Holy Synod Statement

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. 


Syn. No. 840

15th June 2016


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

Press Release

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.