Handover of the Neulerchendfeld church in 16th Vienna’s district
His Grace Bishop Irinej of Backa, Administrator of the Diocese of Austria-Switzerland, received on 27 May keys of the Neulerchenfeld church in 16th Vienna’s district, from Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn
With this solemn act the forementioned church became also the formal property of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Lots of guests from both sides, not only from ecclesial, but also from social life, attended this ceremony. Along with His Grace Bishop Irinej there were also: Bishop Ignatije of Pozarevac and Branicevo, David of Krusevac and newly elected Bishop Andrej of the Diocese of Austria-Switzerland. The ceremony was held also in attendance of His Eminence Metropolitan Arsenios of Austria (Ecumenical Patriarchate), President of the Orthodox Bishops’ Conference in Austria. His Excellency Cardinal was accompanied by his vicar Dariusz Schutzky.
In his homily Cardinal Christoph Schönborn emphasized that in some parts of the city of Vienna number of Catholics was quite small, and that the number of the Orthodox had raised and that for the Roman Catholic Church it was crucial to preserve Christianity; according to him, his Church gladly helps the Orthodox while performing their pastoral mission.
Bishop Irinej thanked with words of gratitude and said that the received gift was priceless and that it would serve for the glory of God and salvation of the many who would pray in it, as it had been before.
After receiving the keys of the church, which Bishop Irinej handed over to Episcopal Dean for Austria, protopresbyter-stavrophor Krstan Knezevic, gifts were handed in: Bishop Irinej presented an icon of the Mother of God and an icon of the White Angel of Milesheva to Cardinal Cristoph Schönborn.
Source: Diocese of Backa