Holy Synod Statement

Communique of the Holy Synod of Bishops

Communique of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church

Regarding the latest recommendations of the Government of Serbia, in order to suppress the spread of the COVID-19 virus, "religious services in churches and in the open air are to be performed without the presence of the faithful", with the clarification that the aim of these recommendations is a safe way of worship and the protection of public health, all the while enabling worship to continue, we inform all our clergy, monastics, and faithful that the Serbian Orthodox Church will implement these recommendations, as it has already done in those countries of the Serbian diaspora and other regions where such protective measures have been taken a few days ago. The Church will not interrupt the serving of the Divine Liturgy or cease communing the faithful, because this is a matter which cannot be debated: it is the basis of our faith in the Living God. Specifically, this means that during the services in the church there is to be a priest (or priests) with a deacon, chanter, and an altar server (according to the need and circumstance). 

Communique of the Holy Synod of Bishops

Communique of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church

On the third week of Great Lent (Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross) the Divine Liturgy was served in all churches of the Serbian Orthodox Church, in compliance with all instructions being required for protection from the COVID-19 virus (no more than five people inside the church, the faithful standing in front and on the side of the church to practice social distancing, etc.). However, uninvited guests from well-known anti-church and anti-Serbian circles appeared, and as a result their media and the media partial to them began an orchestrated and slanderous chase against the Serbian Orthodox Church.  

Communique of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church

Communique of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church

The Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church has been closely and carefully following up the daily news and statements of those in charge of the Church, the State, and the medical profession about the increasing spread coronoviral infection that is dangerous to health - and in many cases, to life itself – to life of millions of people.

To all those who fight this plague, especially to physicians and other medical staff, the Holy Synod expresses our deepest gratitude and reverence for the day and night efforts in the prevention and suppression of the epidemic and calls upon them God’s blessing. At the same time, the Holy Synod expresses its condolences to the families, relatives and friends of victims of the virus, for whom it has had fatal consequences.

Communique of the Holy Synod of Bishops

Communique of the Holy Synod of Bishops
of the Serbian Orthodox Church

As regards the latest developments in Montenegro relating to the announced adoption of the draft Law on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Legal Status of Religious Communities, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church hereby expresses its support to the archbishops, clergy, monasticism and faithful people of the dioceses: Montenegro and the Littoral, Budimlje-Niksic, Mileseva and Zahumlje-Herzegovina, to continue defending their religious rights in Montenegro, encouraged by the power of the Holy Spirit and the prayerful representation of the saints of our own kin.

The Position of the Serbian Orthodox Church on the Church Crisis in Ukraine

The Position of the Serbian Orthodox Church on the Church Crisis in Ukraine

Last November the Serbian Orthodox Church was the first among the autocephalous churches to officially react at the highest level, (i.e. the Holy Assembly of Bishops) to the intentions of His Holiness the Patriarch of Constantinople who, according to his own findings and in a self-willed manner wanted to “decide” and “resolve” the church problems in Ukraine as the “first without equals” (primus sine paribus) -  and not as the “first among equals” (primus inter pares) which is, in fact, the centuries-old Orthodox ecclesiological and canonical principle - and we pleaded with him not to do so, but rather that he, in fraternal dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church and in consultation with the other Churches, actually help to resolve this crisis.