By Mladen Aleksic
In his first TV interview for Serbian national television RTS, Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia spoke about many topics, such as the situation in the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Kosovo issue, the dialogue with the Catholic church, the inter-orthodox clash between Moscow and Constantinople, the Ukraine issue, even same-sex marriage.
About the Ukraine issue, Patriarch Porfirije said that the Serbian Orthodox Church is an Autocephalous church that has its internal order and added that SOC is sided with Canon at this moment.
“The actions of Constantinople in Ukraine are not in accordance with the tradition of the Church. We are on the side of order and canon,” said Patriarch Porfirije.
He also added that “Many are going to say that we (the Serbian Orthodox Chuch) are on the Russian side. But we are on the side of orders and canons.”
When he was asked about Pope’s visit to Serbia, he said it depends on many factors.
“I will not think alone, but everything is a product of assembly thinking… so far, as far as I know, there has never been any initiative by the Vatican… and Patriarch Irinej said that it would be good and useful for the relationship between the two churches, but whether and when… God knows.”
About actual problems in the Serbian Orthodox Church, like North Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, even Croatia, he added that, although he is not a prophet, “similar actions, like ones in Ukraine, will not happen again, because it caused great upheavals in the relations of the local churches”. And that will be a lesson for everyone.
During his first TV interview, Patriarch Porfirije said the Church should not engage in politics as alienation, but to engage in politics in the original sense, in the sense of caring for the common good.
Regarding same-sex marriage, Patriarch Porfirije said that for the Church, marriage is defined in the Old Testament between the first man and woman.
But, he added that he can understand people who have that kind of sexual orientation since they have countless problems, pressures and that they need to regulate their own status.
On many topics, he added, that Church needs to communicate with everybody, to try to solve the problems, and, primarily, to bear witness to the faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.