Communique from the second regular session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, held in Belgrade November 11-15, 2008.
With the blessings of His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of Serbia and under the presidency of His Eminence Metropolitan Amphilohije of Montenegro and the Coastlands who, in accordance with Article 62 of the Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church took the place of His Holiness, who was absent for health reasons, the second regular Assembly of the Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church took place November 11 through 15, 2008 at the Patriarchate in Belgrade.
His Beatitude Kyr JONAH
Archbishop of Washington and New York,
Metropolitan of All America and Canada
Route 25 A, Oyster Bay Cove,
SYOSSET, NY 11791
U S A
Beloved Brother in Christ,
On the occasion of Your election as Head of the Orthodox Church in America, We, on behalf of His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle, of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, of our pious people, as well as on Our own behalf, extend to You Our whole-hearted and brotherly best wishes for Your fruitful archpastoral ministry on the throne of the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, being sure that Your pastoral-ecclesial efforts will contribute not only to the spiritual and moral rebirth of the people of God that is entrusted to You directly by Divine providence, but also to the entire Orthodox Church of Christ.
We recommend Ourselves to Your holy payers and remain Your Brother in Christ and Concelebrant.
On Behalf of the Serbian Patriarch,
ARCHBISHOP OF CETINJE and
METROPOLITAN OF MONTENEGRO
A m f i l o h i j e
On Thursday, November 13 2008, after the celebration of Holy Hierarchal Liturgy in the Patriarchate chapel of Venerable Simeon the Myrrh-Gushing, His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral, Their Graces Bishops Kontantin of Central Europe and Joakim of Polog and Kumanovo visited His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of Serbia at the Military Medical Academy in Belgrade.
When His Holiness received the Holy Communion, the Bishops informed him about the work of the Holy Assembly of Bishops and the decision of the Assembly, concerning his plea to be allowed to retire from active service due to "physical disability", with full respect to causes from his plea requests him to remain the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
His Holiness accepted the decision of the Assembly peaceably and blessed its further work.
On Wednesday, November 12, 2008, His Grace, Bishop Jonah of Fort Worth was elected Archbishop of Washington and New York and Metropolitan of All America and Canada at the 15th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah was born James Paffhausen in Chicago, IL, and was baptized into the Episcopal Church. While still a child, his family later settled in La Jolla, CA, near San Diego. He was received into the Orthodox Church in 1978 at Our Lady of Kazan Moscow Patriarchal Church, San Diego, while a student at the University of California, San Diego. Later, he transferred to UC Santa Cruz, where he was instrumental in establishing an Orthodox Christian Fellowship.
Decision of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church about the withdrawal of the Serbian Patriarch12. November 2008 - 15:10
The Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church informs the public about the request of the Serbian patriarch Pavle:
"The request of His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of the Serbian Orthodox Church on October 8, 2008, to be granted retirement from active service due to his physical disability, has been received to the knowledge.
At the same time, The Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church ask His Holiness Patriarch to still remain the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church".
The Holy Assembly of Bishops continues its work after the agenda.
Preparations for a possible meeting between Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexy II and Pope of Rome Benedict XVI have not begun, told head of the Secretariat for Christian Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Priest Igor Vyzhanov.