Serbien: Synod calls on clergy to refrain from political activity
The Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church issued a short statement last month, calling on its hierarchs and clergy to refrain from political speeches or activities. To do so openly contradicts Holy Tradition and the sacred canons, the Synod writes. The hierarchs especially note that there has been problematic activity on social networks. The Synod’s statement reads:
"...do not take pleasure in listening to gossip or criticisms,
or the calumnies, which some people spread about their brethren;
but either stop them, if you can, or withdraw, so as not to hear them.”
The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church issued Act No. 606/Min. 390 dated June 6, 2023, brought forth based on Decision No. 57/Min. 99 of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, which states:
“When it comes to question of dealing with daily political themes and public participation of clergy—especially criticism regarding the archpastoral work of hierarchs, we kindly ask the Most Reverend and Right Reverend Diocesan Hierarchs to strictly take into account the ecclesiastical tradition and canonical order of the Orthodox Church, which does not allow for the same, as well as consistently adhering to all relevant decisions of the Holy Assembly of Bishops and the Holy Synod of Bishops rendered on this topic.”
The above is the Synod’s end view on past instances of such activities and those like them, propagated by certain clergy which have acquired space in the public domain, most notably on social networks, in speeches, sermons, malicious petitions, be it by those who post, comment, like, forward and/or disseminate the same. Such actions openly contradict Holy Tradition and the Sacred Canons of our Most Holy Orthodox Church, as unequivocally stated in the above-mentioned Decision of the Holy Assembly.