December 2, 2010

Bishop Atanasije Jevtic's Open Epistle to Artemije

Below is a very paraphrased open letter dated 1 December 2010 which Bishop Atanasije Jevtic wrote concerning his brother in Christ Artemije. I know this is sensitive material for some of my readers, but the truth must be revealed to prevent schism and avoid unfounded conspiracy theories against the Serbian hierarchy. The entire letter can be read here in Greek which was translated from Serbian. It is a bit too long for me to translate word for word right now.

Reminding the call of Christ to humility and repentance Bishop Atanasije reminds the faithful that Artemije was tonsured a monk 50 years ago by St. Justin the New ten days before he was tonsured by the same. Yet he has undermined the Holy Synod of Serbia and already created schism by "invading piratically two monasteries of the Diocese of Raska-Prizren and 'liturgized' there" even though he is no longer bishop and been restored as a monastic. Even though he claims to have served the Serbian Church for 50 years, it does not seem so in the past ten years. Instead of repenting before the Holy Synod, he calls upon the Holy Synod and the Patriarch to repent. Because he has not at one point come forward in repentance for his disobedience, Bishop Atanasije reminds Artemije of the words of Christ: "Physician, heal thyself".

50 years ago Artemije donned the rason of repentance, yet now he refuses it. Instead he chooses to call others to repentance. He could have saved himself from this situation by his own repentance and it would have been easier, yet he now chooses a more difficult path and has been reduced to a monk of repentance. All he had to do was come forward and say: "Open the gates of repentance, O Christ the Lifegiver."

Instead of confessing to his brother clergy and making an initial step to approach them, he now goes forward before the media and speaks with lawyers. He does not follow ecclesiastical law which has been instituted by Christ Himself in Matt. 18:15-17: “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector."

Brother Artemije has lied before God and men on the feast of the Archangels and the anniversary of his tonsure. He said that he was "unconstitutionally and improperly tried and there was no chance of apology, even as 'Roman law' requires" and that the indictment against him proves nothing. Interestingly this is the first time he has even spoken of the indictment of the Holy Synod.

Artemije, instead of following ecclesiastical law, follows so-called canonists and "wooden lawyers" around him saying that the canons teach something different, yet he doesn't want to listen to the 74th Apostolic Canon and the 19th Canon of Carthage which is in accordance with the teaching of Christ and prohibit the use of Roman law and secular courts for bishops.

Artemije called upon the Holy Synod to repent three times, and yet from February he has been mocking the new Patriarch making him look dumb and shamelessly telling lies. And he continues to lie, hiding the truth and facts of certain financial violations.

This mockery occurred in May of 2006 when Bishop Atanasije was a member of the Holy Synod. Partners of S. Vilovski, who started a lot of this mess and was harbored by Artemije, set up a shooting against the Registrar of the Province, Father Sergius Stankovic, his small children (daughters) and his wife, (the night of St. George's feast in 2006 Zvetsan, near Mitrovica), as Father Sergius is the in charge secretary of the diocese, and he had begun to reveal the financial and economic machinations of the then powerful wrongdoing on the Episcopal District of the same Artemije, Simeon Vilovski and his best man Predrag Suboticki.

When this horrible case was thoroughly examined, which is more a terrorist act for the history of the mafia rather than a part of ecclesiastical history, Artemije saw it as merely ironic. He said that Albanians fired those shots even though it was payed Serbs and his name is well-known: Dacic, a policeman from Kosovo Prilouzie. He was convicted to two years imprisonment, but escaped and is now hiding for fear of his arrest.

The Holy Synod unanimously asked Artemije to remove from his diocese in May of 2006 the mafia group РАДЕ НЕИМАР (the Vilovski brothers and their best man Predrag Suboticki) and to have Simeon Vilovski ecclesiastically judged. However Artemije denounced this decision and spoke ill of the Holy Synod and Patriarch Pavle, who at the time was very ill.

Committees were sent to Artemije, but he ignored them. Phone calls were made, but they were unanswered. On February 10th of this year he was removed from his Province and he signed the decision on February 13th, but he denied this on September 13th and October 13th saying he made a mistake. He said that he would not obey any decision by the Holy Synod, which is why one month later he was liturgizing.

The file with the evidence that the Third Committee came up with weighs tens of kilograms, and the decision of the Synod of the Hierarchy of May 2010 confirmed the Commission's findings and decisions of the Standing Holy Synod.

It must be said openly, because here lies the main topic: Artemis has large deposits in several Serbian (Komercijalna Banka) and Greek banks (National Bank, 11 Tsimiski Street, Thessaloniki), and these bank accounts mask the snake which is hiding under his feet.

So maybe he can tell us how much money is going to Kosovo and the poor and suffering there. How about he reimburse the Serbian Church for the one million euro debt he has left us from his diocese thanks to him and Vilovski.

Despite his monastic vow of poverty and landlessness and the charge of the Holy Synod to provide a written account of one's bank account, Artemije has said the unthinkable: "Perhaps the Synod does not know that it is violating the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia which guarantees personal property!" Yet according to the Holy Canons, a bishop is forbidden private property and ownership, even though Artemije's hypocrites say that the Canons do not say such a thing.

Artemije claims the ruling of the Holy Synod "is neither Constitutional, nor Canonical". By saying this he is putting himself above the Holy Synod who is ordained to guard the Orthodox faith and law. The Holy Synod is not "monks" by name only or demonstrators on the street with slogans that say "One is Truth: Bishop Artemije".

This self-proclaimed "martyr" and "bishop in exile" in his megalomania has claimed the decisions of the Holy Synod "have no meaning or power" over him. And then he claims to have not created a schism by saying "there is no schism"?

"I still am in unity with the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, as with the holy Apostles and holy Fathers" (newspaper "НОВОСТИ" 22/11/2010)! Obviously such a view and such a claim after his impeachment by the Synod of the Hierarchy (11.20.2010), demonstrates a profound intellectual error, the illusion of a tragic Bishop, now dreadful monk, who, without a trace of personal repentance, or a gospel and human conscience, continues to not repent before the Holy Synod in accordance with the 34th Apostolic Canon, which he has ignored. The Serbian Orthodox Church is visibly within our land; there is no invisible Protestant-like Church which Artemije imagines with his papal infallibility and sinlessness and invented ecclesiology, which he has over his 38 monks and some nuns.

Theodosios, the current Bishop of Raska, Prizren and Kosovo, just two years ago was ousted of Decani Monastery and the Province by Simeon and Artemije. He is now the canonical bishop of the Province and will meet the needs of the people and help restore the churches of the region destroyed by Albanians.