Bishop Irinej DIRECTS that MILAN VEKOVICH be DISCHARGED from the Committee
of Church -School Congregation of St Sava in Greensborough Victoria in the event that he does not repent and responds
to this decree within 14 days of receipt of same in which case he will be made to stand before the Ecclesiastic Court.
of all, the article -”Serbs in Australia- its time to wake up and protect your assets”,
dated 18/07/2007 was written by Milan Vekovich in his own right as an individual. It was not signed (as Bishop Irinej has
indicated) by myself as the president of the Controlling (Audit) Board of the Church-School Congregation of St Sava Greensborough,
Victoria. Even though I hold that position.
Irinej states that my article caused a disturbance and yet he states that only one person had responded to date. - how can
one person cause such a disturbance?
Irinej also states that it was written in an illiterate, unconnected, unfounded, and deceitful and insanely manner
in which to incite anti church sentiment against the Bishop and his authority and everything to do with the forthcoming new
date, not one person has agreed that my article covered Bishop Irinej's interpretations.
Irinej has never contacted me re the above article, nor have I received any correspondence from it. The first I had heard
of this complaint was at the 2nd of December church meeting, when our president read it to the committee. It was
dated 23rd October 2007 and asking that I respond within 14 days which was well overdue.
did not understand fully, the contents of Bishop Irinej's letter and thought that a forwarding letter would be sent to my
address. Some two weeks had passed and nothing from the Bishop. I wanted to know
what he disliked about the content of my article and what the implications associated with it are?
was finally given a copy of the letter from our secretary on 17/12/2007 when I stated that I have a right to the letter in
which Bishop Irinej accuses me of “blasphemy”.
reading his letter, I think it madness that His Grace Bishop Irinej can conclude that the Church Committee to which I belong
to, is at fault for my article. He openly writes and blames the members of the committee and insults them by stating, “this
Church-School Congregation is an obvious birth of communism not even witnessed in the painful half century of languishing
of St Sava's Church under the Red occupiers”.
opens the door to court action by the members for defamation against the Bishop.
did mention in my article that His Grace Bishop Irinej allows himself to become judge, jury and executioner and his remark
above verifies this.
stand by my statement, that our Churches and Monastery were “built by the people, for the people”
and if he calls it “anti-priest words” then let it be.
in my article did I say that the clergy do not have the calling to run the Churches (these are his words). However I did say
that “the clergy have no right to run and control the Church committees” and I stand by my opinion.
Bishop Irinej is skilful in fabricating replies to articles that suit his own goals.
article openly stated the facts that led to our long awaited liturgical unity of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Nowhere was
it stated that I was against any reunification.
did however state that there is a push for a new constitution to be adopted by both the dioceses in Australia and that this has caused infighting amongst parishioners.
avoid this infighting and another possible split, I gave an example of how the Russians had overcome this problem within their
also stated some points as to what I thought should be added to the new constitution in order to protect our assets in
Australia and how we may independently regulate and direct all of our funds and properties through our own bodies
(not subject to Belgrade) and within the laws and constitution of Australia and New Zealand. Is that too much to ask for?
To be autonomous as far as our administration and our properties are concerned. We have a right to freedom of
speech and opinion in this country.
in my article did I call for a new SCHISM and nowhere did I state that The Holy Synod, His Holiness the Patriarch, or any
Bishop sell off the entire church property of the New Gracanica Metropolitanate. These are Bishop Irinej's words and interpretations.
Irinej states that “membership is only attained through the effect of holy baptism and chrismation as opposed to financial
membership of a church-school congregation”. Under our present constitution and the laws of Australia, a parishioner can only vote if he is a financial member. It will be
interesting if the proposed new constitution allows non financial members a say in the running of their church congregations
or will this be left to the priesthood only.
only sin that I have committed after reading Bishop Irinej's letters, was my unawareness of Church law,
restricting me from having my own viewpoints. I was unaware that the authority of the Holy Synod, Bishops and the clergy is
to be questioned. I was unaware that elected church-school congregation committees are only there as servants and that they
cannot debate about and draw their own conclusions. I was not aware that elected Presidents and committee members could be
discharged from their positions in the event that the Bishop has a disliking to them. I was not aware that lower jurisdictions
were unable to review the decisions made by higher ones.
The Bishop has stated that I will be discharged from the Committee of the Church -School Congregation of St Sava in
Greensborough in the event that I do not repent and respond within 14 days of receipt of same.
When a priest can use words such as “fuck it” and “odjebi”
which are unbecoming of a priest, and then request that a member should go with the Turks “idi kod Turaka”.
When that same priest can spit at a Church Committee member and call him “Djubre jedan”. When another priest
can call parishioners “shit-kickers”, when a priest can say, “I have an opinion”, when they
say “I have a right to be pissed-off when somebody bullshitts me”, when they say, “ I'm a
priest trying to make a difference. I don't want to be an obedient employee of half-literate bozos who use the
Church as a place for exhibiting their sick egos”, when they say, “I don't want my mouth to be shut when
I see something that I do not like, just because some jerk can sack me as his priest”, when a priest can call
a high ranking church official ( a Vladika ) names such as, “Kermit the Frog, Daffy Duck, Mr. Bean and Homer
Simpson” and they do not have to repent or apologise.
right then, has Bishop Irinej, to request that I repent for writing an article that covers the history of the Free Serbian
Orthodox Church, the reason why our parents had built our Churches and monastery and giving my viewpoint as to why the
administration of our Church properties and assets should be governed and controlled by our Church committees and Property
Trusts in Australia and New Zealand.
clearly indicates that there is, in existence, one law for the priesthood and another law for the parishioners
and whilst this law is seen to be far apart from one-another, you will always have infighting within our Church committees.
I would like Bishop Irinej to explain why he is against the words, “Free Serbian Orthodox Church” why
the name is a menace, why it is undesirable and why it is likely to cause harm within the Serbian community. I also call on
anybody else to explain why these historic words jeopardise Serbian unity.
I know all too well that since liturgical unity, we have accepted the name, “The Serbian Otrthodox Metropolitate Of
New Gracanica Diocese of Australia and New Zealand”- this too, is soon to be distinguished, losing all memory of
the anti communist struggle of the Serbian people).
cannot understand why our current Bishops in Australia and from Serbia, show little respect and recognition of the struggles
of those who fought and built under the banner of the “Free Serbian Orthodox Church”. It was they, who the communist
regime in the then Yugoslavia consistently
fought against and who threatened their policy of atheism. These people brought with them, “Serbianism, St Sava and
Slava and kept our religion, customs and culture alive.
I hear that the word, “Free” is to be extinguished from all Churches and buildings that they had
Milan Vekovich 26/12/2007
cc. Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Serbia
The Ecclesiastic Court of the Diocese for Australia and New Zealand, New Gracanica Metropolitanate,
Most Reverend Archpriest (Stavrofor) Nedeljko Milanovic (Western Region Dean, Diocese for Australia
and New Zealand, New Gracanica Metropolitanate,
Diocesan Council and The Serbian Orthodox Metropolitate of New Gracanica Diocese of Australia
and New Zealand, Canberra,
The Serbian Orthodox Diocese for Australia and New Zealand, Sydney
The Church-School Congregation of St Sava, Greensborough,
Ethnic Serbian media.