Even though no one outside of the church should be present at the session of Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) Council, by rule, Patriarch of SPC Irinej invited Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and the chairman of Bosnia-Herzegovina (B-H) Presidency Milorad Dodik to be present at the session on Monday, Blic and Danas dailies reported over the weekend, and added that Vucic would even address the clergy.
The media reported that the majority of bishops were against such decision by the Patriarch and that he allegedly explained that the times were difficult and thus it would be necessary for the government representatives to address the heads of SPC.
Vucic confirmed on Sunday that he would speak on Monday at the SPC Council and thanked Patriarch Irinej for inviting him to this summit, emphasizing that it was a great honor for him and an opportunity to “tell the truth”.
“I will not hesitate to respond with facts and speak about the future”, Vucic said.
Vucic criticized some media allegations that certain bishops have opposed his visit and said that many bishops have supported the Patriarch’s proposal for him to show up at the summit “with enthusiasm”.
The media reporting on Vucic’s ‘visit’ to SPC Council reiterated the division among bishops regarding Patriarch’s support to Vucic and his regime. Those supporting Irinej allegedly agree with Vucic’s addressing to the Council in the official part of the summit and in the central hall of Patriarchy. However, those against it believed that Vucic should have no place among bishops in the Council, but he could ‘unofficially’ address them in one of the rooms of Patriarchy in Belgrade.
The session of the SPC Council started on Friday in Zica Monastery and it would continue at Patriarch Hall in Belgrade.