Church of Serbia – 3/3/21
– Your torment is also our torment, and your joy and our joy, Patriarch Porfirije said to the people of Banija who were left without a roof over their heads in the December earthquake and announced his even greater presence in the affected area.
On February 27, 2021, Patriarch Porfirije, in his first pastoral visit since he was elected head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, visited the village of Majske Poljane, a place near Glina, which was severely affected by the earthquake on December 29, 2020. In the earthquake, many houses were razed to the ground, while others were unsafe for life.
The humanitarian action of the Diocese of Zagreb-Ljubljana and the Serbian National Council, called “Banija is our house”, is still in progress. His Holiness Patriarch was accompanied by Bishop Gerasim of Gornji Karlovac, many priests of the dioceses of Zagreb-Ljubljana and Gornji Karlovac, volunteers and journalists.
After the conversation with the Kukoleca family, the Patriarch told them that he knew that the help they had received so far was only first aid, and that “everything is yet to be restored. “Count on us, we are here with you,” he said.
Addressing the press, in front of the home of the Kukoleca family, which is temporarily situated in a container house, the Patriarch said that the Church tried to be with those who need help.
He said that he is aware that this is first aid and that real engagements are yet to come. He reminded that led by Bishop Gerasim and with the help of many good people, and the City of Belgrade, the Church managed to raise certain funds and provide a little more than a hundred container houses. He expressed the intention to help repair not only houses but also auxiliary facilities where people keep cattle.
“What is important for me is that despite the troubles that people are facing here, it was seen that people cannot do without each other and that people need people. Maybe sometimes God offers a temptation to all of us so that through material damage we have the opportunity to awaken in ourselves what is human and to make an effort to overcome each of our narrowness, egoism, closedness, and to meet the other and thus, rejoicing at that meeting, we realize that united we will easily renew the material damage and, more importantly, we understand that only when we are together can we have primordial joy and primordial peace “, Patriarch Porfirije said.