Statement of Holy Assembly of Bishops

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.

Decision of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church about the withdrawal of the Serbian Patriarch

The Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church informs the public about the request of the Serbian patriarch Pavle:

"The request of His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of the Serbian Orthodox Church on October 8, 2008, to be granted retirement from active service due to his physical disability, has been received to the knowledge.

At the same time, The Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church ask His Holiness Patriarch to still remain the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church".

The Holy Assembly of Bishops continues its work after the agenda.

PUBLIC COMMUNIQUÉ FROM THE REGULAR CONVOCATION OF THE HOLY ASSEMBLY OF BISHOPS OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH HELD IN BELGRADE

Сабор

In the Patriarchate in Belgrade, with the blessings of His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle, and under the presidency of His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral, who in accordance with Article 62 of the Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church substitutes for His Holiness, who is currently absent due to illness, the regular convocation of The Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church was held from 15 to 21 May 2008. All of the diocesan hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the country and abroad, as well as His Beatitude Jovan, Archbishop of Ochrid and Metropolitan of Skopje, together with the hierarchs of the Autonomous Archdiocese of Ochrid participated in the work of The Assembly.

In the spirit of Paschal joy and with love in the Risen Lord, confronted by great contemporary spiritual challenges, The Holy Assembly of Bishops concerned itself with issues vital to the life, order and mission of the Serbian Orthodox Church.