During period May 18th till May 22nd of this year, Rector and Dean of St. Apostle Thomas Orthodox Church in Johannesburg, Archimandrite Pantelejmon, had visited members of Serbian community in African country of Zambia. Serbs started relocating to Zambia in mid 1960's. This had been the first visit by a Serbian priest to our Orthodox believers, living in Lusaka in approximately 50 years - and as such it had been of historical value for Serbian people and Orthodox Church in Africa.
The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, as well as all public in Serbia and abroad, with shock and regret received a cover media news on brutal physical violence as a "therapeutical treatment" at a "spiritual rehabilitation centre" which has been functioning for many years obviously with the knowledge and with the approval of His Grace Bishop Dr Artemije of Raska and Prizren, and governed by protopresbyter Branislav Peranovic and his assistant priest Dejan Jakovljevic. It is situated in the Diocese of Raska and Prizren, close to the monastery of Crna Reka, actually next to the relics of St Peter of Korish, a witness of God's love and an antipode to any kind of violence. On this poignant and unpleasant event the Holy Synod of Bishops informed the public with the communiqué of May, 23 in which condemned brutal methods of the treatment of those afflicted with the illness of drug addiction, and called on His Grace Bishop Artemije to dismiss illegal stationary near Crna Reka and to subject wrongdoers of this hideous acts to canonical responsibility, and also called on competent civil authorities to investigate this case and take measures within their competence, while to the victims of this violence and to all those who have been affected in any way by it , the Holy Synod expressed its most sincere sorrow.
COMMUNIQUE From the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church Held in Belgrade May 14-22,200926. May 2009 - 6:32
With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Pavle and under the presidencyof His Eminence Metropolitan Amphilohije of Montenegro and the Coastlands, who, in accordance with Article 62 of the Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church is serving as substitute to the ailing Patriarch, the regular Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church was held at the Patriarchate in Belgrade from May 14 through 22, 2009. Participating in the work of the Assembly were all the diocesan hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church, including His Beatitude Archbishop of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skoplje Jovan with the hierarchs of the Autonomous Archdiocese of Ochrid.
Conscious of the Church's responsibility for the life and salvation of people and of the great spiritual challenges of our day, the Holy Assembly of Bishops dedicated itself to solving the vital questions of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Public Statement Issued by the Holy Synod of Bishops about the violence applied against Drug Addicts at the Crna Reka Monastery24. May 2009 - 12:56
With shock and sorrow the Holy Synod of Bishops has received news about the brutal violence which was applied against those afflicted with the illness of drug addiction at the Crna Reka Monastery of the Raska-Prizren Diocese. The pictures presented and the open recognition of a cleric of the Raska-Prizren Diocese are unmistakable evidence of a violence which is totally foreign to the spirit of the Gospel and mission of the Church, and which is absolutely unacceptable.
Therefore, the Holy Synod of Bishops calls upon His Grace Bishop Artemije to disband immediately and without delay the illegal clinic for the treatment of the illness of addiction, and to undertake ecclesiastical court proceedings against his clerics who participated in the violence.
The Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, during its regular session on 21 May 2009, based on a recommendation of the Episcopal Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America, relative to the restructuring of the existing Dioceses in North and South America, rendered the following decision confirming the Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America, according to which the Dioceses of our Church on that territory will be restructured:
During the night between May 21 and 22, 2009 unknown robbers broke into a residence of Bishop Hrizostom of Bihac and Petrovac in Bosanski Petrovac, in spite of the fact that this building is secured by regular police patrols. An investigation is currently being conducted.