Statement of Holy Assembly of Bishops

COMMUNIQUE From the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church Held in Belgrade May 14-22,2009

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.

Communique of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the SPC on Tuesday, May 21, 2009

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:

Special communiqué of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the SOC, Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Regarding the news from Diocese of Rashka and Prizren that its Bishop, His Grace Dr Artemije , " does not give a blessing" for a visit of the US Vice President Joseph Biden to the Monastery of Visoki Dechani, the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church informs the public that it annuls this decision of Bishop Artemije and expresses regrets because of it. It is in contradiction with traditional Christian principles of hospitality, deeply rooted in the Serbian people, and especially in our monasteries.

The visit of the US Vice President is legitimate visit to states of this region, and among them, to Serbia; and the Assembly considers, no matter what are Biden personal or American general positions on a status of Kosovo and Metohija, that the decision of Mr. Biden to visit our greatest sanctuary in our south province, Monastery of Dechani, represents a gesture of good will and a clear message to those who would continue to destroy or convert Serbian churches and monasteries in Kosovo and Metohija.

Bishop Irinej of Bachka
Spokesman of the Holy Assembly of Bishops
of the Serbian Orthodox Church

Communique of the Holy Assembly of Bishops on Tuesday, May 19, 2009

During sessions on May 18 and 19, the Holy Assembly of Bishops learned about a condition and problems of dioceses of the Serbian Orthodox Church by reports of bishops.

During the session on May 19, Bishop Lavrentije of Shabac informed the Assembly about his wish and decision, due to health and other personal reasons, to retire from an active service and to continue to live as a retired Bishop, but he then accepted a position and a petition of the Assembly , due to current spiritual needs of the Church at this moment, to postpone (‘'to froze'')  until further notice his resignation from the active service of diocesan hierarch and to continue to govern Diocese of Shabac.

During the same session the Assembly had a  business meeting with Minister for Kosovo and Metohija Mr. Goran Bogdanovic and counselors of the President of Serbia Mladjan Djordjevic and Damjan Krnjcevic.

The Patriarchate, May 19, 2009

Bishop Irinej of Bachka
Spokesman of the Holy Assembly of Bishops

Public communique of the Holy Hierarchical Assembly of the Serbian Orthodox Church

Communique from the second regular session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, held in Belgrade November 11-15, 2008.

With the blessings of His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of Serbia and under the presidency of His Eminence Metropolitan Amphilohije of Montenegro and the Coastlands who, in accordance with Article 62 of the Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church took the place of His Holiness, who was absent for health reasons, the second regular Assembly of the Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church took place November 11 through 15, 2008 at the Patriarchate in Belgrade.