The Central Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North, Central and South America, representing all five Serbian Orthodox dioceses on these territories, met at Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Chicago on December 6-7, 2019. Our meeting began with the Holy Liturgy celebrated by His Grace Bishop Kirilo of Buenos Aires and South and Central America. In doing so we reaffirmed our unity in Christ and with the fulness of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

     

The Council deliberated and decided on a number of issues important to the life and functioning of our Holy Church.

 

The Council was informed by our Bishops that the Holy Hierarchical Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church has directed that certain decisions of the Church Assembly-Sabor held in July, concerning the territorial limitation of the present constitution have been set aside, and that a Church Assembly-Sabor including all five Dioceses be convened early next year. Our Bishops informed the Council that the Episcopal Council will comply with all directives of the Synod. The Central Council received this information and awaits the calling of the Sabor by the Episcopal Council for February 29.

 

In deciding on the budget of the Central Church for the coming year, the Council reiterated its financial and moral support for the work of the St. Sava School of Theology presently accommodated at New Gracanica Monastery. It asked our Bishops to appoint a Trusteeship Council to work with our Bishops by making recommendations aimed at the improvement and development of the School.

 

A presentation was made by the Church's external U.S. legal counsel as to the advice they gave in 2017 on corporate structure for the diocese, renaming and offered a number of options and recommendations aimed at ensuring compliance with all legal requirements. These were taken under advisement.

 

The Central Council noted with great concern the concerted attacks on our Bishops, and through them on our Holy Church, carried on the internet and through social media. These attacks, ascribing dishonorable motives and questionable legal methods to our Bishops, we know factually are false and entirely without merit. The Council reiterates its full support for and confidence in our Bishops and the entire Episcopal Council, and asks our faithful to reject these attacks as the lies that they are.

 

Chicago, December 7, 2019

 

We pray during this holy Nativity Fast for His Holiness our Patriarch Irinej, for the hierarchy, clergy, monastics and all the faithful of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and for strength and grace from the New-born Savior to continue on the holy path of St. Sava.