From today’s Serbian paper Politika, here:
IRINEJ: Both Serbs and Albanians have a right to exist in Kosovo
Serbian Patriarch Irinej said yesterday in Gracanica that the Albanian people have an indisputable right to exist in Kosovo and Metohija, but that this is the right of the Serbs as well, for whom Kosovo is a centuries-old homeland.
Patriarch Irinej, in his Vidovdan homily, expressed hope that a solution for the Kosovo situation which would satisfy both parties – the Serbian and Albanian. “The solution that would satisfy only one side is not a solution but reason for division, which we do not want nor those who want to have in Kosovo their land and country. This country belongs to us as the historical people of this region, but it belongs to those who are with us, and we hope a solution is reached which will satisfy both sides, “said Irinej.
According to him, those who tailor the fate of the world must have justice and truth as their standard when deciding on Kosovo and Metohija. “The people here who want their country have never been deprived of human rights, and they are fighting for their country and state, while the Serbs have always fought for survival in Kosovo,” said the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
“We recognize that the Albanian people have a right to exist here. But the Serbian people also have a right to exist and live here since it is their age-old homeland, “said the patriarch.
Irinej urged those who have left Kosovo to return and said that he prays “these who live there with us to restrain, not to make what is even unpleasant to God,” for “this land is great and blessed, and there is room for us and for them. ” “If we be people, as Patriarch Pavle said, honorable and respectful, we will solve all problems both ours and theirs. This is both our and their future. To be human towards them, and they to us. And this should make us such that we can live together,” the patriarch said to the faithful in Gracanica monastery.
Liturgy in the monastery of Gracanica was attended by ministers Goran Bogdanovic and Bogoljub Šijaković, as well as Russian Ambassador in Belgrade Alexander Konuzin.
The central Vidovdan ceremony was held at Gazimestan, near Pristina, the place where in 1389 the Ottoman and Serbian army fought led by Prince Lazar.
At about 1pm the memorial service, Parastos, began for the fallen heroes of the Battle of Kosovo, served by Patriarch Irinej, with con-celebrated by Metropolitan Amfilohije and Bishop Atanasije, and Teodosije. Over a thousand people gathered around the memorial in Gazimestan, carrying Serbian flags and clothing with the Serbian national symbols and patriotic messages.
Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Coastlands and administrator of the Diocese of Ras and Prizren in his homily he quoted the words of Prince Lazar that “it is better to end life gloriously than to live in shame.” “Since then this place has continued the struggle between good and evil, between hatred and love, between justice and injustice, between truth and lies, between violence and freedom,” said Amfilohije.
The Kosovo police and KFOR controlled the entrance to Gazimestan.
See more photos here