Home page News
Patriarch Porfirije: Kosovo and Metohija are …

Patriarch Porfirije: Kosovo and Metohija are our spiritual Jerusalem

“What is the most important for us is that Kosovo and Metohija are our spiritual Jerusalem”, His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije stressed answering questions fr om a correspondent of the Russian Mezhdunarodnaya zhizn (International life) magazine. He noted that just as millennia after the exodus, the Jews in the diaspora used to say, ‘See you next year in Jerusalem’, so the Serbian youth greet each other with words ‘See you next year in Prizren’, thus showing that they cherish the memory of the fact that Prizren is a city of Serbian kings, the capital city, the city of King Dušan. “For everybody to know that, for instance, the value of the Church of Our Lady of Ljeviš named so after a medieval toponym cannot be measured by any earthly treasures”, His Holiness continued.

At the same time, the Primate of the Serbian Church pointed out this greeting is no call to a conflict or aggression, “Our way is the way of our state, our people and the Church; it is the way of dialogue, peaceful co-existence, respect for every person, for all positive human beliefs. However, it does not mean that the Church shows any relativism on this issue. With regard to the issue of Kosovo and Metohija, the promised Serbian land, the Church, and personally the Patriarch, seek, in direct, systemic and manifold ways, to exert influence on the spirit of time, on the very essence of the people, on total social, political and cultural circumstances in the state so that the nature of young generations’ discourse expressed in the maxim ‘See you next year in Prizren’ may remain a constant paradigm”.

He expressed profound gratitude “for the support in the struggle for justice and peace, for Kosovo and Metohija, to the Russian State, which unhesitatingly sets a veto in the UN Security Council, to the Russian Orthodox Church, other Local Orthodox Churches and the Churches in Greek and Slavic worlds, as well as to Pope Francis”.

Speaking about his own impressions of his recent trip to Kosovo and Metohija, Patriarch Porfirije drew a parallel between the religious life in that region and the religious life in Western Europe, “In the southern Serbian region, many churches are destroyed, looted, defiled and therefore stand empty. In Europe, there are also a considerable number of empty churches; with the only difference that they are not destroyed, not defiled by those who do not wish Christ and His Church. Churches, in which the Liturgy was served for centuries, are now transformed into restaurants, shopping centres, tourist sites, discotheques and similar places of mass entertainment”.

“May be this is exactly what has given rise to indifference towards the destruction of churches in that part of Europe, towards the sufferings of Christians”, His Holiness presumed.

He related with bitterness that the 14th century monastery Mušutište, in which he was ordained in 1985, turned out totally destroyed by locals in 1999. Destroyed was also the parish church, also dated back to the 14th century; all the Serbian houses were burnt down. “The Serbs driven away fr om the Mušutište village, if obstacles are not put in their way, come every year to the ruins of the church, in which I was ordained on Pentecost; the church was dedicated to the Holy Trinity, and the Divine Liturgy is celebrated in it. Such is the picture of the religious life in Kosovo and Metohija. Where the church was not destroyed or burnt sown, if local authorities not oppose to it, the liturgy is celebrated once a year - on the day of the saint it is dedicated to. On this day, the faithful get together”.

In the north of the Kosovo region wh ere the Serbian Orthodox people have remained an absolute majority, the church life can be said to go on normally, just as in all other regions of Serbia, the Republic of Serbian Montenegro, etc.”, His Holiness stated.

He also mentioned the situation in the so-called Serbian enclaves wh ere the Albanian population prevails, but stressed, “Actually, these are real ghettos”. He believes such ghettos to be the greatest shame for the Europe of the 21st century. The Patriarch noted that the religious life in these ghettos does existed: each enclave has a priest who celebrates in the church on continuing bases. “One can say, the services are held as usual. Only this ‘usual’ is to be understood very and very conditionally, as the everyday life is closed within the enclave, sometimes in one or two streets, and it is very risky to come out, especially for women and children”, the Primate of the Serbian Church said.

The organization and maintenance of religious life in that region is a great merit of Bishop Teodosije of Raska-Prizren and the monastics, clergy and faithful, His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia stated.

 

DECR Communication Service

 

Share:
Patriarchal condolences on the death of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York

18.05.2022

Patriarch Kirill: Our flock is both in Russia and Ukraine and we ardently pray for the restoration of peace

18.05.2022

Commentary by the Communications Service of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate on the interview given by Pope Francis to the Italian publication Corriere della sera.

04.05.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s talk with Primate of Serbian Orthodox Church

27.04.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates Paschal Great Vespers at the Church of Christ the Saviour

24.04.2022

Paschal Message of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to the archpastors, pastors, deacons, monastics and all faithful children of the Russian Orthodox Church

23.04.2022

Holy Synod members discuss the issue of rendering aid to refugees and suffering civilians in Ukraine

25.03.2022

Holy Synod considers it important that the Russian Church’s stance on the crisis in Ukraine be brought to notice of the heads of non-Orthodox Churches and inter-Christian organizations

25.03.2022

Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church meets under the chairmanship of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill

24.03.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion: The main thing in a person's life is their relationship with God

20.03.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s address to the Supreme Church Council on March 18, 2022

18.03.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill chairing a meeting of the Supreme Church Council

18.03.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill had a talk with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

16.03.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia talks with Pope Francis

16.03.2022

Patriarch’s homily on the Sunday of Orthodoxy at Christ the Saviour Cathedral

13.03.2022

DECR chairman meets with leaders of Baptist World Alliance

23.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion meets with the Chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq

23.05.2022

The 25th meeting held by the Working Group for cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

19.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion meets with leaders of a major inter-Cristian humanitarian organization

13.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk visits Exarchate of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem in Cyprus

13.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk meets with Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus

12.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk holds negotiations with head of the DECR of the Malankara Church

11.05.2022

DECR chairman meets with representative of the Armenian Apostolic Church Catholicosate of Cilicia

11.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion delivered a presentation at the plenary session of the Orthodox Pre-Assembly of the World Council of Churches

11.05.2022

Russian Orthodox Church delegation attends Orthodox Pre-Assembly of World Council of Churches

10.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion on the work carried out by the Church amid the political confrontation in Ukraine

09.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion: Imposing sanctions will not affect the life of the Russian Orthodox Church

09.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion on details of the talk between His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis of Rome

09.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion: We have learned from own experience that Jesus Christ is God Incarnate

02.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Church is called upon to unite people regardless of their political orientation

02.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk celebrates Vespers of Good Friday with the procession of the burial-shroud.

22.04.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk celebrates Vespers and the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great on Holy and Great Thursday.

21.04.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion: the essence of religious life lies in the love for God

16.01.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion: May the joy of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ into the world live in our hearts always

09.01.2022

On Christmas Eve, Metropolitan Hilarion celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Moscow church in honor of the icon of the Mother of God "Joy to All who Sorrow" on Bolshaya Ordynka.

06.01.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord calls every person to salvation in a variety of ways

27.12.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord has commanded us to love every human being

31.10.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: on the Feast of the Holy Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos we glorify the heavenly intercession of the Mother of God

14.10.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: Many things in a person's life depend on faith

29.08.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Holy Spirit is the main treasure of the Christian soul

01.08.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: Holiness is a constant striving to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ

27.06.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: God does not want to condemn, but to save us

07.03.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord always grants to us the opportunity to display our talents

24.01.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord has imbued the waters of Jordan with his divine presence to wash away human sins

19.01.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: to repent means to change your way of life

17.01.2021

Feedback

Fields marked by * are mandatory required

Send a message
Рус Укр Eng Deu Ελλ Fra Ita Бълг ქარ Срп Rom عرب