Serbian True Orthodox Church
The Leave-Taking of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
September 21/October 4 2020
Announcement of the Hierarchical Council of the Serbian True Orthodox Church Concerning the Unlawful Process Against His Grace Bishop Akakije
The Synod of the Bishops of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece recently published this decision as part of the minutes of their meeting of 2/15 September 2020:
“The case of Father Akakije Stankovic from Serbia has been deferred, by request of the accused, because he is not able to come due to the closed borders because of the spread of the virus and because of his own health problems, as he himself has confirmed.”
The contents of these resolutions are meaningless, and the entire process to which they refer to canonically illegitimate.
The contents are meaningless because His Grace Bishop Akakije cannot in any way whatsoever be considered to be a hieromonk under the jurisdiction of the Greek TOC. His communication was not the formal petition of an accused man to a court, but a personal request, as from a bishop to other bishops, that representatives of the GOC come to Serbia to have a fraternal and informal conversation, in the attempt overcome the disagreements between our sister Churches. It does not befit honorable clergymen to misrepresent the words of their brethren to advance their own ecclesiastico-political agenda, and we pray that our brother bishops will amend this statement to reflect what actually happened, or, better yet, simply withdraw it, since the communication referred to was neither formal nor public.
Furthermore, the canonical proceeding the statement refers to has no legitimacy. His Grace Bishop Akakije is not a hieromonk of the Greek Church, but a bishop of a different - and more ancient - local Church, over which the Church of Greece, under the Archbishopric of Athens, a local Church which did not exist until the 19th century, has no authority based on the canons or Church history. Moreover, even if the GOC could magically assume all the ancient powers and prerogatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate - a dubious and humorous proposition - the Church of Serbia, being autocephalous, is not subject even to that venerable authority.
We, clergy and monastics, as children of the widowed Church of Serbia, fled for help to the GOC in order to separate from the apostate hierarchy which took over the patriarchal throne and power over the institutions of the Serbian Church. We expected that the GOC would do for us what the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia had done for them: to provide priestly and episcopal consecrations and then to encourage our own independent Church life. We waited patiently for fifteen years, but in vain. During that period, the GOC bishop in charge of Serbia violated the 74th Canon of Carthage by remaining in his temporary position far beyond the allotted one year. For eleven years he did not even visit Serbia. He made no efforts whatsoever to create a permanent and canonical local Church structure. Instead of fostering a healthy church life here, he stirred up discontent and created division among our clergy and faithful in order to consolidate his personal power. Finally, with our very existence at stake, we turned to hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church, who did for us what ROCOR had once, in a brotherly and noble fashion, done for the GOC. Regarding such a course of action, the GOC has no grounds to complain, nor to connect our defense of the Serbian Church from lawless Greek pretensions to some kind of ethnophilitism, because this would be hypocritical in the extreme.
It is grievous and revealing that in the midst of the apocalyptic crisis caused by the Antichrist-globalist "Corona" virus conspiracy - to which the GOC hierarchy have by no means responded in a confessional fashion, but instead have exhibited a Sergianist spirit of compromise, scandalizing most of their own faithful – they nonetheless find time and energy to pursue their vendetta against the “defiant” Serbian Church, which is actually lawful and independent.
We pray for their repentance and amendment. We await them with open, brotherly arms, if one day, for the sake of the unity of the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, they choose to deal with us honestly and honorably in accordance with the dignity of our local Church.
The Office of the Hierarchical Council of the STOC