Friday, May 24, 2024

    Serbian patriarch prays for peace, stopping short of condemning Russia’s aggression


    Serbian church is seeking to pose as a “peacekeeper” despite maintaining brotherly relations with the Russian aggressor. On June 2, a procession “Belgrade Prays for Peace” was held in the Serbian capital. This was reported by the press service of the Serbian Patriarchate.

    This year, the main goal of those gathered for the march was to pray for peace, but the Serbian Orthodox Church ignored Russia’s involvement in the killings in Ukraine. Moreover, not a single word about Ukraine, where the bloody war of the Russian Federation is taking place, was said on the website of the Serbian Human Rights Center

    The procession, led by Serbian Patriarch Porfirije, passed from the Church of the Ascension through the city center to the Cathedral of St. Sava in Vracar.

    The service was attended by servicemen of the Serbian Army and Gendarmerie Guards, a police orchestra, church choirs, students of St. Sava Theological Seminary and employees of city institutions and services.

    Priests carried through the city the relics of St. Paraskeva of Serbia and St. Stefan Lazarevic with their icons and the miraculous icon of the “Three Hands” Mother of God, donated by the monks of the Athos monastery Hilandar.

    The decoration of the procession was its youngest participants – children from Kosovo, Metohija, and Montenegro, who came to Belgrade specifically to pray for peace alongside the Patriarch.

    In his sermon, the Primate of the Serbian Orthodox Church asked the crowd to pray for peace around the world, and especially for peace in Ukraine.

    The procession in the Serbian capital is traditionally held on the feast of the Ascension, because on this day in 1405, Despot Stefan Lazarevic declared Belgrade the capital of the country.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is scheduled to visit Belgrade next week. Lavrov will also meet with Patriarch Porfirije, who is practically the only church leader who, after the invasion, met with a high representative of the occupiers and who still calls Ukrainians into the bosom of his Church. The Russian Embassy is also organizing a celebration of Russia Day, which will be attended by the clergy of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

    The President of Serbia said that Lavrov’s visit is becoming more complicated, but is still in plans. Serbia has imposed sanctions on Belarus, but not Russia.