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December 30, 2010

Artemije Officially Proclaims Resistance Against Serbian Church

The former bishop of Raska-Prizren, Artemije, has officially proclaimed resistance against the official Serbian Orthodox Church in the form of two letters he recently sent seeking to justify his actions and decisions.

The first epistle was sent to all the bishops of the Orthodox Church throughout the world. Claiming that he is being persecuted by the Serbian Church officials uncanonically, he compares himself to St. John Chrysostom who while exiled from his throne in Constantinople was still considered the legitimate bishop by his flock as well as other bishops. Likewise he also appeals to all Orthodox bishops to consider himself as the legitimate bishop of Raska-Prizren instead of Bishop Teodosije of Raska-Prizren who has recently replaced him.

The second epistle of Artemije is addressed to the Standing Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade. In this epistle he blames the chaos of Kosovo and Metohija on the Holy Synod which he followed with obedience for many years, often against his own ideas. He blames them for eradicating monasticism from the region and working with Albanians to gain their praise. He further accuses the Patriarch himself of seeking to make Uniates of the Serbs for his ecumenical activities. He asks the Synod for his throne back, saying that the people want him as their bishop and not Teodosije. He says he does not accept the decisions of the Synod because they are uncanonical. As for the schism which is ensuing in the Serbian Church over this matter, he blames it on the Holy Synod and he dates it to 11 February 2010.

From these two epistles we see that Artemije is calling on the Holy Synod to repent and receive him back, while the Holy Synod also seeks the same from him. Both accuse one another of uncanonical actions and decisions which are creating a schism. As both persist, the situation gets worse.

Read both epistles in Greek at this link: Επιστολές του "εξόριστου" Επισκόπου Ράσκας Αρτεμίου