A key witness is Bojan Jovanovic, a former theological student, who claims he saw numerous orgies that had been organized or backed by the now-74-year-old bishop; and that Kačavenda personally asked him to supply young children for the sex parties. The lustful participants allegedly included other Christian-Orthodox clerics as well as prominent Serbian businessmen.
BELGRADE -- The Serbian Orthodox Church has approved the resignation of a powerful cleric amid sex-scandal claims that culminated this week with the publication of a graphic video appearing to show him engaged in sexual activity with young men.
Vasilije Kacavenda, the bishop of Tuzla and Zvornik in Bosnia-Herzegovina, retreated from his clerical duties months ago as allegations mounted that he had used his position for years to stage frequent orgies and rape underage boys and girls.
But the April 22 decision by the Holy Synod to accept his resignation appears to be the first acknowledgment of the churchs growing unease with the crush of lurid accusations that seem better suited to Caligulas court than an Orthodox diocese.
Bojan Jovanovic, a former theological student in Bijeljina, the seat of Kacavendas diocese, says he observed numerous orgies organized by the 74-year-old bishop and attended by fellow clerics and prominent businessmen.
Jovanovic says Kacavenda personally appealed to him to supply young children for sexual purposes and frequently called on high-ranking church officials to organize trysts with young theological students.
"They tried on many occasions to put me in a compromising situation myself or to pull me into their circle," Jovanovic says. "[The bishop] also suggested that I should use the school where I was teaching science to bring him children up to the age of 10, but of course I refused. I was also a witness when abbots from other monasteries would bring theology students who would spend the night with the bishop.
"One morning, one of them called me and asked me to unlock the bishop's room so he could get his things. I said,'What are your things doing in the bishop's room?' He said,'Come on, it's not like you don't know. Don't pretend to be stupid.'"