According to the decision of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church from this year’s session in May on creating of a new Diocese of Buenos Aires and South-Central American with a seat in Buenos Aires and on placing His Eminence Amfilohije Archbishop of Cetinje and Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral for the administrator of a newly-founded diocese until the election and the enthronement of the Diocesan bishop, Metropolitan Amfilohije came to Argentina, on October 22, 2011 on the feast day of St. Apostle Jacob Alfeyev and St. Stephen the Blind, a despot of Serbia, in order to organize a new Diocese.
Parishes of the Serbian Orthodox Church in South America until May of this year were under the pastoral care of His Grace Bishop Mitrophan of East America, and in last years a church need has appeared for the creation of a new Diocese for South America, what the Assembly did this spring.
In Argentina there are four churches of the Serbian Orthodox Church: now a Cathedral church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos in Buenos Aires, a church of St. Sava in the same city, a church of St. Michael the Archangel in Venado Tuerto, Chaco, province, and a construction of a church in Madariaga in the province of Buenos Aires is planned.
In Chile there is an Orthodox mission in the capital Santiago, and in Brazil there are a few parishes and missions, mostly of Orthodox Brazilians, in the city and nearby Recife. In Sao Paolo (Brazil) a mission is planned to open, as well as in Caracas, (Venezuela).
In Argentina the people from our region came from the end of the 19th, and all until the 50s and 60s of the former century (at first as an economic, and later after the Second World War mainly as a political emigration). In Chile there are mostly younger people, who came in last fifteen years, and it’s similar in Brazil and Venezuela.
Besides these states in which the Orthodox mission is going to develop further, the Diocese includes all South and Central America except Mexico, which remained under the jurisdiction of Bishop of West America.
Metropolitan Amfilohije along with our community in Argentina will work on securing necessary conditions for a permanent residence of the diocesan bishop in Buenos Aires, and for that goal an extensive restoration of the building near the Cathedral church of Theotokos is being performed.
Already on Sunday October 23, Metropolitan served the Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral church, and on October 24 visited the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia where he met H.E. Mrs. Gordana Vidovic, the ambassador of the Republic of Serbia in Argentina, and on the feast day of Venerable Mother Parascheva- Petka, on October 27 he served in the church of St. Sava, also in Buenos Aires, where he informed the faithful about the decision of the Holy Assembly of Bishops.