SPC bishop denies he's "soft on Kosovo"

BANJA LUKA -- Bishop of Zahumlje and Hercegovina Grigorije says his position on the issue of Kosovo is "not soft".

The Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) dignitary based in the Republic of Srpska (RS) also said that "a normal Serb cannot have a soft stance on that question".

"I believe that matters related to Kosovo are in no way concluded and sealed once and for all. On the contrary, I think a great battle is ahead of us and I am aware how dangerous fatalism is, just as is easy optimism, based on self-delusion," he told Banja Luka's Nezavisne Novine.

The bishop also said that the Church "to which we serve within our strength, building into it ourselves and our lives, is a living and open space for us, an event of freedom, life in love, a place of testimony of all we believe in, to which we testify and hope for".

"Speaking evangelically, it [the Church] is a candlestick alight in the darkness, that the darkness cannot engulf, and this means that, although not of this world, it still lives and exists in this world, and precisely for its sake."

"Closing one's eyes to the facts," Bishop Grigorije continued, "is always the greatest problem".

"Should we keep silent out of fear of saying the wrong thing, should we remain passive simply out of fear of making the wrong step, then we will never become true servants of the Church."

The bishop's name was recently mentioned in the media when he sent an letter to the top of the SPC, describing the current state of affairs in the Church as "a state of emergency".