BELGRADE — The Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) decided that the boundaries of the Diocese of Ras and Prizren should remain unchanged.
At the same time, new dioceses were formed in Europe and America, SPC Spokesman Bishop Irinej of Bačka said on Monday.
He told reporters at the Serbian Patriarchate that although there had been an idea to divide the Diocese of Ras and Prizren, the Holy Assembly of Bishops decided, however, that it would be premature to do that, given the general situation.
Bishop Irinej of Backa said that the decision to divide the Diocese of Ras and Prizren had been postponed, because the Holy Assembly of Bishops believed that it should not be done until the necessary conditions were created to prevent any possible abuse of such a division.
The composition of the Ras and Prizren Diocese includes Kosovo and Metohija.
The Holy Assembly’s regular May session began on the 16th day of the month, and these were the first decisions reached by the highest ecclesiastical body of the SPC.
Bishop Irinej said that the Holy Assembly had decided to divide the Diocese of Central Europe by introducing a separate diocese for Austria and Switzerland whose headquarters would be in Vienna.
According to him, the new diocese will include the territory of Austria, Switzerland and Italy, inhabited by a large number of Serbs.
A separate diocese was also established for the territory of South and Central America, excluding Mexico, Irinej pointed out, adding that a decision-in-principle was adopted to put the St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville, USA, including the St. Sava School of Theology, under the direct jurisdiction of Patriarch Irinej of Serbia.
Bishop Irinej said the topic would be further debated, but pointed out that the decision-in-principle was an effective way of bonding the church in America closer to the mother country.