By Yekaterina Filatova, for UOJ
It is more correct to trust the Church being older and wiser than all of us rather than people who tend to make mistakes, believes Serbian diplomat Aca Jovanović.
Serbian and Ukrainian peoples have a lot in common and are part of a single Church. The ambassador of Serbia to Ukraine, Aca Jovanović, spoke about this in the program “Without Gloss” on the YouTube channel STAINED-GLASS: About Faith in Colors.
“I live in an Orthodox country, and in my country they believe that if you were already born in this Church, then this is your Church until the end of days,” the diplomat noted. “In the Republic of Serbia, the majority are Orthodox believers. From birth, the Church is an integral part of everyone’s life and plays a huge role. First, a person is baptized in the Church, when he creates a family – he has a church wedding, when he dies – priests bury him according to the church canons. Thus, for a citizen of Serbia, the Church and faith in God, the Orthodox faith, are a part and parcel of life.”
Commenting on the church situation in Ukraine, Jovanović emphasized that separation is taking place in the world, “in particular, there is a rift in Montenegro and Macedonia, the existing Church being torn into pieces.” Nevertheless, he believes, it is important to understand that a person thinks in terms of his own life, and 100 years, which is an eternity for him, is only a short period for the Church, therefore, “it is more correct to trust the Church, which is older than all of us and wiser than people. To err is human.”
“My personal opinion: politics and politicians do not have the right to interfere in church matters. As the ambassador of Serbia, I certainly respect the Ukrainian politicians and Ukrainian people, but at the same time, we cannot intervene in internal issues. The official opinion of Serbian citizens and the Serbian Orthodox Church is the unequivocal support and recognition of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, led by His Beatitude Onuphry,” he said.
The ambassador said that he had a personal meeting with His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, which left on him the most positive emotions.
“Vladyka Onuphry radiates peace, joy, bliss, all the good that man can express. I have never met with saints in my life, but I can say that His Beatitude Onuphry radiates something that left an indelible mark on my heart. It is a great honor and joy for me to get to know him,” said Mr. Jovanović.
In conclusion, the Serbian diplomat wished the Ukrainian people to believe in God, protect their family and faith.
“Our nations are very close in culture, in spirit. The Serbian people originate from Transcarpathia, and this relationship is confirmed by the fact that 70% of our words are very similar, almost the same. As the ambassador of Serbia, I will do everything in my power to improve relations between our fraternal peoples, Ukrainian and Serbian. I wish the Ukrainian people to believe in God, to protect their family, their faith. The Serbian people are brothers, we have a lot in common, we are part of a single nation and a single Church, and no political situation should separate us,” the ambassador summed up.
As reported by the UOJ, the Primate of the UOC, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, reminded the politicians who oppose the Church and want to rebuild it, that the Church was created by Christ, and what is created by God needs no improvement.
photo – Metropolitan Onuphry baptizes infant in undated photo – FRN claims no credit