Communique of the Holy Assembly of Bishops
The Communique of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church
from their regular meeting held at Zica Monastery and Belgrade, May 9-18, 2019
This year’s regular meeting of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church began on May 9, 2019 in Monastery Zica, the first headquarters of the autocephalous Serbian Church, while the 800th anniversary of autocephaly, full church independence, that great gift from God and great achievement of Saint Sava, we celebrate this year. After the Holy conciliar Hierarchical Liturgy and the Invocation of the Holy Spirit at the monastery church of Zica Monastery, the first meetings, under the presidency of His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej, were held at the monastery, May 9-10, 2019, while beginning May 11th the Assembly continued its work at the Patriarchate in Belgrade. Participating in the Assembly were all diocesan hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church with the exception of Bishop Luka of Western Europe. Continue
Communique of the Holy Assembly of Bishops on Kosovo and Metohija
Friday, May 17, 2019
In commemorating the eight hundredth anniversary of the autocephaly of our local Church and with deep responsibility before God, the holy patriarchs, archbishops and bishops who for centuries with their clergy, monastics and faithful people upheld the Testament of Prince Lazar and preserved Kosovo and Metohija in our spiritual memory as our holy and testamonial land, fighting for the preservation of our sacred places and the freedom of our people, the Holy Assembly of Bishops once more reiterates its unanimous and unequivocal position, expressed at last year’s meetings held in May and in November.
Kosovo and Metohija is an integral part of the sovereign territory of the Republic of Serbia and as such is defined in the Serbian Constitution and in UN Security Council Resolution 1244. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia, including Kosovo and Metohija, regardless of the illegally declared so-called Kosovo state, is recognized by a vast majority of humanity, including Russia and China, and five countries of the European Union, the OSCE, UNESCO and other important international organizations. For this reason the Holy Assembly of Bishops of our Church deems unacceptable any change in the status of Kosovo and Metohija which leads either to the recognition of Kosovo as an independent state or to any variation of territorial division, without which partition is not possible. Such solutions would inevitably lead to the emigration of the majority of the remaining Serbian people, who live in the majority Albanian communities of Kosovo and Metohija, and to the incalculable damage to our spiritual and cultural heritage.
As the hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church we present this position, not as a political position, but above all as a pastorally responsible and historical one, which comes from the centuries-old struggle of our Church in preserving the survival of the faithful Serbian people and sanctuaries in the centuries-old hearths and the will of the vast majority of our people. This position does not in any way mean supporting the idea of the so-called frozen conflict; rather, it represents an invitation to all political factors to continue dialogue, without pressure and blackmail in the context of resolving the issue of the protection of human rights of the people, freedom of life and work of the Serbian Orthodox Church, institutional and security protection of our sacred places, the return of displaced and free access to property to all those who have been unlawfully seized or usurped. Therefore, we strongly support every responsible dialogue which contributes to the rule of law and law and reconciliation among all peoples living in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija as the southern province of Serbia.
A Prayerful Beginning of the Holy Assembly of Bishops
Thursday, May 9, 2019
The Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church began solemnly on May 9, 2019 with the Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy and the Rite of the Invocation of the Holy officiated by His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej in the Church of the Holy Ascension in Zicha Monastery (photo gallery)
This year’s Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church began in Zicha Monastery with the Divine Liturgy officiated by His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej with the concelebration of Their Eminences Archbishop of Ohrid and Metropolitans of Skoplje Jovan, Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb and Ljubljana and Hrizostom of Dabro-Bosna, Their Graces Bishops Justin of Zicha, Vasilije of Srem, Nikanor of Banat, Longin of New Gracanica and Midwestern America, Mitrophan of Canada, Dositej of Britain and Scandinavia, Pahomije of Vranje, Jovan of Sumadija, Atanasije of Milesevo, Joanikije of Budimlje and Niksic, Grigorije of Düsseldorf and Germany, Teodosije of Ras and Prizren, Maxim of Western America, Irinej of Eastern America, David of Krusevac, Jovan of Slavonia, Andrej of Austria and Switzerland, Siluan of Australia and New Zealand, Kirilo of Buenos Aires and South and Central America, Nikodim of Dalmatia, Heruvim of Osek-Polje and Baranja, Dimitrije of Zahum and Hercegovina, Antonije Vicar of Moravica, Isihije Vicar of Mohac and Georgije retired Bishop of Canada. Continue
Fast Questions and Fast Answers about American Orthodox Christian Monasteries
“Fast Questions and Fast Answers about American Orthodox Christian Monasteries” is the third essay in a group of mini-reports about Orthodox Church life in America.
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Not many people realize that there are eighty Orthodox Christian monasteries in the USA which represent great variety of ethnic and liturgical traditions. In fact, America is, probably, the only place in the world where - within the same country - one can visit Greek, Russian, Romanian, Serbian Orthodox monasteries and experience their different “ethnic” liturgical styles, worship practices, church architecture, musicology and iconography. Besides worship services, there are many other interesting aspects and facts related to the lives of American Orthodox monasteries. Here are some examples of the questions that are addressed in this report:
- Are there any monasteries that are especially interesting to visit, because of their architecture or religious arts?
- Are there any monasteries that offer some interesting educational programs or workshops?
- Is there anything unique about “economies” of US Orthodox monasteries?
- Are there any monasteries that have some interesting and unusual liturgical practices?
- Are there any monasteries that offer opportunities to experience monastic life for a period of time first-hand?
The report is accompanied by four geographic maps and many photographs depicting every-day lives of US Orthodox monasteries. Read this story and if you have any follow-up questions, please feel free send your inquiries to Alexei Krindatch: firstname.lastname@example.org.