Retired Bishop Artemije celebrated liturgy at a Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) monastery in Kosovo today (November 20, 2010), despite the Holy Synod's decision to prohibit him from performing his priestly duties, according to the NFTU blogspot.
About 50 monks and believers who support him arrived at the Duboki Potok monastery last night and this morning.
Yesterday, Artemije's followers also occupied the Devine Vode monastery in northern Kosovo. Artemije's replacement, Teodosije -- appointed yesterday in Belgrade -- is believed to have urgently returned to Kosovo.
The Holy Assembly of Bishops of the SPC appointed Bishop Teodosije as new administrator of the Raska-Prizren Eparchy instead of Bishop Artemije. Bishop Artemije refuses to accept the decision and claims that it is not canonical.
Artemije was forced to retire because of allegations that one of his advisers defrauded the Eparchy.
The administrations of the Raska-Prizren Eparchy and the Kosovo-Metohija Eparchy have issued an announcement, stating that retired Bishop Artemije's intent to serve today at the Duboki Potok monastery represents "usurpation."