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, aimed at the national and international public:

Prime minister Kostunica: Proclamation of phoney state on Serbia’s territory result of US policy of force

Војислав Коштуница

Belgrade, Feb 17, 2008 - Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica stressed that the unilateral declaration of the phoney state of Kosovo-Metohija today on Serbia's territory is unprecedented lawlessness which is the result of a destructive, cruel and immoral US policy of force.

Sacred Spaces

Запаљене српске куће Призрен март 2004We are expecting the upcoming days with uncertainty – the days of more and more frequent announcements on behalf of the Kosovo Albanians and international officials of an imminent declaration of independence. Should this act of declaring independence and recognizing Kosovo and Metohija on behalf of other states take place, we will consider it an illegitimate and violent act. Today, we have no other choice but to remain at our sacred sites, and this is the message we send to our people! To remain in these sacred spaces and endure till the end! – says Bishop Teodosije, abbey of the Decani Monastery for the “Novosti“ newspaper, describing the current position the Serbs and the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and Metohija.

Bishop Irinej meets with Metropolitan Kyrill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad , Head of External affairs for the Moscow Patriarchate

Bishop Irinej

On the Great Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, 15 February 2008, His Grace Bishop Irinej of Australia and New Zealand attended the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the Russian Orthodox Representation in Geneva, celebrated by His Eminence Metropolitan Kyrill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad and His Grace Bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria, together with clergy from the Orthodox Churches of Russia, Poland and in America, including the Very Rev. Archpriest Leonid Kishkovsky, Director of Interfaith and Ecumenical Relations for the Orthodox Church in America. Following the Festal Divine Liturgy, a reception was held attended by numerous local faithful, dignitaries and students from the religious and academic communities of Geneva.

New Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Elected

АрхиепископЗастава

The Church of Athens and of All Greece is currently celebrating and chanting doxology in the honor of the newly elected head of the Greek Orthodox Church.

The new Archbishop of Athens and All Greece is Ieronymos, former Metropolitan of Thebes and Livadia. He was elected by 43 votes during a recent extraordinary session of the Holy Assembly of the Church of Greece.

Visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople

In accordance with the Holy Synod of Bishops' decision and in the name of the the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Archbishop of Cetinje and Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Coastlands Amfilohije, the Archbishop of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skoplje Jovan, as well as the Archbishop of Backa Irinej, visited the Ecumenical Patriachate of Constantinople and His All Holiness Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on February 5 and 6.

At the occasion, the delegation of the Serbian Orthodox Church officially consigned a Томos of the of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church on granting autonomy to the Orthodox Achdiocese of Ohrid.

Besides the talks held with Patriarch Bartholomew, during this visit the representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church also had the occasion to meet members of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which is presently convening for its regular session.

Patriarch Bartholomew sent his prayers and best wishes to His Holiness Patriarch Pavle and bestowed his patriarchal blessing to the entire local Serbian Orthodox Church.

Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Church