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17750Serbia: Church does not intend to engage in politics

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    Apr 12, 2013

      Bishop Dr. Irinej of Backa: Church does not intend to engage in politics
      10. April 2013 - 17:05

      The spokesman of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Bishop Irinej of Backa,
      stated on 8 April, following the end of the meeting of His Holiness
      Irinej, Serbian Patriarch and the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops
      of the Serbian Orthodox Church with the state leadership of Serbia, that
      the Church does not intend to deliver decisions instead of the elected
      representatives of the people or engage in politics, but that it has an
      inalienable right to voice its stance on the most important national issues.

      Bishop Irinej in his statement to the press said that he dismissed as
      improper and malicious all insinuations that the Church wanted to engage
      in politics.

      He explained that at the meeting with Serbian President Tomislav
      Nikolic, Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and First Deputy Prime Minister
      Aleksandar Vucic, the Holy Synod received the full, objective
      information about our state's legal and foreign policy situation,
      "especially taking into account the ultimatum that has recently come
      from Brussels, to which our country has to respond."

      Bishop Irinej said that the Holy Synod presented its views on the issues
      related to Kosovo and Metohija, and the survival of our people there,
      but also the status of Kosovo and Metohija: there is a great difference
      between talks on "the relations of two neighboring states" as insisted
      by the West, Brussels and Washington, and talks aiming to find solutions
      for life and survival of people without prejudice to the question of the
      status. */"We talked sincerely and openly... We prayerfully hope that
      our state leadership will have conscience, and responsibility, and at
      the same time feelings for the need of life and the survival of our
      people and our general international position, and that they will know
      how to articulate the proper solutions"/* , Bishop Irinej emphasized.

      *"/We, as the representatives of the Church, do not intend and we have
      never even aspired to dictate nor deliver decisions instead of the state
      officials who were entrusted with the mandate in the elections",/* he
      also said. But, he added, the Church also feels that it is its moral
      duty and inalienable right as "the only centuries-old and steady
      presence in Kosovo-Metohija and in all continents" to express the wish
      and needs of those who are at the same time citizens of Serbia,
      residents of Kosovo and Metohija, and believers of the Serbian Orthodox

      Bishop Irinej also points out that he believes that it is very good and
      necessary in all circumstances not only in the most difficult and
      fateful ones to exchange opinions and experiences. */"However, I am
      dismissing as improper and malicious all the insinuations that the
      Church allegedly wants to engage in politics and deliver decisions
      instead of the elected officials. That exists neither as an intention
      nor a thought,"/* Bishop Irinej said. But if any non-government
      organization with small membership thinks that it has a right to be
      consulted by the government of the state, then the Church has even more
      rights to do the same since its believers are at the same time the
      absolute majority of citizens of this country. */"In that context of
      completely normal exchange of thoughts and necessary consultation this
      meeting also should be understood",/* Bishop Irinej concluded.

      He did not want to comment yesterday's statement of Prime Minister Ivica
      Dacic and his answer to the letter of the Holy Synod and His Holiness
      Patriarch, saying that he was not familiar with it, hence he could not
      answer about things he knew nothing about. He explained that yesterday
      was the feast day (Annunciation), that he had service all day long and
      he had seen none of the media reports of the previous day.

      Source: Office of the Bishop of Backa

      (according to the report by Tanjug from April 8th, 2013

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