by Dr. George-Nektarios Lois, President of the Institute for National and Religious Affairs of Patras
Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb and Ljubljana is the Hierarch who was elected the 46th Patriarch of Serbia (18/02/21).
The new Patriarch is one of the youngest Metropolitans of the Serbian Orthodox Church. He was born on July 22, 1961. After completing his studies, he attended the Theological School in Belgrade, from which he graduated in 1986.
Then, he continued his academic-postgraduate studies at the Theological School of the University of Athens (1986-1990), wherein 2004 he was awarded a Doctorate, after the public presentation of his Dissertation on: “The possibility of knowledge of God in the Apostle Paul according to Saint John Chrisostomos”.
The ecclesiastical-ascetic life of the new Patriarch dates back to 1985 when he was ordained a monk by his spiritual father, Bishop Irinej Bulović of Bačka, in the Holy Monastery of Visoki Decani. Then the Metropolitan of Zagreb and Ljubljana was ordained a Hierodeacon by the then Bishop of Raška and Prizren, and later Patriarch of Serbia, Pavle. On October 6, 1990, he was placed in the Monastery of the Archangels in Kovil at the suggestion of his spiritual father, Bishop Irinej of Bačka, where on November 21 of the same year he was ordained a Presbyter and was appointed Abbot of the Monastery. On May 14, 1999, the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church elected Porfirije as Vicar (Assistant) Bishop of Jegar in the Diocese of Bačka (Bishop Irinej Bulović). About five years later, on May 24, 2014, the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church elected Porfirije as the new Metropolitan of Zagreb and Ljubljana.
Finally, it should be noted that during the period 2010–2011, the Metropolitan of Zagreb and Ljubljana was also the head of the Religious Service of the Ministry of National Defense of Serbia. In fact, from this position he developed regular cooperation with his Greek counterpart, Fr. Nikolaos Gourdoupis, on issues related to the Christian and ecclesiastical education of the members of the army.