Here’s a short summary of the communication Bishop Siluan has released to all parishioners and clergy:
We believe everyone is aware that one of our Church units have been publicly exposed as breaching the current restriction on the number of people allowed to be present during services.
We remind you that the work of Church is not considered essential by the state today and is barely tolerated under current conditions.
It is our duty to do everything we can to protect the reputation of our Holy Church.
We direct you to our previous communications to take the current situation seriously and to comply with government directions for the postcodes, states and territories where you live.
On the other hand, we emphasise the christened person (who is not under penance) cannot be forbidden access to the temple by Canon Law; hence, the faithful should be instructed with fatherly love that everyone’s efforts and sacrifices are required, for the good of our Holy Church, who many would eagerly defame or look to close.
Our blessing remains: to continue with selfless dedication to our flock, spiritually heartening and leading the faithful through seas of temptations facing us today.
+ S I L U A N
Bishop of Australia and New Zealand
The Serbian Orthodox Church