Bishop Atanasije: Notice regarding Holy Archangels Monastery near Prizren

"Following the decision of hieromonk Benedikt, the administrator of Holy Archangels Monastery near Prizren, not to allow the parish priest of Prizren Aleksandar Našpalić to serve Holy Liturgy tomorrow, on the patron saint’s day of the monastery chapel of St. Lazarus of the Four Days, where the names of His Beatitude Patriarch Irinej and the diocesan Administrator, His Grace Bishop Atanasije, would be mentioned like in all other churches of the Diocese of Raška and Prizren, Bishop Atanasije has given his blessing for Holy Liturgy on the occasion of this holiday for people intending to come to Holy Archangels to be served in the Orthodox Cathedral in Prizren. We are attaching the notice about this issue signed today by the Administrator of the Diocese of Raška-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija, Bishop Atanasije."

Diocese of Raška-Prizren and
Official doc. no. Ebr. 68
Prizren-Gračanica, March 26, 2010

For failing to acknowledge and accept the decisions of the Patriarch and the Holy Synod, (monastery) administrator Benedikt and the monks of Holy Archangels Monastery near Prizren (the five or six of them, because some are constantly moving from monastery to monastery without anyone's blessing) have been placed by the (diocesan) Bishop Administrator, in accordance to the canonical tradition of the Church, under the ban of religious service and Communion for forty days (until the Holy Assembly of Bishops in May).

Since the chapel of the monastery is dedicated to St. Lazarus of the Four Days and celebrates on Lazarus Saturday, and people came earlier with a couple of buses for the patron saint’s day, Father Aleksandar Našpalić, the parish priest of Prizren, was instructed to go to the monastery on Saturday and serve Holy Liturgy. However, administrator Benedikt and the monks would not allow Father Našpalić to serve, boasting, "We are punished" and "There will be no Liturgy!" By such conduct these rebels want to provoke an outcry from the uninformed people and thus, in fact, are only making their situation worse, while increasing Bishop Artemije’s responsibility before the Holy Synod and the Assembly, taking into account the fact that he remains their spiritual leader and could urge them to obey the Church but, unfortunately, this is something he is not doing.

We wish to inform the Orthodox people in Prizren and its surroundings, as well as those who intended to come by bus, that Holy Liturgy on Lazarus Saturday will be served in St. George Orthodox Cathedral in Prizren, where the feast of St. Lazarus of the Four Days will be celebrated. An eventual visit to Holy Archangels Monastery will be, unfortunately, misused by these rebels, monks-nonmonks, which are already acting like supposed martyrs, which they are not but those who stood up against peace and order in the Serbian Church and the Serbian people.

Bishop Administrator of the Diocese of Raška-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija
+ Bishop Atanasije mp