The Decision of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church on redistribution of dioceses4. June 2009 - 17:23
The Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, on its session on May 21, 2009, by the number ABno, 49/ord. 147, brought this decision:
Upon the clause 16 of the Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and with the established suggestion of the Episcopal Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America and two members of the Holy Assembly of Bishops (His Grace Bishop Hrizostom of Zhicha and His Grace Bishop Irinej of Bachka), to execute the redistribution of existing dioceses of the Serbian Orthodox Church: Midwestern American, Eastern American, Western American and Canadian of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the USA and Canada; and Dioceses for America and Canada of the Metropolitanate of New Gracanica, with certain renaming of their titles and moving of their seats, in order to the canonic territory of the Serbian Orthodox Church on the territory of the North and South America now is consisting of:
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:
In the Skopje newspaper Vecher on May 19 was published an article of a journalist Marjan Nikolovski titled " The SOC should sit and negotiate with the MOC". In this text it is being stated that a visit of His Eminence Bishop Dr Marko of Berlin (the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia) and Reverend protopresbyter Nikolai Balashov , the Secretary of Inter-Orthodox Relations of the MP DECR to hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church on May 14 in Belgrade had as a goal to convey a message of His Holiness Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow and All Russia that the Serbian Orthodox Church should not elect a new head and "that in Belgrade tell them to bring a decision to begin talks with the Macedonian Orthodox Church".
None of these statements are truth. During talks among the members of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church there was no single word on the themes that this journalist mentioned. Furthermore, it is impossible that one autocephaly Church brings any kind of requests or orders to other autocephaly Church. All talks between the Russian and the Serbian Church lead only to spirit of brotherly love and full mutual trust. The attempt of the Skopje journalist that the Moscow Patriarchate is presented to public as a "lawyer" of schismatic Church circles is in contradiction with the facts.
However, I agree with the position of Mr. Nikolovski that a dialogue presents a way for resolving all disputes, as well as the church related dispute in Macedonia.