On the occasion of misstatements on alleged mass exodus of monks from Kosovo and Metohija

On the occasion of false and partly malicious statements in some media that an alleged mass exodus of the monks from the Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija had happened it is very important that the public should inform on the factual state in this Diocese. According to the data of the Diocese and the Serbian Ministry of Faith, 176 monks and nuns (not counting the novice who has no official monastic status) are living in the Diocese. Out of this number most of the monks and nuns still live in their monasteries in obedience to the competent Bishop Locum Tenens His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije and regularly perform their monastic duties in accordance with their monastic vows. All parish priests are still in service in the Diocese and regularly carry out parish duties. With regret it has to be said that a small group of monks voluntarily left some of the monasteries of the Diocese, as it has been published in the media, but none of the diocesan monasteries remained empty. What's more, those who have left are those monks who have repeatedly changed their place of residence and who have decided, as we have found out, to live in private homes or buildings.

In the monastery of St. Archangels protosyngellos Mihailo dwells who is deputy head of the monastery who will take care about this sanctuary from now on, and father Nenad Naspalic was assigned to care about small monastery of Devine vode near Zvecan. About the monastery of Theotokos of Braina, which is in the territory of the Diocese of Nis, was said before in the communiques of the Diocese. In all other monasteries of the Diocese heugomens of brotherhoods and heugomenes with their monastic sisterhoods continue their monastic life. For example, in the monastery of Crna Reka, from which a part of brotherhood has left, the life has quite normalized and monks with heugomen father Jovan regularly welcome pilgrims and prepare to celebrate the Patron Saint's Day of St. Petar Koriski. Hence, if we look in whole the Diocese has been voluntarily departed by one small group of monks and besides all assurances of the competent Bishop Locum Tenens that there are no reasons for a such behaviour because the stories on alleged "opression and terror" in the Diocese are the most ordinary insinuations and slander, which are unfortunately spread by some of those persons who voluntarily abandon the monasteries. The Locum Tenens of the Diocese, His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije did not given any canonical release except to four monks who were by the decision of the Holy Assembly and the Holy Synod of Bishops left the Diocese along with retired Bishop Artemije.

The Diocese of Raska-Prizren strongly denies the transmission of biased statements of some runaway monks and their communiques and appeal to the media that unaccountable statements and communiques given by this individuals and their followers (on empty and supposedly locked monasteries, total chaos etc.) cannot be considered relevant church positions and represent the deliberate attempt to deceive the public.

Locum Tenens of the Diocese Metropolitan Amfilohije serves today the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy at the monastery of Celije on the occasion of the celebration of new saint of the Church St. Justin of Celije. Vicar Bishop Teodosije visited today monastery of Socanica where he cut the slava cake to monk Justin and remained for a while in a conversation with the brotherhood and deputy head of the Monastery hieromonk Damjan. In the afternoon Vicar Bishop Teodosije will visit a monastery of St. Archangels near Prizren and protosyngellos Mihajlo who lives now in this monastery.

Source: Diocese of Raska-Prizren