Holy Synod Statement
THE HOLY SYNOD OF BISHOPS OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
Syn. No. 840
15th June 2016
C O M M U N I Q U E
In brotherly love, while with responsibility and hopes preparing for the participation in the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, which, God willing, is to be held at the Orthodox Academy at Crete around the Pentecost, from 17 until 26 June 2016, the Holy Synod of Bishops in its broader composition at its session held at the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade, on June 15, 2016, regarding the situation created after the ordinary convocation of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, passes the following decision:
First of all, having in mind the importance and significance of the Council, our Church wants, in a spirit of ecclesial upbuilding, to contribute in the way that also this Holy and Great Council fulfills criteria and the measure of true Councils in the history of the Orthodox Church and justifies its title.
On the other hand, our Church requests that problems and matters not only of the Serbian Orthodox Church, but also of the other most Holy Churches that cancelled their participation in the Council, be considered at that Council.
With this aim in mind, the Holy and Great Council should last as long as these questions have not been considered, and it cannot be a hostage of in advance layed out and accepted rules. Exclusively with the full consensus the Council can be considered as Holy and Great Council.
At last, our Church insists that the gathering on the island of Crete be a beginning of a Conciliar process, that the matters in question should be solved during its working process, but in the spirit of synodic tradition of the Church of Christ.
In case that the Churches present at the Council, with the Ecumenical Patriarchate at head, persist in the position that the absent Churches without a real reason boycott the work of the Council, and in case that the already present Churches reject to take into consideration all the matters in question, problems and disagreements, the representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church at the Council will be, regretfully, forced to leave the sessions of that Council and in that way join the Churches that are already absent.
This is by no means a threat or ransom, but a consequent implementation of the position and decisions of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church held in May 2016.
In the spirit of our ecclesial and pastoral responsibility, we present these positions hoping in the illuminating action of the All-Holy Spirit.
Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade - Karlovci
and Serbian Patriarch
President of the Holy Assembly of Bishops
sign. I R I N E J
The Serbian Orthodox Church welcomes the decision of UNESCO which rejected the proposal to receive so-called Kosova into its organization. The entire time Serbia and the Serbian Orthodox Church sought for the delaying of this debate in order to avoid unnecessary political confrontation, but since Serbia's request was denied voting took place which showed that there was no readiness in UNESCO to make hasty political decisions which endanger the safety of the Cultural heritage and the dialogue that Belgrade is already leading with Pristina.
It is obvious that the issue of the spiritual and cultural heritage can not be solved through politicization, particularly in a situation where, after the war in Kosovo and Metohija, so many Christian Orthodox shrines and cemeteries were destroyed. Confidence has to be built through deeds, not words, and certainly not negating the very difficult situation in which our faithful people and our holy sites have been living in for many years after the war in Kosovo and Metohija.
Regarding aspirations of the temporary institutions of Kosovo and Metohija that the self-proclaimed „State of Kosovo“ becomes a member of UNESCO15. September 2015 - 14:50
LETTER OF THE HOLY SYNOD OF BISHOPS
OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
TO MRS. IRINA BOKOVA
Director-General of UNESCO
HOLY SYNOD OF BISHOPS
SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
14 September 2015
Director-General of UNESCO,
Mrs. Irina Bokova
On the occasion of recent self-proclaimed Government of Kosovo bid for UNESCO membership we would wish to express our profound concern on behalf of the Serbian Orthodox Church. We are convinced that an eventual acceptance of this request would have far-reaching consequences for the Christian cultural heritage itself as well as the perspective of common life of Serbs, Albanians and others in Kosovo and Metohija in the future.
The Holy Synod of Bishops, in reviewing the report and conclusions of the formed Commission (chaired by His Grace Bishop Teodosije of Ras-Prizren and members: His Grace Bishop Maxim of Western America, Protopresbyter-stavrophor Dr. Velibor Dzomic (co-ordinator of the Legal committee of the Diocese of Montenego and the Coastlands), Protopresbyter-stavrophor Djuro Krosnjar (priest at St. Vasilije of Ostrog Church in Lake Forest, IL; Diocese of New Gracanica and Midwestern America) and Veroslav Vjurdjevic (financial secretary from Hamilton, Diocese of Canada) in compliance with the Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church, in reviewing the material-financial dealings in the Diocese of Canada and a general overview of the life of the Diocese and the pastoral work of His Grace Bishop Georgije of Canada, related to many charges brought against him by the clergy and people, the Holy Synod rendered a decision (on April 20, 2015) in which Bishop of Canada Georgije with that date is temporarily released of his duties of administering the Diocese of Canada until completion of the canonical proceedings, or until the forthcoming meeting of the Holy Assembly of Bishops.
At the same time, in accordance with the articles of the Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church the Holy Synod of Bishops requested that His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia serve as administrator of the Diocese of Canada until the Holy Assembly of Bishops renders a final decision, whereby assiting His Holiness would be His Grace Bishop Teodosije (member of the Holy Synod) and His Grace Bishop Maxim.
From the Office of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church
Marking the 900th anniversary of the nativity of Saint Simeon the Myrrh-Gusher, this annual Assembly of Bishops will begin with the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral church of Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God at the Studenica Monastery on 14 May 2014 at 8.30 a.m., while the solemn rite of the Invocation of the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the work of the Assembly will be officiated at the church of Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in Ras near Novi Pazar at 2:00 p.m. A working section of the Holy Assembly of Bishops will commence on 15 May 2014 at the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade.
Marking the 900th anniversary of the nativity of Saint Simeon the Myrrh-Gusher, this annual Assembly of Bishops will begin with the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral church of Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God at the Studenica Monastery on 14 May 2014 at 8.30 a.m., while the solemn rite of the Invocation of the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the work of the Assembly will be officiated at the church of Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in Ras near Novi Pazar at 2:00 p.m.
A working section of the Holy Assembly of Bishops will commence on 15 May 2014 at the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade.