Vučić: If you thought so - you were wrong VIDEO / PHOTO
President Aleksandar Vučić met today with the newly elected Serbian Patriarch Porfirije.Source: B92, Tanjug
The meeting started at 2.30 p.m., in the building of the General Secretariat of the President of the Republic. The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikola Selaković.
The former Metropolitan of Zagreb and Ljubljana, Porfirije, was elected patriarch on Thursday, February 18, and was enthroned a day later in the Cathedral Church in Belgrade.
This is the first official meeting between the president and the new Serbian patriarch, with whom Vučić met in the Patriarchate, after the enthronement.
"I speak first..."
"I speak first because it is known who has the final say," Vučić began his address.
He says that he informed the patriarch about the situation in Kosovo. They discussed how to preserve peace and stability, as well as how to help the people of Kosovo, especially in an economic aspect. "I think there is understanding on that issue. I am grateful that he had the patience to listen," Vucic explains.
He adds that the position of our people and the Church in the region was discussed. "The state, as much as it helps other religious communities, will help even more and more strongly to rebuild temples and shrines wherever the SPC operates, both in the country and in the diaspora, especially in the environment where temples are endangered by war," the president explained.
"When the state and the Church strive for the same goal, when they set common goals and work and fight together - Serbia will be the first in Europe," says the president. He believes that cooperation will be in the interest of the entire Serbian people, and he announced that their meetings will be common in the future. Vučić expressed satisfaction that he could learn a lot from Patriarch Porfirije today.
"When you talk to him, you feel hugely ashamed that you can't reach his knowledge and dignity," he noted. Vučić announced that the state is ready to help, and will build an entire park in front of the Temple of Saint Sava.
"Not only the first, but we will also take care of the more expensive second phase in order to complete the construction of the largest Orthodox church in the world. We have many ideas in which together we can invest money in places where Serbs suffered. I think that our relationship will be in the interest of the entire Serbian nation", Vucic emphasized.
He expressed confidence that future meetings will become regular, and that he will always welcome a meeting with the patriarch in the belief that they can jointly do a lot for our people.
"Difficult or impossible..."
"Dear gentlemen, today I thanked President Vucic for his attendance at my enthronement and for the words he addressed to me," Patriarch Porfirije said at the beginning of his speech.
He stated that he emphasized to the president that he is not a politician, not because he has no affinity for that, but because he thinks that the church is a conciliar body which, no matter how difficult or impossible things might seem, aims to collect, build bridges, blunt blades, overcome polarization. "And above all, to preach the meaning of the existence of each individual," the patriarch added.
The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church added that he briefly heard the basics of geopolitics in the narrower sense of the word from Vučić at today's meeting.
"It's certain that it will not be easy for us"
"Everything that is ahead of us is not easy, it is not something we can look forward to if you know the position of the United States. Not through the fault of today's government, not even today's president, but that situation is difficult for us and we will be under tremendous pressure", he said of the US government's position.
He says that U.S. presence in the Western Balkans will be more dominant, and it is up to us to preserve peace.
"Let's continue the dialogue under the auspices of the EU. That it will be easy for us - it certainly won't. If they think that we will easily give up what we think is ours - they were wrong," says Vucic.
"That nothing like this ever happens again..."
"Without going into any artistic arguments, I think it is important and that it is great that something that was covered with oblivion was spoken about in a whisper," says Patriarch Porifirje about the film "Dara from Jasenovac".
As he says, the film is not a reason for resentment, but for everyone to peek into their heart and "cry out to God that nothing like this will ever happen".
Patriarch thinks that it is important that our Serbian cinematography talks about that topic for the first time.