23 January 2010

Axios! Patriarch Irinej of Serbia

I wrote a post back in November about the death of Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Pavle and the Serbian selection process.

The Serbian Synod has selected a new Patriarch, IRINEJ. According to The Times of Malta, he is "...considered a moderate and has signalled his openness to improving relations with the Roman Catholic Church that have been strained for years. In a recent interview he said Pope Benedict XVI would be welcome to visit, something that would once have been unthinkable in Serbia."

The Pope might be welcome to visit Serbia in 2013, during ceremonies to mark the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, when Roman emperor Constantine established religious tolerance for Christianity in the Roman empire.

Patriarch IRINEJ is also in favor of replacing the Julian calendar with the Gregorian. This move, while promoting Church unity may lead to schism in the Serbian church, so I'm sure they will proceed with caution.

Pray for the continued warming of relations between East and West!

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