For days a group of monks of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren, which do not recognize the religious order and the decision of the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church on February 13, 2010. and who are placed under the canonical prohibition, together with some like-minded, and led by monk Antonije Davidovic of Black River, against whom is run the religious and legal process, distrubute throughout cities in Serbia and in some monasteries an article titled Appeal of the clergy, monks and faithful church people to the Sacred Church Council of the SOC and collect signatures of support.
It is the article published on several anti-church Internet sites on March 19 this year, which under the alleged support to temporarily removed from duty of management of the Diocese of Raska-Prizren, Bishop Artemije of Raska-Prizren, gravely undermine the unity of the Church and the canonical order of the Serbian Orthodox Church. That "Appeal" mostly resemble the sectarian pamphlets, directly attacks the institution of the Holy Synod of Bishops, presided by His Holiness Patriarch of Serbia and disdains the Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Apparently seeking justice, the drafters and supporters of this pamphlet raise against any law and order, denouncing an obedience not only to the canonically appointed administrator of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren, but also to His Holiness Patriarch of Serbia and the Holy Synod of Bishops, who asked His Grace bishop Atanasije to accept this hard and responsible duty, giving him, during his office, all rights of diocesan bishop in order to establish law and order in the Diocese of Raska-Prizren, which has been endangered since Simeon Vilovski became the hierarchal deputy and actually controlled all life of the Diocese.
We call the faithful people of the Serbian Orthodox Church not to trust the flase and unconfirmed stories which lead to discord, not to separate from the eucharistic community with its bishops, to avoid "parasinagogues", which means non-church grouping, even if they are called by some clergymen, or "clergymen", but to respect church order, so to spend prayerfully these most bright days of the holy Pentecost in paschal joy of the Ressurected Christ.
As has been said many times, on issues related to the temporary removal of administrative duties of Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren and the extent of his canonical responsibility for the situation that has been created in the meantime in the Diocese of Raska and Prizren will be discussed at this year's spring session of the Holy Synod of Bishops in the spirit of catholicity, canonical order, church responsibilities and also the sincere and genuine help to the Bishop Artemije, but not based on the defamatory pamphlets such as the aforementioned "Appeal" or "protest meetings" and other ways of non-church and non-orthodox behavior.
Information service of the Serbian Orthodox Church
Belgrade, April 16, 2010.
DelieversL:Bishop Irinej of Backa