Skip to comments.Serbian Patriarch Irenaeus Welcomes Visit by Pope
Posted on 07/12/2012 8:40:39 AM PDT by marshmallow
The Pope could visit Serbia on the occasion of the 1700th anniversary of Constantines proclamation of the Edict of Milan
Orthodox Patriarch Irenaeus has expressed the hope that Pope Benedict XVI will visit Serbia for the celebrations scheduled for 2013, for the 17th centenary of the Edict of Milan. Speaking to Austrian journalists from Katholik Press news agencys Belgrade office, the Patriarch recalled the importance of the Edict: a document which decreed an end to religious persecution in the Roman Empire and laid the foundations of Christianity as a global religion.
Despite his explicit wish, it looks unlikely that the Pope will visit the country as there is a lack of a unanimous consensus between bishops, faithful do not support the trip and both are needed in order for a formal invitation to be sent. The current political and religious situation in Serbia is another reason, not to mention the violence that a visit by the Roman Pope would trigger.
Archbishop Orlando Antonini, the Apostolic Nuncio in Belgrade, says it is likely there will be a high level Vatican delegation led by the President of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, Cardinal Koch. There are still strong tensions in relations among Orthodox Serbians and Catholic Croatians; tensions which go back a long time. There are, however, clear signs of détente and rapprochement on a political level which have not yet penetrated the social fabric sufficiently.
Serbians hold the Pope, the Catholic leader, as partly responsible for the conflict. Every initiative can help improve relations, as was seen by the Patriarch Ireneus recent visit to Croatia in June for the inauguration of an Orthodox Serbian school in the capital where he met the Cardinal of Zagabria, Josip Bozanic. Relations between Patriarch Ireneus and Cardinal Bozanic are very close-knit and deal in particular......
(Excerpt) Read more at vaticaninsider.lastampa.it ...
Technically there was no Edict of Milan. Constantine and Licinius met in Milan in 313 and agreed on a policy of toleration (which Constantine had already implemented--in fact he was favoring Christianity), and Licinius issued an edict, but not in Milan.
I think the reason that they wanted to have a ceremony in Serbia was that Constantine's birthplace is in present-day Serbia (although there were probably no Slavs of any group in the Balkans in the early fourth century).
good points. This is also a good step between Orthodoxy and Catholicism in forgiving the sins of the past.