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Position of the Serbian Orthodox Church on the Church Crisis in Ukraine

The two day meeting of the Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church (November 6-7, 2018) was dedicated to three topics - the state in Kosovo and Metohija, the improvement of education and enlightenment in the Serbian Orthodox Church and the church crisis in Ukraine after the recent decisions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The church's vision of the state in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as its perspective on the struggle in preserving the suffering Serbian province within the make-up of Serbia, under the  constant provocation by the leadership of the false state and the constant pressures of the great Western powers, the Assembly of Bishops has already pointed out in its encyclical here.

The work of the Assembly in the field of church education and enlightenment is also, more or less, known to the public, but the Assembly's position regarding the question of the Church in Ukraine is known only in part. The reason for this is the fact that, first of all, all Local Orthodox Churches needed to be informed of the position of the Assembly of Bishops, beginning with the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Moscow Patriarchate, in the appropriate languages (Greek, Russian and English), a task that needed a certain amount of time. Having completed that, now is the time for the position of the Serbian Orthodox Church to be presented to the local media.


Statement of the Recent Attack in Thousand Oaks

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Deeply saddened and profoundly concerned, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America condemns the heinous and murderous shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California. Regrettably, it has become all too common for peace to be broken by bloodshed.

Nearly one year ago, after the horrific shooting in Las Vegas, we stated, “we witness one more egregious act of hatred and terror. Unfortunately, such sights have become all too familiar in our society; they are the antithesis of love and the worst example for our children of what mankind can be. We are called to rise up in witness of a love that conquers fear and hatred, and to bear witness before society and all civil authorities of the need to eliminate violence.” We are distraught that today the opposite is manifest, and, in this case, even some of the same people were re-victimized.

We fervently pray for the victims and their families during this time of sudden and unfathomable pain and loss. We sympathize and stand in solidarity with the survivors for the healing of both soul and body. As we mourn the loss of innocent lives, we must all work together to transform our broken society. It is time we allow love to overcome hate and light to outshine darkness. Only then will these countless and continuously occurring acts of violence cease and peace prevail.

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Communique of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church on Kosovo and Metohija

Gathered at the autumn meeting of the Holy Assembly of Bishops, we the Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church headed by His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej, in these difficult times which our Church and the faithful are facing in Kosovo and Metohija, first of all express our support to His Grace Bishop Teodosije of Raška-Prizren, his clergy, monastics and the faithful people of the Diocese of Raška-Prizren in their efforts to persist and remain in Kosovo and Metohija, the heartland of the Serbian Orthodox spirituality and our identity.

Furthermore, we express our concern due to the latest developments, especially many incidents, thefts and other forms of pressure targeted against our people. We remind the international and local political representatives that they are obliged to provide peaceful and dignified life for all citizens and not to allow any violence. We there especially emphasize the importance of the presence and active role of the international peace-forces KFOR and the OSCE mission in accordance with the UNSC Resolution 1244, which must continue until normal living conditions have been established for all communities in Kosovo and Metohija. Continue

Letter of Serbian Patriarch to Patriarch Bartholomew
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Subject: the position of the Serbian Orthodox Church regarding the methodology of overcoming of schisms in Ukraine and elsewhere.

Your All-Holiness,

During the annual meeting of the Holy Synod of the Hierarchy of our Church, which took place from April 29 to May 10 of the present year, discussed in the synod, among other matters, was the problem of schisms in the Orthodox East, namely, in Ukraine, in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and elsewhere, as well as the problem of the “sect” in Montenegro, which is led by a certain Miraš Dedeić, a former clergyman of Your Most Holy Church, who was defrocked by Your decision.

From the brotherly discussion in the Synod, it became apparent that the heresy of ethnophyletism constitutes one of the principal malaises of contemporary Orthodoxy. In this connection, it is very important that the Holy and Great Synod that took place in Crete, among its other decrees, validated the ecumenical significance of the Council in Constantinople (1872), which branded the ethnophylite heresy as also a “snake venom” dissolving the body of the Church. Continue

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