An audio snippet appeared on a website which has an unfavorable reputation within our Church and one I will not link to. The point of posting this on there, as everything on there is, was to show the flaws of a certain hierarch. Oftentimes however I think the point of the story is missed and too much focus is put on the letter of the law.
The following is a translated transcript of that audio snippet, taken from a talk given by Bishop Grigorije:
“…I’ll tell you a little story…. but now people can abuse everything. We were with Bishop Atanasije on Palm Sunday in Konjice (in Bosnia and Hercegovina) in 1996. The first time after the war. In Konjica they killed our Serbian people, God forbid. There were 6,000, now there are 450 souls. Some 2,000 were in the concentration camps. And there was a fratar [Catholic monk] there. Now I forget his name. Ivan, I think, Ivo. And he helped the remaining Serbs greatly, he gave them food… And they tell us to go see him. For them it was Easter, on our Palm Sunday. And he gives us each an Easter egg, […] he doesn’t know that we fast [from dairy]. And he takes an egg with us and I see Bishop Atanasije peels his egg and eat it. This was Great Lent. [….] I saw this, I kept quiet, I thought maybe the guy forgot… He didn’t forget but he wanted to thank the man for his concern, love, suffering […] and this is much greater than the fast. You know that the holy fathers say that when you are praying and your brother comes, what should you do? To say, excuse me but I’m praying now? No, to leave your prayer. For love is greater than prayer. And from fasting. Now of course this doesn’t mean that out of our love we should never fast. It can’t become an excuse. But there is also that, you know that fasts are a requirement for communion. There was a woman, from the village, who fasted seven days and on Theodore Saturday they’re all in line waiting for communion, pushing, and the one lady says to the other You just wait until I take communion. …. Somehow we’ve mixed things up….”