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The Holy Synod of Bishops of

the Serbian Orthodox Church


793
6. jun 2016
Belgrade
To His Holiness
Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch
Sir Sir Bartholomew
Constantinople
Subject: Holy and Great Synod
Christ is risen!
Most Holy Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome, and Ecumenical
Patriarch, beloved brother in Christ and co-celebrant of Our humbleness, Sir
Bartholomew, most wholeheartedly we greet Your respected Holiness with
brotherly embrace in the Lord.
We deem it unnecessary to stress the measure of hope, sincere commitment
and contribution, according to our capacity, with which our Church
participated in the preparation of the Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox
Catholic Church.
However, having taken into consideration:
1. the dissatisfaction and critical remarks of certain local Churches in regard
to particular texts, prepared in the pre-Synodal period;
2. the irrevocable decision of the Patriarchates of Antiochia and Bulgaria to
refrain from participating in the Synod;
3. the problems in relations and communion between Churches (Jerusalem
ntioch because of Catar; deteriorating relations between us and the
Patriarchate of Romania, which are now hard to overcome, due to the anticanonical incursion of the latter into Eastern Serbia and the founding of a
parallel diocese there, which will lead to severing of liturgical and canonical
communion of the two neighbouring Churches if the behavior described
above is not terminated, and so on), conjointly with the perspective of
allowing these problems to not be solved at the Synod but, rather, to be
deferred to the post-Synodal period, as if any commission can be an organ
higher than the pan-Orthodox Synod, and
4. the lack of will from our Mother Church of Constantinople to have at
least one of the proposals of our Church (such as the discussion on
autocephaly, right of bishops to vote at the Synod, on regarding the synods
from the ninth and fourteenth centuries as ecumenical already, in the
consciousness and practice of the Orthodox Church, and some other ones,
perhaps less significant) included into the thematic and agenda of the
Synod, and, as long as we remain obligated by the standpoints of the Holy
Assembly of Bishops of our Church, officially formulated two years ago, as
well as recently, at the end of the past month of May,

we are compelled, with sadness but also with full feeling of our pastoral
and, generally, ecclesial responsibility to inform Your dear and respected
Holiness and Your Holy and Sacred Synod that, since all this is so, our
Church feels it difficult to participate in the summoned Holy and Great
Synod, and proposes that it be postponed for a certain time: while our
pending gathering at Crete, with the help of God, would be regarded as a
pre-Synodal inter-Orthodox consultation with the aim of additionally
preparing the Synod and improving its texts, or, at the most, as the inaugural
phase of the whole synodal process, which is to be completed in subsequent
continuation, in the next phase, when all disagreements are removed in favor
of unity of mind and consensus of Churches. In this way, with the aid of
God, the fruit of the Synod will be seen as witness given to our uncorrupted
faith, answer to hope which abides in us as the message of salvation in
Christ, directed to all, both to those who are close to us and to those who are
remote, and in no case, God forbid, as germination of new pestilent
schismas and para-synagogues under the excuse of falsely proclaimed
zealousness and alleged preservation of Orthodoxy.
In regard to the said we remain Your Holiness humble brother and cocelebrant in the risen Christ
rchbishop of Pe, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and
Serbian Patrijarch
Irinej
President of the Holy Synod of Bishops