B92 / 16 may 2011
BELGRADE – The regular May session of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) Holy Synod of Bishops started Monday in Belgrade.
The meeting will focus will be on „the life of the Church in recent months”, Tanjug was told at the Serbian Patriarchate.
The agenda is still unknown, but according to earlier announcements, the bishops will elect two new Synod members, and continue arondation i.e. division of eparchies which was started during the fall session.
The highest church legislative body will also tackle the issue of former Bishop of Ras-Prizren Artemije, who has been demoted to the rank of simple monk, but is still refusing to accept the decision, and his possible excommunication.
The patriarch has said that if the former bishop does not repent, the Synod will debate his excommunication at the May session, as well as that of his followers.
The Serb National Council in northern Kosovo recently asked the Synod to reinstate Artemije to the position of Bishop of Ras-Prizren, and offered to act as a mediator in talks with the Church.
The Patriarch said earlier that the Synod could also discuss the possible visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Serbia, as part of the celebration of 1700 years of the Edict of Milan.
Two new members will be elected to the Synod, and the Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral Amfilohije is expected to leave the Synod as his mandate expires.
The Synod will continue the arondation process – creating new eparchies and setting their boundaries, as well as appointing new bishops, it has been announced.
The Holy Synod of Bishops convenes twice a year – in the spring and fall, with the spring session usually lasting longer.