Two groups of Serbian Orthodox monks clashed at the Gracanica monastery in the Kosovo Serb enclave of Gracanica yesterday (February 14, 2010), according to the Balkan Insight website.
The incident began around 2 p.m. on Sunday, when a group of supporters of Archbishop Artemije tried to force their way into the monastery to protect him after he was temporarily removed from his post by the church hierarchy.
The Holy Synod -- the church's top body -- decided on Saturday that Archbishop Artemije could no longer be allowed to run the eparchy in Kosovo, after it was discovered that he had been allegedly mishandling millions of euros in aid and government funds over the past several years. Bishop Atanasije has been chosen as his successor.
According to KIM Radio, after several failed attempts, around 20 monks -- led by the monks of the Crna Reka Monastery -- physically assaulted those at the monastery who support the decision of the Holy Synod.
After the conflict, the group withdrew and broke into the monastery through a back entrance. No one was hurt, but NATO-led forces in Kosovo, KFOR, helped prevent the conflict from growing. The Kosovo police did not interfere in the dispute, but their officers did try to separate the groups.