Holy Synod Statement
Announcement of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church on the occasion of the latest imprisonment of Archbishop John14. May 2012 - 10:37
After years of persecution, harassment, arrests and imprisonments, His Beatitude the Archbishop of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje kyr Dr. John, pan-Orthodoxly renowned and recognized canonical Prelate of the ancient Ohrid Archbishopric, was sentenced yesterday, May 11th, to two and a half years in prison under false charges of alleged fraud and embezzlement, the result of a politically motivated and staged pseudotrial of a Stalinist-type, organized upon the blatant request of the schismatic organization calling itself “The Macedonian Orthodox Church”. He was sentenced solely because of His unwavering commitment to the unity of the Church of God; because of his communion with the Serbian Patriarchate and thereby with universal Orthodoxy worldwide; and because of his persistent and confessional fight against the schismatic mentality and anti-Ecclesiastical ethnophiletism. This is a unique case in contemporary Europe – if not in the whole civilized world – of the authorities, by order, to commit an act of cruel violence and an atrocity upon the Orthodox Church and Her lawful senior representatives, most violently breaking both their own laws and international norms and conventions. Fortunately, several diplomats, representatives of the Orthodox Church, as well as representatives from organizations and institutions dedicated to the protection of human rights and religious freedom, attended the “trial”, and thus an accurate report and a clear picture of this sad and ugly scene staged in the Veles courtroom can be made to the relevant factors and the public.
The Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church, under whose canonical jurisdiction the autonomous Ohrid Archbishopric is, condemns with the deepest moral indignation this incomparable violence and persecution conducted under the guise of legal order, and is always with the brothers and sisters from the Ohrid Archbishopric, in prayer and evangelic love, and especially with their Shepherd, who gladly accepts and endures suffering for our forefathers’ faith as well as for the unity of Christ’s holy Orthodox Church. The Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church finally calls:
- for all sister Orthodox Churches throughout the ecumene;
- for all other Christian Churches in the world;
- for the World Council of Churches, the Conference of European Churches and other Christian organizations;
- for the spiritual leaders of major world religions;
- for the for governments and relevant public authorities of legally regulated states, primarily democratic;
- for the international institutions;
- for the institutions and organizations of human rights and religious freedom; and
- for all people of good will;
to provide spiritual, moral, legal and any other possible support to the prisoner of conscience, the Archbishop John, and to contribute to his release from prison as soon as possible.
Belgrade, May 12th, 2012
The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church
The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church with this appeal addresses all participants of the drama in the northern region of Kosovo and Metohija, with the warm prayer to God, the only Source of true peace, unity and love among peoples and nations, that they not allow this drama to be turned into a tragedy.
Regarding the visit of the monk Artemije,defrocked bishop, to certain Serbian communities in the United States of America
Regarding the news that the monk Artemije (Radosavljevic) has publicly appeared in certain Serbian communities in the United States of America, presenting himself falsely as a bishop, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church issues the following statement:
The intrusive announcement of the visit of the monk Artemije has no blessing of the Serbian Patriarch, nor any local bishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America, nor any organization or individual in our Church.
Holy Synod of Bishops at the meeting held on 16th of December this year, addressed the Church and the general public, regarding the anti-church conduct of the former Bishop of Raška and Prizren, now monk Artemije, with the following statement:
His Holiness IRINEJ, Serbian Patriarch with the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops sent a letter to the EU Representative in Serbia Mr. Peter Sørensen expressing deep concern over the erroneous translation in Serbian of one part of the addressing of the EU Special Representative in Kosovo and Metohija Mr. Peter Feight in the European Parliament on June 22, 2010. Also it was expressed an extreme disappointment over the content of the Feight's view on the situation in the southern Serbian province.
In one part of the addressing the European Parliament Mr. Feight positively evaluated that "transition of the SOC towards a more moderate approach in Kosovo is another positive development".This sentence in the Serbian translation of his addressing, which was sent to media by the office of Peter Feight, was incorrectly translated and means: "The transition of the SOC towards a more moderate approach regarding the Kosovo issue is another positive developement". The difference between " a more moderate approach (behavior) in Kosovo" and "a more moderate approach regarding the Kosovo issue" (is it regarding the issue of status?) is a very large and represents a grave mistake for which His Holiness has asked for the public correction and an apology from the office of the EU.
For days a group of monks of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren, which do not recognize the religious order and the decision of the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church on February 13, 2010. and who are placed under the canonical prohibition, together with some like-minded, and led by monk Antonije Davidovic of Black River, against whom is run the religious and legal process, distrubute throughout cities in Serbia and in some monasteries an article titled Appeal of the clergy, monks and faithful church people to the Sacred Church Council of the SOC and collect signatures of support.