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Address by His Grace Dr Artemije

 Our Hierarchy should take a joint attitude

 

    On the occasion of the meeting of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, to be held on 16 October 2009, His Grace Dr Artemije addressed an appeal to the Holy Synod of Bishops and all the Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church late in September, saying that, because of the importance of the theme that is to be discussed in Cyprus gathering,  our Hierarchy should take in advance a joint attitude toward the theme which ought to be defended and supported by our representatives at the forthcoming gathering.

    Similar appeal was addressed in September to the Greek Orthodox Church by PhD Dimitrios Tselengidis, Professor of the Dogmatic Theology in the Faculty of Theology in Thessaloniki.

 

 

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Address by His Grace Dr Artemije to Hierarchs of Serbian Orthodox Church

 

The Serbian Orthodox Bishop

of the Diocese of Ras-Prizren

and Kosovo-Metohija

No. 815

28 September 2009

Prizren - Gracanica

 

TO HOLY SYNOD OF BISHOPS OF SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

B E L G R A D E

 

    Fathers and brethren,

    In ten days there will be the second anniversary of the Ravenna gathering that has been athe cause of many offences and confusions for a long time among the Orthodox people worldwide, and therefore among Serbian people as well. It has been much spoken, written, or discussed about Ravena (i.e. RAVENNA DOCUMENT) so far, yet many questions have remained unanswered. For instance, the question of participation and role of the Serbian Orthodox Church representatives in the work of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church.

    In order to have some of these questions answered and cleared, Our humbleness put forward a PROPOSITION to the Holy Synod of Bishops on May 19, 2008 (D. No. 363) consisting of nine clear questions regarding the Ravenna document, but for the lack of due attention, the questions remained open.

    The key question in the Proposition was: «How is that possible to discuss "the status of the bishop of Rome in the Church" while the Roman "bishop - pope" is not in the Church but rather outside of it, inside heresy. Don't you think that it is necessary to discuss not his status in the Church but rather his return to the Church? Wasn't the union of the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Church prejudiced "by this Ravenna document"»?

    Today, after two years, further incidents and shakes are looming on the horizon of the Orthodox world. Namely, during 16 - 23 October 2009, a new meeting of Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue is to be held in Cyprus, where they will continue to work on the theme they already laid the foundation for in Ravenna, the theme of «the status of the bishop of Rome in the Church». In other words, the theme of the Pope's primacy, his authority and power over the whole Church of Christ.

    The  theme is highly serious and decisive. It should not and must not be overlooked and let to be considered by only a couple of our representatives. It should be considered by all the Hierarchs of our Holy Church. Thus, We regard it vital to request the Holy Synod of Bishops to call a special session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church as soon as possible, before the Cyprus meeting takes place, so as the crucial issue of our representatives' participation in Cypus meeting could be discussed and the attitude of our Church toward the issue be settled. Then, that attitude ought to be defended and supported by our representatives at the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue in Cyprus.

    The best example of how important is the forthcoming Cyprus gathering for other Orthodox Churches as well, is a written address by professor Dimitrios Tselengidis from Thessaloniki to the Hierarchs of the Greek Orthodoh Church. Please find enclosed the professor's text.

    Having trust that our Holy Synod of Bishops will realise the gravity of the situation and accept Our humble proposition, We remain

 

    Faithful in Christ our Lord to the Holy Synod of Bishops.

 

The Bishop of Ras-Prizren

and Kosovo-Metohija

+ARTEMIJE

 

Sent to:

All Diocesan Bishops

of the Serbian Orthodox Church

 

 

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