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How Did We Get Here?

The Free Church was governed by Constitution of the Free Serbian Orthodox Diocese for The United States and Canada, 1986. (FSOD of US & C)

In 1992 Metropolitan Irinij singed a resolution to unify the FSOD of US & C with the Serbian Orthodox church.  The 1992 Agreement.

Part of this agreement was the 1992 Transitional Regulations.  The regulations among other things called for the adoption of a new Joint constitution.  This was to be accomplished by 1995.

In the mean time Metropolitan Irinij’s health took of the worse.  As a result the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, in accordance with the 1992 Transitional Regulations appointed Bishop Longin as the administrator of FSOD of US & C.

Efforts continued to write a joint constitution.

In late 1997, word had leaked out that there was a constitution written and that it was to be adopted by all North American Serbian Orthodox Dioceses including the FSOD of US & C.  A copy of this Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America 1997.was obtained prior to the April 1998 Sabor of the FSOD of US & C.  This Joint Constitution was not well received by a number of the Churches of the FSOD of US & C.  Which resulted in a great deal of work by a number of Church Committees.

One of the agenda items for the April 24 1998 Sabor of the FSOD of US & C, was the Joint Constitution.

As the Sabor progressed, on April 24, 1998, one of the Canadian delegates was given the floor at which time he placed a motion that was seconded.  Extreme pressure was placed on the delegate to have him withdraw the motion, to no avail.  The motion had the effect to stop the Sabor.

The result was the Joint Constitution was not adopted.

At the same time as the FSOD of US & C was meeting in their Sabor,, the four  Dioceses of the Serbian Orthodox Church of North America was holding their Sabor, close by.  Plans were for both Sabors to adopt the new Constitution and called for a Joint Session of the two separate Sabors to meet in unity and to formally Jointly adopt the new Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America 1997 along with the Implementation Regulations.

Having failed to secure the approval of the Sabor of the FSOD of US & C, it was obvious that additional work had to be done.  In order to accomplish this, a committee was established to work on formulating a new Joint Constitution that would be acceptable to all Dioceses.  This committee met on a number of times.  But in the end could not reach a consensus and did not bring forward a revised Draft Constitution.

As time passed on Metropolitan Irinij reposed in the Lord and Bishop Longin was formally appointed as the Bishop of the FSOD of US & C.

A number of Sabors of the FSOD of US & C were held over the following years.  The constitution however was not on the Agenda.  This subject however remained of key concern and behind the scene efforts however continued.

A new Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America 2008 (2008 Constitution)along with the Implementation Regulations 2007 were written under the direction of  Metropolitan Christopher.  This new Constitution of 2008 however was never presented to a Sabor of the FSOD of US & C.  The member Churches of the FSOD of US & C were not even provided copies of the 2008 Constitution.

During the 2008 year however one by one the three United States Serbian Orthodox Diocese gave approval to the 2008 Constitution.  The 2008 Constitution was a closely guarded secret and the FSOD of US & C churches did not receive copies of it.

In May 2009, the Holy Synod of Bishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church approved the 2008 Constitution.  This had the effect of reorganizing the Serbian Orthodox Church in North America according to geographic territories.  For the most part the previous Dioceses were maintained however; the churches of the FSOD of US & C were realigned to the new geographic Diocese.

There was not Sabor of the FSOD of US & C that approved such drastic measures.

The case regarding the illegal adoption of the 2008 Constitution

1.  The 2008 Constitution was never approved by a Sabor of the FSOD of US & C,  contrary to article 34, of the constitution, this constitution was not promulgated nor adopted Church Assembly (Sabor) on the Serbian Orthodox Metropolitanate of New Gracanica Diocese of USA and Canada on April 24, 1998.  This latest version was not even written at the time.

2. The 2008 Constitution was written some years after the April 24, 1998,

3. Affidavits will be collected from attendees of 1998 Sabor and all subsequent Sabor that will support point number one,

4. Bishop Longin did not have the authority to accept the 2008 Constitution with out first putting it to a vote of the Sabor of FSOD of US & C

5. Adoption of the 2008 Constitution is contrary to the 1992 Transitional Regulation

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