Public Statement Issued by the Holy Synod of Bishops about the violence applied against Drug Addicts at the Crna Reka Monastery

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 Synod of Bishops calls on the competent civil authorities to take measures within their competence in connection with these unwelcome events.

To the victims of this violence, and to all those who have been affected in any way by these shameful events, the Holy Synod of Bishops, in the name of the entire Serbian Orthodox Church, expresses its most sincere sorrow, especially since this violence occurred near the relics of St. Peter of Koric, a great monk who with his entire being and life witnessed to love and non-violence.

From the Office of the Holy Synod of Bishops