SPC overrules bishop’s decision
The Serbian Orthodox Church’s (SPC) has overruled the decision of Bishop Artemije of Raška and Prizren not to bless Joseph Biden’s visit to Visoki Dečani.Source: B92
Following Bishop Artemije’s decision not to give his blessing to the U.S. vice-president’s visit to the Visoki (High) Dečani monastery in Kosovo, the SPC responded, stating that it had overruled Artemije’s decision and expressed its apologies, read a statement.
The Church stated that Artemije’s statement ran counter to the traditional Christian principles of hospitality, deeply rooted in the Serbian people, and especially in their monasteries.
“Biden’s visit is a legitimate visit to states in the region, including Serbia, and the Church believes that, regardless of Biden’s personal stance and the general American stance on Kosovo’s status, and the decision for Mr. Biden to visit our greatest shrine in our southern province, the Dečani monastery, constitutes a gesture of good will and a clear message to those that want to continue destroying or usurping Serbian churches and monasteries in Kosovo,” the SPC stated.
The controversy was sparked when the Raška and Prizren Diocese stated earlier today that Artemije would not be giving his blessing to Biden’s planned visit to the High Dečani monastery.
“The American vice-president is coming to visit Kosovo as an independent country, to confirm the violent secession of a part of the territory of the state of Serbia and its transfer into the hands of terrorists, who, unpunished, committed countless crimes against Serbian people, property and religious and cultural heritage,” read a statement.
In its statement, titled “Dečani and Bondsteel—First Tadić, now Biden”, the Diocese asked whether Biden’s visit was designed to confirm that Dečani was an American base in Kosovo, like the Bondsteel camp. Biden is scheduled to visit the High Dečani monastery on May 21.