Biography of newly-elected Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb-Ljubljana
Newly-elected Metropolitan Dr. Porfirije (Peric) of Zagreb-Ljubljana was born on 22 July 1961 in Becej, northern Serbia, and was baptized as Prvoslav. He finished primary school in Curug, and the “Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj” Grammar school in Novi Sad. He was ordained a monk according to the rite of small schime by his spiritual father, then hieromonk Dr. Irinej (Bulovic), at Decani Monastery in 1985.
He graduated from the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Belgrade in 1986, when the then Bishop of Raska-Prizren Diocese, future Serbian Patriarch Pavle of blessed memory, ordained him a hierodeacon at the monastery of Holy Trinity in Musutiste, Kosovo and Mectochia.
He attended postgraduate studies in Athens from 1986 until 1990. That year, upon the blessing of Bishop Dr. Irinej of Backa, he joined the monastery of Holy Archangels in Kovilj, near Novi Sad, where he was ordained as hieromonk and became its abbot.
Many young monks and novices came to the monastery following him. These were the years when the Kovilj Monastery became a spiritual center for many young people: intellectuals, artists, popular actors and rock musicians, especially from Novi Sad and Belgrade. Since then abbot Porfirije has particularly dealt with drug-addicted patients. For this purpose he formed (in 2005) a therapeutic community called “The Land of the Living”, which is recognized as the most successful project for therapy of drug-addiction; under the leadership of Bishop Porfirije, it has more than hundred residents in camps throughout Serbia at the time being.
During the ordinary meeting of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the SOC in Belgrade on 14 May 1999 he was elected as Bishop of Jegar, Vicar of the Bishop of Backa.
He defended his PhD thesis Possibility of knowability of God in St. Paul’s understanding according to the interpretation of Saint John Chrysostom at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Athens in 2004.
He became a lecturer at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology - Department of Pastoral Psychology - succeeding famous psychiatrist, academician Dr. Vladeta Jerotic.
Bishop Porfirije has not been just president of the Steering Board for a decade, but a real spiritus movens of the Humanitarian Fund “Privrednik”, which has provided scholarships for a great number of gifted, but poor pupils and students, regardless of nationality or religious affiliation.
The Assembly of the Republic elected him as representative of all Churches and religious communities, to be a member of the Council of the Republic Broadcasting Agency, and in 2008 the RBA elected him its president.
The Holy Assembly of Bishops entrusted him to establish military chaplaincy in the Serbian Armed Forces in 2010.
His expert theological works Bishop Porfirije published in magazines both in Serbia and abroad. He participated in quite a number of scientific conferences and symposia throughout the world.
He speaks Greek, English, German and Russian.
The enthronement of new Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb-Ljubljana will be performed at the Cathedral church of the Transfiguration of the Lord in Zagreb on Sunday, July 13, 2014. His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej will serve the solemn Hierarchal Divine Liturgy with the concelebration of a great number of hierarchs of the Serbian Church and other local sister Churches, as well as of priests and monks. After the Liturgy the solemn enthronement act of the new Metropolitan of Zagreb-Ljubljana will take place.