In light of the developing situation between Serbia and Kosovo, including the prevention of Patriarch Porfirije on December 26, 2022 by the authorities in Pristina to visit his historic and primatial see of Peć, Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, in his capacity as Chairman of the Assembly of Bishops, conveyed an intervention to The Honorable Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
In the letter, the chairman asks Secretary Blinken:
“to take immediate action to facilitate and further safeguard peace in this wounded region, as well as the human rights and religious freedoms of the Serbian community in Kosovo, including the ability of His Beatitude to visit and worship with his communities.”
Commenting on the event, Patriarch Porfirije said: “I will simply say that the Patriarchate of Peć in Kosovo (it is the official seat of the Patriarchate of Serbia) is for our people, for our Church what the Vatican is for Roman Catholic Church.
So imagine what would happen if someone for no reason and with some kind of comical explanation, just because he wants to, banned the Pope from entering the Vatican.”
The president of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, called the ban on the Patriarch’s entry into Kosovo a “shame” that weighs not only on Pristina but also on the international actor that did not react.
Regarding the tension prevailing in Kosovo, Patriarch Porfirije appealed to everyone to show prudence in order to avoid armed conflict.