Serbian Patriarch IRINEJ visits Kosovo and Metohija

His Holiness IRINEJ, Serbian Patriarch have visited Kosovo and Metohija for the first time since his ethronement as Patriarch of the SOC. Patriarch IRINEJ arrived in the Patriarchate of Pec monastery in early afternoon accompanied by Vicar Bishop Teodosije of Lipljan, Ministers in the Government of Serbia: Goran Bogdanovic (Minister for Kosovo and Metohija) and Prof. Dr. Bogoljub Sijakovic (Minister of Faith) as well as Mr. Mladjan Djordjevic, adviser to the President of the Republic. Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral arrived soon in the Patriarchate of Pec, who served this morning Holy Liturgy in the Crna Reka monastery on the occasion of the feast day of St. Peter of Korisha, as well as Bishop Joanikije of Budimlje-Niksic, who are also the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops.

Serbian Patriarch addressed the present journalists speaking about his impressions on the occasion of the arrival in Kosovo and Metohija and the situation in the Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija.

His Holiness Patriarch said that he would prefer, as before when he had lived in Kosovo, Serbs and Albanians live in harmony and love.

Serbian Patriarch reminded the journalists that he had lived in Kosovo and Metohija between 1947 and 1975 and that the Patriarchate of Pec he considered his home and to come here he would not need any permission. "The relationship between the two nations (Serbs and Albanians) was different. I remember that and I would like the such relationship between these two nations to be also nowadays. "

Patriarch IRINEJ said to the reporters in the Pec Patriarchate that he had always come to Kosovo and Metohija with lots of love, and that today he felt joy, unpleasentness and sadness. Joy because he came back again to the holy Serbian land, sadness because  the Serbian land was destroyed and unpleasentness, because he had to pass the administrative crossing with the escort.


Patriarch commented on the former events in the Diocese of Raska-Prizren as something that the Church had to do. Patriarch sent a message to the faithful people in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as those who lived abroad to have full confidence in their Church, to accept all what Church had done, because it was the most appropriate and in this way to enable a normal life of the Church.


Minister of Faith Bogoljub Sijakovic said that the enthronement of Patriarch was very important event for the church and the state.

Patriarch IRINEJ was enthroned on January 24 in the Cathedral Church in Belgrade, and on October 3 of the following year there will be a formal enthronement in the Patriarchate of Pec which has been the seat of the Serbian Patriarch for many centuries.

The italian soldiers of KFOR take care about the security of the Patriarchate of Pec, since the Yugoslav Army and members of the Ministry of internal affairs retreated in June 1999.


Source: Diocese of Raska-Prizren