NEWS AND EVENTS - Tuesday, March 23, 2010
RESOLUTIONS OF THE DIOCESE OF NEW GRACANICA-MIDWESTERN AMERICA
We, the bishop, priests and delegates from the church-school communities, gathered at the First regular meeting of the Diocese of New Gracanica-Midwestern America in the Monastery of the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God New Gracanica Monastery, on the 20th of March, 2010 on the day of the Seven Martyrs of Cherson, have concluded with the following
Whereas with gratitude to God and the Most holy Mother of God and all the Saints of the Serbia people, united in love and agreement, we express, as sons, our loyalty to the new first hierarch of our martyred Church – His Holiness the Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci, Patriarch of Serbia Irinej, and to all the hierarchs of our local church in the fatherland and abroad. At the same time we offer our humble prayers for the blessed repose of the Patriarch of Serbia Pavle who has with his prayers, love and patience founded unity of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America.
The result of the reached unity on this continent is the existence of the currently strongest, not just in numbers, diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church on this continent. We experience the mentioned strength, first of all, through the grace filled gifts which pour out of the two Serbian holy places (regardless to which diocese they belong to): the Monastery of St. Sava in Libertyville and the New Gracanica Monastery.
Deeply inspired by the patristic covenant of St. Nikolaj of Zhica and the new confessor Varnava of Hvostno we are ready to, by God's grace and with love in our hearts, continue our true care of the countless brothers and sisters and Serbian children who have after the storms of war at the end of the past century found refuge in this new world. Their presence, but even more their steadfastness in the faith of the Fathers, have contributed to the formation of a considerable number of new parishes and church school communities. At the same time we are thankful to God for He added to our Holy Church a significant number of those who converted into the Eastern Orthodox Faith. All this testifies to the fact that our Church has not lost its missionary character and that it safeguards under its wings and preserves the national identity of our scattered Serbian people.
New Gracanica Monastery, in which this meeting is taking place, was built by Serbs not as a novelty, but because of their desire to follow the example of the ancient and beautiful Gracanica in Kosovo and Metohija in the Orthodox living and preservation of the Path of St. Sava. Unfortunately with pain we realize that Gracanica Monastery in Kosovo is mentioned daily in the media as a place of unpleasant events which force us to look down even before those who wish to erase the Serbian Orthodox people off the face of the earth.
It is nothing new that various problems arise in the life of the Church, along with the need to overcome them. It has been for centuries. What is new, but also unusual and unacceptable, is that some problems of the Church are “solved” on the pages of the media that is not favorably disposed to the Church. We consider that the only proper place for the inspired resolution of the problems of the Church is in the hierarchical structure of the Serbian Orthodox Church, first of all in the Holy Assembly of Bishops. In this spirit we pray and believe that our hierarchs will find strength to resolve all current and future problems within the life of our local Church.
Aware of the economic crisis which has enveloped the whole world, including our Serbian nation, we believe that the cause of the crisis, first of all, in the spiritual and moral fall of the modern man, overburdened by the consumer mentality. We are especially concerned by the fact that for years now more people have been dying than were born in Serbia. We appeal to our Holy Church to provide special concern and attention toward the overcoming of the demographic problem in Serbia as well as elsewhere where Serbian people live, in cooperation with all of our national organizations.
The United States of America has, as a democratic country, for ages wholeheartedly accepted our Serbian people and allowed it to organize its own church life here but within the structure of its Mother Church. However we consider it very important to express our fear that we all might perish from the easily recognizable possibility of the politics of the globalists and ecumenists of this world being applied to the ordering of the whole Orthodox Church of which the Serbian Orthodox Church is one part. The Holy Church has always had a more than “global” character. It is more expansive and high than that. The Church in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic! It is not to be diminished, lowered to the level of this world, and restructured according to the measure of the political and economic criteria.
In the spirit of Lenten humility, at the threshold of Passion Week, we suffer along with the crucified Serbian people and its spiritual leaders in Kosovo and Metohija, praying to the crucified and resurrected Christ that He enlighten and teach by His love all of those in whose hands the future of the Serbian nation has been entrusted.
Experiencing the unbreakable bond in faith and blood with our brothers and sisters in our homeland, we who live, work and pray to God on this side of the ocean will never be separated from our Mother Church, Mother Serbia and the Serbian lands.