Referring to the recent visit of the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Petro Parolini (left on the picture) to the Patriarchate of Serbia, Patriarch Irinej told the Belgrade daily “Blic” that they had not talked about a visit by Pope Francis. “I said at the time what I had to say, and I remain on my position,” said the patriarch. “We have not exchanged on this topic. We talked about other things, but not about that”, he added.
Earlier this year, the primate of the Serbian Orthodox Church had said that the time had not come for Pope Francis’ visit to Serbia: “because of what happened in the past [reference to the genocide of Serbs in the “Independent State of Croatia”] and of the large number of [current] refugees from Croatia, a large part of the people are opposed to it “.
During his recent meeting with Cardinal Parolini however, the Patriarch thanked him “for the official position of the Vatican which gives priority to the dialogue between Belgrade and Priština rather than the unilateral recognition of the independence of the southern province of Kosovo and Metohija”.