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17784Bosnian Serb Bishop Faces Sex Abuse Charges

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    Apr 19, 2013

      19 Apr 13
      Bosnian Serb Bishop Faces Sex Abuse Charges

      Two Serbian Orthodox priests plan to sue Bishop Kacavenda of Tuzla and
      Zvornik for sexually abusing them, their lawyer said.

      Lawyer Dusko Tomic on April 18 said that Vasilije Kacavenda, Bishop of
      Tuzla and Zvornik, had numerous questions to answer and that the Serbian
      people and Orthodox Church could not take the shame of such scandals any

      The story erupted when the Serbian daily Blic said it had seen
      pornographic videos in which Bishop Kacavenda was allegedly involved in
      sexual acts with several young men.

      “The Church has been losing its reputation because of Kacavenda for
      years,” Tomic told the Anadolu news agency. “The Serbian Church cannot
      take this shame anymore - this kind of immoral behaviour.”

      Tomic also said two priests had contacted him, asking him to launch a
      case against Bishop Kacavenda.

      “The two priests charge him with sexual abuse, so along with a criminal
      report there will be a lawsuit,” Tomic said. “I think that will put an
      end to Kacavenda.”

      Last week police arrested a priest named Nikolaj Stamatovic near
      Bijeljina, the seat of the diocese, in what Tomic said was a case
      related to the Kacavenda allegations.

      The arrested priest, along with another young man, allegedly tried to
      sell a highly compromising video featuring the Bishop for 100,000 euro
      to Bojan Jovanovic, a former Serbian Orthodox priest who pretended to be
      interested in buying it in order to start an investigation.

      Blic reported that there was more than one video of Kacavenda engaged in
      inappropriate acts.

      Tomic said that Kacavenda's withdrawal from active service last year was
      not due to illness but due to mounting sexual scandals.

      “I've seen the video myself and I will talk to the man who filmed it and
      he will give me information whom he filmed,” he said.

      Bishop Kacavenda had a controversial reputation before the alleged sex
      scandal broke out last week.

      This relates to his close involvement with and support for the Bosnian
      Serb army during the 1992-95 war in Bosnia and Herzgovina.

      Kacavenda was seen as close to the indicted Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan
      Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, and is remembered for his anti-Muslim
      propaganda and for blessing young soldiers going to war against non-Serbs.

      For the purposes of building an imposing church and monastery in
      Bijeljina, where he moved the centre of the diocese from Tuzla, he also
      reportedly had several Muslim houses razed.