Serbia: new orthodox patriarch is metropolitan Porfirije

Elected by Holy Synod to replace Irinej

18 February, 17:38

    (ANSAmed) - BELGRADE, FEBRUARY 18 - The metropolitan of Zagreb and Ljubljana, Porfirije, is the new patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, said Serbian state news agency Tanjug.

    It said he was elected by the Holy Synod, which had gathered on Thursday morning in the orthodox cathedral of St. Sava in Belgrade to choose the successor of Patriarch Irinej, who died 20 November due to the coronavirus.

    According to the tradition of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the name of the new patriarch was drawn at random by a monk that chose between three envelopes with the names of the three candidates that received the most votes from the 36 members of the Synod.

    The other two were the bishop of Backa, Irinej, and the bishop of Banja Luka, Jefrem.

    Porfirije (Peric), elected 46th patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, is one of the youngest bishops of the Serbian Church, born 22 July 1961.

    After his primary and secondary education, he graduated with a degree in orthodox theology in 1986.

    One year prior, he changed his original name, Prvoslav, to the monastic Porfirije.

    According to his official biography, he was ordained a monk by his spiritual father, Irinej Bulović, at the monastery of Visoki Decani, in Kosovo.

    After finishing his studies, at the Monastery of the Most Holy Trinity in Musutiste, he was ordained a hieromonk by the then-bishop of Raska and Prizren, and then by the patriarch Pavle.

    In its meeting on 24 May 2014, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church elected him metropolitan of Zagreb and Ljubljana.

    According to some, metropolitan Porfirije doesn't have a very hard position on Kosovo's independence, as do many other orthodox bishops, which could favour a solution to the long-standing dispute between Belgrade and Pristina.

    Thus far, in fact, the Serbian Orthodox Church, which is very conservative and traditional, has shown itself to be inflexible in rejecting Kosovo's independence, considered an integral part of Serbian territory and the cradle of the culture and spirituality of orthodox Serbia.(ANSAmed).

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