Serbian Patriarch Porfirije on the meaning of Kosovo for the Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Patriarch in his Christmas interview: What the Vatican is for the Roman Catholic Church, Kosovo is for us
(sources: KoSSev, RTS)
The church's position on Kosovo has not changed and it is well known to everyone. What the Vatican is for the Roman Catholic Church, Kosovo is for us. For us, Kosovo is the deepest root, the Serbian patriarch said last night, reported KoSSev.
In an interview with RTS, when asked whether "all the bishops agree with his sentence that the referendum for Kosovo and Metohija was held in 1389," he said:
"So far, I have not come across any of the bishop's brothers, in the clergy, or dissonant tones when it comes to Kosovo. Of course, for us, Kosovo is not just a political issue, it is a much deeper spiritual issue. That is why we say that Kosovo is not just a myth, because in terms of myth you can be a loser or a winner. Kosovo is like a covenant to us, related to the New Testament, and in the center, at the heart of the New Testament, stands holiness, and we are called to holiness, and for us, Kosovo is truly sacred."
In numerous meetings with international representatives, in an attempt to, as he says, "conjure up" what Kosovo means to Serbs, he told many:
"What the Vatican is for the Roman Catholic Church, Kosovo is for us."
"Vasko Popa said the best, 'a field like no other, heaven above the earth and heaven below the earth.' So, for us, Kosovo is chained by the sky and in that sense, it cannot be the subject of pragmatism, the subject of rational and logical. What is ephemeral profit, what is practically useful, because the moment we shut down Kosovo in ourselves, we simply become something completely different identity wise in relation to our entire history and prehistory, in relation to our fathers, ancestors and everything else," said Patriarch Porfirije.
Continuity and view and walk into the future of one nation is impossible without a deep root, and for Serbs, Kosovo is the deepest root.
Asked to clarify earlier allegations about "fences" of Serbs and Albanians, the patriarch said that "the fence does not have to divide" and that by fence he means self-awareness and identity character of the people.
"An essential and real fence is the way to unite exclusively and only when we are sanctified as individuals and nations. Then we have a kind of fence, a definition of our being, but such a fence implies the communion of the people. In that sense, I think it is very important to talk. An elementary emotion of respect is needed, and in order to find out, you must talk no matter how difficult it may be and be on the cross. And Albanians, on their cross, with their ambitions, demands and dreams," he said.
The patriarch emphasized "that perseverance is needed, that talks are needed, getting to know others", and that this, "sooner or later, will unblock the blockades", as many cases in history have shown.
When asked about the "dreams" of those on the one hand about "Kosovo without Albanians" and "Greater Albania at least as far as to Krusevac and then we will see", the patriarch said:
"Maybe there are those with dreams and wishes that there are no Albanians and vice versa, but that would not be in line with historical realities, and especially not with the Gospel. I believe that most of our people, and most of the Albanian people, do not have that kind of problem. "
On the contrary, he believes that nations have a need to share, to community, and that is the only way to confirm ourselves as people.
He also says that whenever he met with Albanians, he did not have major communication problems.
"Especially our people who live in Kosovo testify to that, regardless of all the difficulties. One is the political ambitions and goals of a certain political structure, and the other is the people who have enough of their own troubles and problems, so that they do not have much space left to deal with big issues," the patriarch concluded in the part about Kosovo, reported KoSSev.