Pedophilia, drugs, embezzlement, fraud, expensive cars, money laundering – you would think that these activities are reserved for criminals, but those who engage in such activities can also be found in the ranks of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC).
This topic was brought up again by Bishop Pahomije of Vranje, after he repeated his lewd acts, this time against a monk. Thus, the monastery of Prohor Pčinjski, as we find out, is empty again, because the assaulted boy escaped from there, and others followed him. However, in response to media reports about the whole case, a statement was sent to the media, signed with the “brotherhood of the monastery” stating “that it is not true that this monastery is empty”, because, as they say, it “consists of three monks and four novice”.
Pahomije was accused of pedophilia, several times, he was even tried, but he was never punished. But he is not the only sinner in the church ranks: now retired Kachavenda, probably the most famous to the public, is also accused of equally heinous and monstrous crimes. After all, who could forget the boy Milić Blažanović, who blew himself up in a bomb in the middle of the monastery, unable to withstand the sexual abuse of Kačavenda.
In addition to the two “prominent” bishops, there is also Filaret Mićović, also related to pedophilia, then the prodigal bishop Georgie, his brother Konstantin, who was dismissed due to embezzlement.
That even the “ordinary” clergy had outbursts was proved by a Romanian priest, whose explicit photographs, in which he was in a clinch with a swindler, were circling the internet.
The tyranny and fornication of Bishop Pahomije of Vranje ruined the lives of several monks, dispersed the clergy and believers of the Prohor Pčinjski monastery. After the previous cases against Pahomije became obsolete, in which he is accused of sexually harassing underage young men, the bishop is doing the same thing again – the latest accusations show that he abused a young monk of this monastery, who recently escaped from Prohor Pčinjski. Higher instances did not provide him with any protection. Three of the four boys who were in the trial against Pahomije in the early 2000s were less than 14 years old when the bishop sexually assaulted them. In an interview for “Blic” a couple of years later, one of them talked about Pahomije forcing him to “massage him under the navel” to turn his back on him, that he was chasing him around the room naked … He also said that he wanted to take his own life, and what consequences he suffers even after the abuse has stopped. Therefore, allegations of embezzlement, involving church property, seem less important in relation to the ruined lives of many young men and their families. Pahomije, ie Tomislav Gačić (67), was never convicted.
Kačavenda raped the boy Milić Blažanović. He invited him to the monastery because he did not have the money to go to school, promising him to continue his schooling – Bojan Jovanović, father Serafim, revealed to the public. According to the official version, the boy blew himself up in 1999 in his room in the dormitory of the Papraća monastery. Ljubomir Kačavenda (80), as his secular name reads, and the church name – Vasilije – is superfluous to represent. The entire public is aware of his lewd acts. “Blic” published the details of four audio recordings of telephone conversations, from which, among other things, it can be heard that a priest is persuading a young man to see the bishop in a hotel. Also, on one of the recordings, the voice of Kačavenda can be heard, who said that he was “glad that the young man enjoyed it”. A video also showing the aforementioned bishop and minor A. R. during sex. Even 40 young men had a similar experience with Kačavedna and spoke about it before the Synod, and the patriarch himself was informed about the case of the prodigal bishop. Evidence also existed in the form of photography. However, the church authorities reacted only when the whole case reached the public. Kačavenda spends his retirement days in a multi-storey villa in Bijeljina.
In October 1999, then Deputy Prime Minister Vojislav Seselj presented Filaret (then Bishop of the Diocese of Milesevo) with a jeep Pajero, to which the bishop responded with a special bell in Mileševa, which was scheduled for the arrival of the patriarch himself (Seselj was tried for war crimes in The Hague, was sentenced in the appellate panel of the Appeals Chamber in 2018 to 10 years in prison). Filaret decorated Seselj with the Order of the White Angel. He is also known for the pictures in which he holds a machine gun in front of the tank, and there was evidence of the theft of aid to refugees during the 1990s by Filaret. He is close to Pahomije and Kačavenda. There are allegations about him that he made the Diocese of Mileševo a gathering place for pedophiles and alcoholics. He was relieved of his duties in 2015.
The Serbian public was disturbed by the case of the former head of the Hopovo monastery Ilarion, secular name Jovan Mišić, who was arrested on June 6, 2001 on suspicion of inducing underage boys to engage in “illegal sexual acts” in the royal garden in Sremski Karlovci. He was sentenced first to 10 and then to 12 months in prison, but the Supreme Court annulled that verdict, and the case, meanwhile, became obsolete.
A priest of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Južina, Daniel James McKay (45), was arrested in 2016 on suspicion of paying for sex with a minor, as well as allegedly using her to resell cocaine. According to media reports, he was turned over to the police by a minor prostitute. He was found guilty of paid relationship with a minor.
Priest MIlan Jordović looks innocent in relation to the others listed in this text. At the beginning of 2018, he became known throughout Serbia, after he was arrested for dealing in skunk from Albania. And not only was he arrested, but he fell into the hands of the police while smuggling this drug with Zoran Marinković (43), an experienced religious teacher and transvestite! And that was just the beginning of this bizarre and incredible crime story. He claimed that he was a mere executor, who worked for two women, but was still sentenced to 12 months of house arrest, and was expelled from the church community for seven years.
Twenty days later, priest Stefan Mitrović (26) from Kruševac, a priest of the church in Velika Drenova near Trstenik, was arrested, when the police found 52 grams of cannabis and 55 grams of amphetamines. As it was written at the time, the police followed him for a long period of time, and he defended himself that he was just a courier. At the beginning, during the interrogation in the police, he defended himself by keeping silent, he did not want to say who the drugs were intended for. In the end, he talked about the smuggling ring, in order to try to reach a settlement with the prosecution.
Georgije Đokić (70), is a Canadian bishop, who was dismissed from the administration of the Canadian Diocese in 2015 and retired. Malversations with a company that produces church candles, embezzlement of money, arrests – again seem insufficient in relation to other things related to Đokić. Thus, the face of the former Bishop George of Canada once appeared on almost every flagpole in the center of Belgrade: the capital was plastered with posters showing the bishop “rejoicing” with several women, on which he poses with two boys without a mantle. Georgije is accused of relentlessly spending church money to sail to Cuba on a yacht, as well as of being fond of women and taverns.
George’s older brother, the former bishop of Central Europe Constantine (72), was remembered for many years of friction with the people, large embezzlement of money, arrogant attitude towards priests, abuse in running church affairs, abuse of priestly positions and poor organization of the diocese. The Synod suspended him in 2012 and opened a church court procedure, and in 2013 it dismissed him.