Letter-communique of His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch and Administrator of the Diocese of Canada
To Episcopal Deputy Protopresbyter-stavrophor Vasilije Tomić, Diocesan Counsel, Eparchial executive board, clergy, monastics, and faithful of Diocese of Canada
CHRIST IS RISEN!
By the decision of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, No 416/min. 257, from 20 April 2015, His Grace Bishop of Canada Kyr Georgije was temporarily released from duties of administrating the Diocese of Canada until the ending of the initiated canonical procedure, that is, until the final decision of the Holy Assembly of Bishops.
On the same meeting, the Holy Synod of Bishops requested from Us to administrate the Diocese of Canada, with all rights and obligations of a Diocesan hierarch, which We accepted, having as Our assistants His Grace Bishop of Rashka-Prizren Kyr Teodosije, a member of the Holy Synod of Bishops, and His Grace Bishop of Western America Kyr Maksim. Both of these decisions were forwarded to His Grace Bishop Georgije and Diocesan bodies of the Diocese of Canada.
This way We authorize Our Episcopal Deputy, Protopresbyter-stavrophor Vasilije Tomić, to acquaint the Episcopal Deans, clergy and the faithful of the Diocese of Canada, and to inform both them and the wider public, that an unauthorized meeting of the Diocesan Counsel of the Diocese of Canada has been called uncanonically, without Our knowledge.
The same way, in order to prevent unwanted misuses, We authorize Our Episcopal Deputy to immediately take over Offices of the Secretary and the Treasurer, Informational (Press) service Department, and the Diocesan premises as well. All further announcements and decisions concerning the life and work of the Diocese of Canada will be published over the official web-site of Diocese (www.istocnik.com). Any other announcement in the name of this Diocese, which is not coming through the Episcopal Deputy, or coming from outside of the official website, will be considered void and unconstitutional.
At the same time, by this We inform all parishes and monasteries of Diocese of Canada and entire public that We, as canonically appointed Administrator, took over the overseeing the Diocese of Canada and We invite all clergy and faithful to respect in the entirety the decisions of the Holy Synod of Bishops and to conscientiously contribute to a peaceful overcoming of the present situation.
We also invite all in the Diocese of Canada not to succumb to misguidances of the individuals or groups which maliciously spread misinformation about the decision of the Holy Synod of Bishops, slandering the Holy Synod and Us personally as the Serbian Patriarch, for such stories can only harm all, because of which everybody – even our ancestors will suffer consequences.
All of those who will act out of their selfish interests should be aware that their deeds are subject to canonical and legal procedures, and by such acts they only complicate the status of His Grace Bishop Georgije.
If the individuals truly want to help our brother and concelebrant Bishop Georgije, may they do that by patience, prayer and obedience to the decisions of the Holy Synod, and Us as the Administrator of the Diocese of Canada. All of us should know that our Church is conciliar and that it is by the Holy Spirit conciliar-hierarchically regulated and operated, thus all of us are subject to canonical order and canonical penalties – as has always been in the Orthodox Church.
We greet all of You in the Diocese of Canada, with the prayerful wish and blessing that in this Paschal period we continue to live in the Orthodox spirit – spirit of St. Sava, in mutual forgiveness, brotherly love and respect, and especially orderly participation in the church services, primarily in the Divine Liturgy. In addition, We announce that We will, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, as the Administrator of the Diocese of Canada, oversee the life and work of the parishes and the Monastery through the Episcopal Counsel of our Church in North and South America and Our Episcopal Deputy protopresbyter-stavrophor Vasilije Tomić.
President Holy Synod of Bishops, Irinej
AEM & Serbian Patriarch
Administrator of the Diocese of Canada