Belgrade, March 12, 2018
His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia has voiced his approval of the proposal to amend the name of the Serbian Orthodox Church to emphasize its inextricable ties to much-suffering Kosovo, reports B92.
The Serbian Church is set to vote on a new Church constitution in May, which includes the addition of “the Patriarchate of Peć” to the title “Serbian Orthodox Church.” Peć was the seat of the Serbian patriarchate from 1346 to 1766, and the Serbian Patriarch is still known today as the Archbishop of Peć, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci. Many of the most significant Serbian Orthodox monasteries and churches today are located in Kosovo.
“Peć remains as the history of our past, where patriarchs, archbishops sat, and regardless of what happened, Peć remains the historic center of our Church. Everything that contributes to preservation of history, to the attachment of our Church to Peć and Kosovo, we accept,” His Holiness stated.
However, he does not support the idea of moving patriarchal headquarters to Peć. “Belgrade is still an administrative center,” the patriarch said.
There is also a proposal to change how the patriarch of the Serbian Church is chosen. Whereas the Church primate is currently chosen by a blind selection of one of three envelopes containing the candidates’ names, the Holy Synod could move to election by vote, requiring a two-thirds majority. Pat. Irinej has said that he also does not support this change.
“I would personally like it to remain the way it is, this is my opinion, but we will see how the Assembly will decide. These are all suggestions, we will see what will be adopted,” said the patriarch.