| July 17, 2013 | 14:54
Russian, Serbian patriarchs criticize Serbian government
MOSCOW -- Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) Patriarch Irinej has conferred
with Russian Patriarch Kirill II in the Russian Patriarchate in Moscow.
The patriarch called for help of the Russian Orthodox Church and the
Russian government in the preservation of Kosovo and Metohija, leveling
criticism at the Serbian authorities.
Irinej underlined that Serbia must not renounce Kosovo and Metohija,
because that would imply renouncing our history, culture, spirituality
and holy sites.
“The current government is under considerable influence of the West. The
Church is doing all in its power to bind their consciousness to the
powerful Russian history and the Russian Church,” the Serbian patriarch
“Russia's stance on Kosovo and Metohija is influential. Therefore, I ask
you and, through you, the state leadership to help us solve this issue
and thus preserve Kosovo and Metohija,” he added.
Patriarch Kirill reiterated that the Russian Orthodox Church agrees with
the stands of the SPC in terms of Kosovo and Metohija, and he also
criticized Serbia's political leadership.
"I regret to say that Serbia's political leaders lack courage to take
the same stands. I believe that the political leadership should consider
the stands of the SPC and not ignore them, let alone to do that
publicly," the Russian Patriarch said at the meeting.
Patriarch Kirill "reacted positively to the request of Patriarch
Irinej," Tanjug reported.
"We are offering our unreserved support to the SPC righteous position in
terms of Kosovo-Metohija and we will remain in the dialogue with leaders
of Russia and other countries in defending the stance that we are
sharing with the SPC," the Russian patriarch said.
"In creating of a model for solving the Kosovo and Metohija issue, the
SPC would have to be included, and an acceptable model would have to
provide firm guarantees for the survival of the Serb community and
preservation of Serb holy sites in Kosovoand Metohija," said Kirill.
The Russian Orthodox Church will continue to collect funds for the
reconstruction of Serb churches and monasteries in Kosovo, the Russian
Patriarch Irinej on his first official visit to Russia since his
appointment. The SPC delegation will visit Russian churches and
monasteries and Orthodox holy sites in Ukraine and Belarus during the
The SPC Patriarch and other Patriarchs of autocephalous Orthodox
churches will take part in marking the 1025 years of Christianity in Russia.
The Orthodox Patriarchs will be received by the presidents of Russia,
Ukraine and Belarus.