Serbian Orthodox Church Bishops Council Meets in Belgrade, Addresses Kosovo Ban and Church Issues

Serbian Orthodox Church Bishops Council Meets in Belgrade, Addresses Kosovo Ban and Church Issues – OCP News Service – 20/05/2024

Belgrade-Serbia: The Holy Council of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church concluded its regular session on May 18th, following a relocation from the Peć Patriarchate to the Saint Sava Memorial Church in Belgrade. The move came after Kosovar authorities denied entry to His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije and other bishops, preventing them from attending the originally planned opening ceremony.

Despite the disruption, the Council addressed a range of pressing issues. A key theme was the situation in Kosovo and Metohija, with the Council strongly condemning the entry ban and expressing concern about the ongoing challenges faced by the Serbian people and Church institutions in the region. The Council called for international intervention to ensure basic human rights and freedoms, emphasizing the importance of dialogue based on UN Security Council resolutions.

The Council also addressed the establishment of a “Community of Serbian Municipalities” to protect Serbian interests and a special security mechanism for Serbian Orthodox sanctuaries. They decried historical revisionism attempts that seek to portray Serbs as aggressors and called for an end to such distortions.

Internally, the Council established four new dioceses in Europe, dividing the British-Scandinavian, Austrian-Swiss, and British-Irish dioceses. New statutes were approved for dioceses in the United States and Germany. The Council further elected four new vicar bishops and addressed the organization of the Serbian Orthodox Church, including amendments to the Church’s constitution regarding diocesan bishop titles.

The state of Church education was a focus, with a commission formed to analyze seminaries and propose improvements. The Council also voiced concern for the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Palestine, urging international action to protect civilians and promote peace.

Finally, the Council commemorated several important anniversaries, including the 130th birthday, 45th anniversary of repose, and 15th anniversary of sainthood of theologian Saint Justin Popović. Additionally, they honored the 15th anniversary of the repose of Patriarch Pavle and the 25th anniversary of the repose of Metropolitan Irinej of Novi Sad, both figures revered for their work in reconciliation and unity efforts.


OCP News Services,

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