I will not leave Croatia and I did not leave it, said the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Patriarch of Porphyry (Porfirije) for the HRT TV, in his first interview for Croatian media after the enthronement, in which he said he believes that politicians leading Croatia today, including the Croatian Serbs, have exercised their rights.
He also reveals that „he holds letters in his hands“ which Stepinac sent to Pope Pius XII and in which one can really find sections that are „deeply problematic.“
„In order to overcome prejudices, it is important that we understand each other. In order to understand each other, we need to get to know each other, and in order to get to know each other, we must have communication, we must have a relationship. So, I feel my stay and my life in Croatia, which I will not leave and have not left, is a great debt, first to God, and then to the people who live in Croatia. „In that sense, in the first place to Orthodox Serbs, and then equally to Croats, Catholics, Muslims, Jews, with whom I shared experiences of both good and evil, and many people who actually have nothing to do with any religion,“ Porphyry told HRT.
Asked about Patriarch Irenaeus and his views on the canonization of Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac, whom he described as an „Ustasha vicar,“ Porphyry said that Irenaeus only expressed doubts about the canonization of Stepinac and that a commission was formed, not only as an expression of Pope Francis’ decision but as a product of an agreement between Irenaeus and Pope Francis.
„We had a fruitful work in that commission. Unfortunately, each side remained in its positions,“ Porphyry said.