Bishop Grigorije: Stop hurting Bishop Artemije’s case

Gračanica Monastery was visited today by Bishop Grigorije, a member of the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and the Minister for Religions in the Serbian Government, Bogoljub Šijaković. In a statement for KIM Radio Bishop Gregory said he is happy to be in Gračanica and by the fact he was able to talk with the bishops about everything.

"I am happy to be in Gračanica, I am happy that the bishop received us so we could talk together about everything, but I am happiest of all because of what Bishop Artemije said. I believe that this impression will be shared by many of the faithful, by Orthodox Serbs across the globe, especially our Patriarch for whom it is very difficult that his patriarchal service began with such a difficult problem. You heard what Bishop Artemije said today: he called for peace and respect for the decisions of the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church. It would be good if all those who love him stopped hurting his case in the way they have been doing but instead helped him by peacefully and serenely praying to God for him and for our church," said Bishop Grigorije.

When asked whether he came as an intermediary or to provide support to Bishop Artemije, Bishop Grigorije said that he had primarily came to visit Kosovo and Metohija. "I came here to visit Bishop Artemije and Bishop Atanasije and Bishop Teodosije but primarily Kosovo and Metohija. Because, as our children sing, Kosovo is the heart of Serbia. If we are Serbs, then Kosovo is our heart, too," said Bishop Grigorije.

Religions minister Bogoljub Šijaković said that he feels at home in Gračanica and that he will always here. "Kosovo is not only a symbolic part of our being but also a concrete part of the territory of the Republic of Serbia, and it will guard that integrity and never neglect it no matter what happens and no matter who makes whatever decisions. Whatever the solutions are, temporary or permanent, Kosovo is within us and it cannot go anywhere without us. As for our Church in Kosovo and Metohija, we all know how important and significant it is," said Šijaković.

Source: Radio KIM, February 26, 2010


In a statement for the daily "Politika," Bishop Grigorije of Zahumlje and Herzegovina, who visited Gračanica yesterday together with the religions minister Bogoljub Šijaković, explained that he had met with Bishop Artemije and learned from him that the Bishop of Raška and Prizren does not support the public turmoil that has ensued after the decision to temporarily relieve him of his duties.

“I spoke with the Bishop for two or three hours and told him that there was a lot of misinformation, a lot of wrong, false information in the media. He explained that he does not want to participate in this and that he does not want any sort of unrest. I also made the bishop aware that people who are supposedly protecting him and his interests are creating the impression in public that he was being kept prisoner here in the monastery. Bishop Artemije explained to me that his life in the monastery is quite normal, and that he respects the decisions of the Assembly and the Synod, after which I suggested to him that he say this publicly and that we send a single message of peace together, which he accepted,” said Bishop Grigorije.


Bishop Grigorije, who visited Gračanica yesterday to convey the full support of the Church for the work of the administrator, Bishop Atanasije, told "Blic" that Bishop Artemije has demonstrated that for him the unity of the Church is beyond question.

"This is great victory for our Patriarch Irinej, who has shown determination to solve problems but who made a great sacrifice, too. Now is the time for all of us to calm down during the fast, to guard the unity of our Church as St. Sava left it for us," said Bishop Grigorije.

He added that many falsehoods were made public, and that the subtlest is the one about the request of 17 bishops for an extraordinary meeting of the Holy Assembly.

"None of them signed, while four came to discuss matters and returned to their dioceses with the knowledge that the Patriarch and the Synod acted conscientiously and responsibly," said Bishop Grigorije.