The following brief report appeared on Pravmir on February 26, 2020. For additional context see the extensive Ukraine section in Orthodoxy in Dialogue’s Archives 2017-19 and Archives 2020; Putin Gets Red Carpet Treatment in Serbia, a Fulcrum Once More (The New York Times, January 2019); Serbian President Accuses Russia of Spy Plot Involving Army (The Guardian, November 2019); and “Financing” in Church of Saint Sava (Wikipedia).
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow (L) and Patriarch Irinej of Serbia (R)
Patriarch Irinej of Serbia said that such great personalities like His Holiness Patriarch Kirill are needed now not only by the Russian Orthodox Church, but also by the entire Orthodox world, reports Foma.
“Thanks to the Lord that such personality appeared in his place in our time, when great and holy personalities are so essential for heading the Church,” said the Serbian Patriarch in a sermon at the church of the Metochion of the Russian Orthodox Church in Belgrade on February 2, 2020.
According to the head of the Serbian Church, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill is “a person known by his Christian life since the time when he was elected bishop and then Patriarch”.
The Patriarch of Serbia believes that through His Providence, the Lord “gave the holy Russian people two great personalities that are important not only for Russia, but for the whole Orthodox world and even more broadly: Russian Patriarch Kirill and Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
“This is a gift from God, and not only to them, but to us as well. We are very grateful to the Russian Patriarch and the President of Russia for everything that they do for our people and our Church,” concluded Patriarch Irinej.