Church of Serbia – April 2016
The issue of the completion of legal proceedings in Australia is a constant concern of our Metropolitanate, one which we have at present started to actively implement. At the convocations of the Executive Board and Assembly of the Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand (03 to 05 September 2015) in Melbourne, the official position of the Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand of the Serbian Orthodox Church was formulated as such that the Metropolitanate would not initiate new proceedings or continue with procedures that were stayed until the handing down of the judgment of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and adoption of a Scheme regarding the use of the New Kalenich Monastery; except in the case of an appeal, in order to defend our court victory in the process of restoring the New Kalenich Monastery to the Serbian Orthodox Church.
In the spirit of that decision, when the Court recently requested of the Saint Nicholas Church Community in South Brisbane to declare whether it would continue its proceedings to restore its parish church to our community, in accordance with the decision of the Metropolitanate Assembly and the position of the Metropolitanate Executive Board, as well as their Bishop who was attached to the proceedings in the capacity of an Archpastor called to co-suffer with his flock, unequivocally responded that they have no intention to continue the proceedings. With this the anticipated trial in Brisbane ended without any judgment.
Also, in the light of the same Assembly decision, the stay and abide proceedings in the case of the Hindmarsh Church Community in Adelaide were not reinitiated as certain individuals have wrongly assessed the recent developments in which Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Zoran Ivanic simply protected his priestly dignity and the rights granted him as the competent parish priest by the Supreme Court of South Australia.
Our position on the necessity for God’s Peace, harmony and unity to prevail remains unchanged and we take advantage of this opportunity once again and for the umpteenth time, to repeat the call, as did His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej and His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral during their recent visit to Australia, for those who have severed themselves from their Mother Church, to humbly accept the decsion regarding the return of the New Kalenich Monastery and they themselves to return to their Church and to their fellow Serbs who follow the Way of Saint Sava where there is room for all.
On behalf of the Executive Board of the Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand
Bishop of the Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand
In Sydney, Forefeast of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Mother of God, 2016.