Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Turmoil Continues in Serbian Church as Monks Rebel

Filed under: Christian,Kosovo,Orthodox hierarchs,Orthodox life,religious,Serbia — 01varvara @ 00.00

Frescoes in the cave church at Crna Reka Monastery (16th Century?)

Dissent continues to rack the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC), as monks in two monasteries have openly rebelled against the church leadership, the newspaper Blic said Wednesday. Monks at the Crna Reka and Holy Archangels Monasteries launched a rebellion in support of Bishop Artemije Radosavljević, the former head of the Diocese of Kosovo, whom the SPC replaced because he ignored orders and he was implicated in corruption scandals. The monks said they were set to abandon their monasteries despite orders from the SPC to remain in place.

Crna Reka Monastery near the village of Ribariće (between Kosovska Mitrovica, Rozaje, and Novi Pazar), St Joanikije Devički the Wonderworker (26 April/9 May) lived in its cave.

The influential Metropolitan Amfilohije Radović, the provisional administrator of the Diocese of Kosovo, which also covers a part of southwestern Serbia, met the monks in Crna Reka at an unspecified date, but failed to reach a settlement. “They were told that the Church cannot allow pseudo-zealotry and sectarianism that undermines the unity of the Church”, a statement of the Diocese of Kosovo said. The Diocese of Kosovo has been in focus not only because of the secession of Kosovo in 2008, but also because of alleged financial abuse. The allegations have so far led to the criminal indictment and arrest of Artemije’s right-hand man, Simeon Vilovski. Monks at the Crna Reka monastery caused outrage last year when they disclosed they were “curing” drug addicts by torturing them.

2 June 2010

Earth News


Holy Archangels Monastery near Prizren

Editor’s Note:

This came in on my Google Alerts. Interesting, no? I’m going to ask friends of mine in the Serb Church to shed some light on this. This smells like a Modernist/Traditionalist fight in new clothes… Metropolitan Amfilohije Radović is one of the leading traditionalists in the SPC. Another of the reasons for this multifarious dispute is that Bishop Artemije re-established Crna Reka Monastery in 1979 (its original foundation was in the 13th century), after a long period of abandonment. Obviously, the monks have strong feelings towards their former abbot and spiritual father. Tsar Stefan Uroš IV Dušan the Mighty (1308-55) founded Holy Archangels Monastery near Prizren in the middle of the 14th century (he was originally buried at this monastery, but his relics were translated to St Mark Church in Belgrade), but it was abandoned after the Ottoman conquest in the mid-16th century, only becoming an active monastery again in 1998, under Bishop Artemije. So, with such personal ties to Bishop Artemije, is it any wonder that the brotherhoods are raising questions about his removal?

A friend who wishes to be anonymous sent me this link. It’s a little outdated, but the general trends illustrated hold true:



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