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March 2011 Lawsuit Update

News Flash - Update

Dated: March 8, 2011

Released by:   The Committee for Safeguarding the Free Serbian Churches

Due to the enormous interest in the outcome of the New Gracanica Metropolitanate lawsuit filed in the Circuit Court of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Lake County, Illinois, the plaintiffs and the members of the many Serbian Orthodox Churches in the USA and Canada hereby wish to briefly summarize what led to the filing of the action and where the whole matter stands.

From the historical perspective, the New Gracanica Metropolitanate existed  since 1977, at first under a different name, and is still in existence, however, its property, both, real and personal has been illegally taken, and that led to the filing of the lawsuit against Bishop Longin, who has taken possession of the property belonging to the New Gracanica Metropolitanate.

The Transitional Regulations agreed on and signed by all of the respective parties in 1992, clearly specify that the integration of the New Gracanica Metropolitanate in the other four dioceses can only occur when its members at a properly called Sabor (Assembly) accept the new constitution, which was compiled in 1998, and edited on many occasions ever since.  The Members of the New Gracanica Metropolitanate have decisively turned down the said new constitution in December of 1999, and have never since then voted to accept it.  On that occasion the Sabor of December 1999, has unanimously revived the old 1986, constitution, which to this very date is in affect with its members.

Bishop Longin has knowingly violated the Transitional Regulations document by ignoring the condition by which the integration into the other four diocese is to occur, and the taking of the property belonging to New Gracanica is a further violation of the existing laws of the Stated of Illinois.  The members of the New Gracanica Metropolitanate through the plaintiffs are seeking the full restitution of the property belonging to it, and the injunctions to be issued by the Court whereby it is affording its protection.  This whole matter involves the violation of the contractual agreement and the laws of the State of Illinois under which the New Gracanica Metropolitanate has been registered.

ONE GREAT VICTORY has been achieved when the Federal Court remanded  the matter back to the Circuit Court after the Defendant moved the case  to the Federal Court stating that the Circuit Court had no jurisdiction to hear religious matters.  The Federal Court disagreed stating that this is not a religious matter, but one that involves property rights and as such falls under the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court. 

The Circuit court provided the Defendant an opportunity to file the answer to the original Complaint filed back in July 2010.  It was the Order of the Court that the Answer be filed by March 3, 2011, otherwise a Default Judgment may be issued.

Current status: As of March 8th, 2011
The Defendant failed to file the Answer.  As a result the Plaintiff has now filed a motion to request a Default Judgment be issued in the Complaint filed with the court.  This will go before the Judge on March 15, 2011.

This is a very important case on many grounds.  Many people don’t know that the new constitution, which was illegally and immorally imposed on the Serbian Orthodox faithful HAS MADE THE DIOCESES OF THE NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA AUTONOMOUS, WHICH MEANS THAT THEY ARE ON THEIR WAY TO BE DETACHED FROM THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH.

Yes, they are on the way to be under the Ecumenical Patriarch and no longer under the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade.  THAT IS WHY THE PRIESTS under the direction of THE BISHOPS HAVE BECOME SO DICTATORIAL, and are trying to MANAGEMENT THE PROPERTIES BELONGING TO THE SERBIAN PARISHES IN CANADA AND USA. 

Read the other links in this website to see how this is coming together. The first Great Meeting of the All Orthodox Bishops of North America has already occurred.  Ask yourself, why your priest or Bishop has not informed you of the participation of the Serbian Bishops in this meeting.  What was discussed?  Have they agreed to take steps toward the split from the Mother Churches?  There are a lot of unanswered questions.  Is this the same process that they are following as was followed with this so called “Unification”?  Keep the laity in the dark until it is too late?

DO NOT ALLOW YOUR MEMBERSHIP TO SLIDE, ENCOURAGE THE PARTICIPATION IN THE PRESERVATION OF OUR SERBIAN ORTHODOXY AND SVETOSAVLJE.  DO NOT DELAY, TOMORROW MAY BE TOO LATE WHEN YOUR PROPERTY IS SOLD BECAUSE YOUR MEMBERS LEFT IN DIGUST.

JOIN THE COMMITTEE FOR SAFEGUARDING THE FREE SERBIAN CHURCHES, AND DO YOUR PART TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS PASSED ON TO YOU, AND PASS THEM ON SO THAT THE SERBDOM AND SVETOSAVLJE CAN LIVE THE LIFE WE HAVE BEEN ACCUSTOMED TO.

DON’T BE SILENT.  IF YOU AGREE, JOIN US.  PLEASE HELP US FINANCIALLY, SO THAT WE CAN CONTINUE TO FIGHT THE INJUSTICE!     

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