Bishop of Šabac kyr Jerotej enthroned

Published On: 19/09/2022

On 18 September 2022, His Grace elected Bishop of Šabac kyr Jerotej presided over the holy hierarchical Liturgy in the Cathedral church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in Šabac, in the prayerful presence of His Holiness Serbian Patriarch kyr Porfirije.

Their Eminences Metropolitans kyr Luka of Zaporizhia and kyr Pimen of Europe from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, and Their Graces Bishops Jovan of Šumadija, Ignatije of Braničevo, Fotije of Zvornik-Tuzla, Arsenije of Niš, Isihije of Valjevo and Marko of Bregalnica concelebrated the Holy Liturgy, in the prayerful presence of His Beatitude Archbishop of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje kyr Jovan and Their Graces Bishops: Vasilije of Srem, Nikanor of Banat, Dositej of Britain and Scandinavia, Pahomije of Vranje, Atanasije of Mileševa, Gerasim of Upper Karlovac, Jovan of Slavonia, Sergije of Bihać and Petrovac, Heruvim of Osečko Polje and Baranja, Metodije of Budimlje–Nikšić, Dimitrije of Zahumlje–Herzegovina, Justin of Hvosno – elected Bishop of Western Europe, Damaskin of Mohač, Sava of Marča and retired Bishop of Canada Georgije.

His Grace Bishop of Zvornik–Tuzla kyr Fotije read the decision of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church on the election of His Grace kyr Jerotej as the Bishop of Šabac. At the end of the Holy Liturgy, His Holiness Patriarch kyr Porfirije ceremoniously enthroned His Grace Bishop kyr Jerotej in the throne of the Diocese of Šabac.

In a moving sermon at the end of the Holy Liturgy, His Holiness addressed the new Hierarch of the Diocese of Šabac and said:

“Our Assembly elected You, Bishop Jerotej, to lead this Church in order for her to be one body, one organism with our Serbian Orthodox autocephalous Church, and through her also one body, one organism with the pleroma of the Orthodox Church, with One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church… Behold, is there any greater blessing but that a Bishop who holds the place of Christ gets the authority to lead the flock entrusted to him in the name of Christ and in the name of the Church? Leading means always being the first in everything, but first of all in what Christ was first in – in ultimate humility. Therefore, a Bishop is called on to listen a lot, much to endure and much to withstand, and much to bear up as well in a word – to be crucified, to be identified with Christ on His cross. It is a prerequisite and an introduction to what the cross already contains: the secret and reality of victory, the secret of resurrection.

Dear Bishop, having handed over the hierarchical scepter to you in the name of the Assembly, we who have gathered here today primarily pray to God and wish that our Lord Jesus Christ be your role model and exemplar in everything, but not only the external exemplar to be looked at, but the internal, essential exemplar, i.e. the One with Whom so many holy hierarchs from our nation, from Saint Sava to this day, constantly identified themselves. It is not at all simple or effortless to lead the Church of Christ, but if there is humility and trust in Christ, as well as the awareness that everything is from Him and in Him, there is already victory and triumph in that attitude. May the Lord be with you, and we all recommend ourselves to your prayers.”

As the ecclesiastical tradition prescribes, His Grace newly-enthroned Bishop kyr Jerotej offered his first sermon as the Hierarch of the Diocese of Šabac, saying among other things:

“With fear and a feeling of profound unworthiness, I am standing now on the throne of my great and holy predecessors, confessing before the living God, the pleroma of the Church and all of you, fathers, brothers and sisters, my spiritual infirmity and weakness, but also my firm faith in the Almighty God and His all-perfect grace that always heals weaknesses and supplements deficiencies. I am aware of the heaviness of the Hierarchal Cross that I take on my shoulders today, but I believe and I know that I will have support in you, my flock, to carry that cross more easily, strengthened by the power of Christ Who gives us power. That is why today I arrived in Šabac with joy, not as the rulers of this world to dominate you, but to imitate the Savior Himself Who did not come to be served but to serve. I come with the desire to serve everyone, to constantly offer myself to others as a gift, never to seek my own, but always to act for the benefit of my neighbor, for Christ’s sake.

Your Holiness, I thank you and all the members of the Holy Assembly of Bishops from the bottom of my heart for entrusting my humbleness with the archpastoral scepter and enabling me to lead the Church of the People of God in the Diocese of Šabac.

Finally, I thank the brethren of the monastery of Kovilj, but also those who are not physically present but are spiritually here with us today; those with whom I grew up spiritually, as well as all of you present here today.”

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