The Assembly of Bishops finished on May 21st. In the communique the bishops, among other things, stated:
“The Holy Hierarchical Assembly was astonished with the behavior of certain media sources, electronic and written, whose goal was clearly not objective and responsible public information, but the ill-intended dissemination of untruths regarding events from the life of the Church. Unfortunately, media reports during the course of this Assembly were conducted with the same intentions and prejudices regarding the health condition of His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of Serbia. The Assembly has concluded that such behavior by some media outlets does not have the aim of disseminating timely and truthful information to the public, but provoking disturbance and disorder among the faithful people in our local Church and among the general public.
Remember that, as I said, the right direction leads not only to peace but to knowledge. When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is left in him. When a man is getting worse he understands his own badness less and less. A moderately bad man knows he is not very good: a thoroughly bad man thinks he is all right. This is common sense, really. You understand sleep when you are awake, not while you are sleeping. You can see mistakes in arithmetic when your mind is working properly: while you are making them you cannot see them. You can understand the nature of drunkenness when you are sober, not when you are drunk. Good people know about both good and evil, bad people do not know either.
– C.S. Lewis
Here is an excerpt from Thomas Mann’s “The Holy Sinner”, the fantasied tale of Pope Gregory in which Mann re-tells the medieval legend of a brother and sister who fall into sin and have a child. The child is sent away in secret only to come back years later when he discovers his true origins, in search for his sinful parents. Though he doesn’t realize it, he finds his mother whom he chivalrously defends against a rather rude wooer and they are married. They live happily ever after, both concealing their secret pasts until they realize their secret is one and the same and husband and wife are really mother and son.
They exchange these words before the son goes to his severe penance of spending seventeen years living on a rock and advises his mother to seek her own atonement. (It’s while on this rock that the Church of Rome finds itself without a pope. Two men receive a similar vision to come and seek out the ‘Father of the Christian world’):
[The mother says] “Grigorss, my child and lord….My horror grows every minute and with amazement that long before now flaming anger has not crashed down upon the accursed, that earth still dares to bear me, after what my flesh committed. I, I am the chief criminal, I know too well, and unspeakable dread mounts in me of the hellfire that threatens me…Is there no counsel that if I, poor woman, must dwell in hell, it might be after all a little milder than to other damned?”
“Lady,” said he, “speak not thus, neither give way to despair, it is against command. For of himself may man despair but not of God and His fullness of grace. We are both thrust into the marsh of sin up to our necks, and if you think you are deeper in, that is pridefulness. Add not this sin to the rest or the pool will go over mouth and nose. God’s hand is stretched out that that may not happen; this consolation I gathered in many books. Not for naught have I seriously studied Divinitatem in the cloister of God’s Passion. I learned that He takes true contrition as atonement for all sins. Be your soul never sick, if your eye be wet only an hour from heartfelt rue, believe thy child, thy spouse and sin, then you are saved”
The annual May session of the Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church began in Belgrade today. Patriarch Pavle is unable to take part so His Eminence Metropolitan Amphilohije will preside over the meeting. There is talks that a new patriarch will be chosen…but then again there are a lot of things people are talking about that really is none of our business.
As you see above the hierarchs have gathered for the Invocation of the Holy Spirit. It’s best we leave it to the Holy Spirit to guide our church through our bishops than to pay attention to what people are saying and rumors being spread online.
The festive Slava Litiya through the streets of Niksic in Montenegro, on the feast day of St. Vasilije of Ostrog near the Monastery of Ostrog where the wonder-working bodily remains of St. Vasilije can be found.