Serbs should unite and vote in Kosovo elections – Patriarch Irinej


PEC – The Patriarchate of Pec marked its day – the Protection of the Theotokos with a holy liturgy served by Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) Patriarch Irinej along with Bishop Teodosije of Raska and Prizren.

Patriarch Irinej said that the Patriarchate of Pec means a lot to Serbian people as it is a spiritual center, historic seat of the Serbian Patriarchs and the center from which the Serbian people was always spoken to.

Commenting on the position of the Serbian holy site which is today guarded by members of the Kosovo police rather than KFOR, the SPC Patriarch said that the people and the church will survive in this area regardless of the fact who is guarding the monastery.

“If they perform the duty honorably, we will be thankful, but we will be here regardless of who is standing at the gate,” Patriarch Irinej said.

The Patriarchate of Pec has been secured by KFOR soldiers since June 1999, but as of August 19 the duty is performed by the multiethnic unit of the Kosovo police in charge of preservation of cultural and religious sites in Kosovo-Metohija.

At the moment, the international soldiers in the province are securing only Visoki Decani Monastery.

Serbs should vote for the best among them – Patriarch Irinej

Patriarch Irinej said that the Serbs in Kosovo-Metohija should turn out at the upcoming local elections there and vote for the best among them, for men made of honor and authority.

Patriarch Irinej said that it would be tragic if the Serbs boycotted the elections and failed to form the government in regions where they make up the majority population.

“If the Serbs are in a position to vote,” Patriarch Irinej said, “let them vote for the best among them, for the men of renown and authority, whose word will mean something.”

Given that Serbian people lack unity, the Serb turnout at the elections should be “all or none” as only that can prove salutary and useful, the SPC head said.

The Serbian patriarch conducted a Divine Liturgy service for the celebration of the Pec Patriarchate’s holy feast day – the Feast of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin – on Monday.

The monastery is located near the western Kosovo city of Pec.