Regarding a statement that monk Antonije, brother of the Crna Reka monastery in the Diocese of Raska and Prizren, will hold a press conference tomorrow on February 24 2010 at the Media Center in Belgrade, regarding, as announced in the Media Center "events in the Diocese of Raska-Prizren which cause mischief in public”, we consider our duty to explain who is the monk Antonije and what are his intentions and those who stand behind him.
Monk Antonije Davidovic, a former "deputy heugomen" of the monastery Crna Reka, known to the public because he was previously involved in the protest, which disabled Anglican celebration of Christmas on December 24, 2002 at the Patriarchate. On that occasion, the monk Antonije and gathered pseudozealots verbally on roughest way insulted Patriarch Pavle of Serbia of blessed repose and Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral . Only a month later, on January 29, 2003, monk Anthony with a group of thirty like-minded individuals organized a protest before the new building of the Patriarchate. Then Patriarch Pavle of blessed memory, who personally went down among the gathered, warned monk Antonije that "his zeal is not according to reason" and that "he can address only through his competent Bishop." Antonije then replied to Patriarch: "I do not need anyone's blessing to defend the Church from a demolition and Orthodoxy from heresy " and warned Patriarch Pavle " not to go to heretics because with those departures renounce all canons. "( Already this procedure eloquently testifies to the absence of any ecclesiastical awareness, and especially monastic conscience and spirituality of this man.)
Communique of Administrator Atanasije of Diocese of Raska-Prizren, retired Bishop of Zahumlje and Herzegovina15. February 2010 - 14:32
Upon the decision of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church no. 131 of February 11, 2010 signed by His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, His Grace Bishop Artemije of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija was dismissed of the managing duties of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren until the completion of the initiated canonical procedure, or until the next session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops. His Grace Bishop Artemije is not forbidden to serve and can stay at the seat or other place or monastery of these or other Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church, but with the permission of the newly appointed administrator or other Bishop in charge or other Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Communique of the Holy Synod of Bishops due to beginning the procedure of determing canonical responsibility of Bishop Artemije13. February 2010 - 14:32
Today at the session of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, chaired by Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, it has been decided to initiate the procedure of determining the canonical responsibility of His Grace Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren in the first instance (Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church art. 70, sect. 20 and 356), with His obligation to cooperate during the procedure, and to be removed from the management of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren until the completion of the initiated procedure, or until the next regular session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops.
His Grace Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren can stay and serve in one of the monasteries or in a different place on the territory of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren or beyond it until the completion of the procedure, in an agreement with the administrator, or with the permission of the competent diocesan bishop, but without any intervention in the jurisdiction of the administrator or any of diocesan bishops.
On the basis of art. 70. sect. 21 of the Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church, His Grace retired Bishop Atanasije of Zahumlje and Herzegovina to be established as the Administrator of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren with all the rights and duties of the diocesan bishop.
Regarding the statement of His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia in which he expresses regret and extend his apology for his reckless statement that hurted the feelings of many Muslims, Riyasah of Islamic Community of Serbia has published the following communiqué:
Only God does not sin. People make mistakes, and when they do it then they blaspheme against God. God is pleased, when a man repents and asks forgiveness. God is more pleased when one man forgives the another one, so You shall be forgiven, so as Almighty supports us not to resent each other and that our temptations of life and happiness share in peace and respect.
On the occasion of my reckless incomplete statement about the psychological profile of the Muslims, published in the daily newspaper Blic on St. Sava's day, I state that indeed it can be interpreted in the way it was understood by those Muslim believers and religious leaders who felt hurt, although I neither had such an intention nor that unfortunate statement expresses my true attitude towards Islam, based on the absolute respect of identity, dignity and integrity of Muslims as individuals, the Islamic community as a whole, and Islam as a major world religion.
Serbian President Boris Tadic talked yesterday with His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia and pointed out that the Church had an important place in our society. President and Patriarch spoke about the position of the clergy and monks of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and Metohia, as well as on the protection of the cultural heritage in the southern province of Serbia.