18 July 2013, 15:08
Patriarch Kirill raps Serbia for lack of commitment to principles
Moscow, July 18, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said that Serbia's lack steadfast commitment to principles which makes the Orthodox residents of Kosovo suffer.
"We regret to state that today Serbia's political leadership lacks fidelity to principles and think that the political leadership should listen to the Serbian Orthodox Church rather than ignore it publically," Patriarch Kirill said at a meeting with Patriarch Irenej of Serbia at which he discussed the Kosovo problem.
One needs to think about patterns of settlement in Kosovo and Metohija and that pattern should envisage "solid guarantees of the existence" of the Serbian community and Serbian Orthodox shrines, Patriarch Kirill said.
The year of 2013 became a time of trials for the Serbian people: more temples are desecrated, grave stones are destroyed, and Orthodox Serbs are threatened, he said.
"We bow our heads to the courage of the Serbian people who, despite a threat to its existence, has remained in a spiritually and historically important place to the whole Serbian nation," he said.
The Russian Orthodox Church supported Russia's participation in UNESCO projects aimed at restoring Serbian shrines in Kosovo and Metohija, he said, noting that Russia's funds were used to restore objects in the Patriarchate of Pec, as well as in Gracanica, Visoki Decani and the Holy Virgin of Ljevis Cathedral in Prizren.
The Russian Church gathered 200,000 euros for the of Raska and Prizren Diocese in Kosovo that were used to reconstruct a local theological school.
"We will continue to collect money, because the fact of collecting money is an important show of solidarity on behalf of the common people that come a church and give money and sympathize with the people of Kosovo and Metohija," Patriarch Kirill said.