1-The election of the new 46th Serbian Patriarch (Full title: Archbishop of Peć, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci, and Serbian Patriarch), who are the candidates, the election process and what's at stake. My thread
2-During the period of interregnum, the church will be lead by a caretaker, most probably Hrizostom, the Metropolitan Bishop of Dabrobosna, Archbishop of Sarajevo and Exarch of all Dalmatia. A Bishop unlikely to become the Patriarch
3-How is the new patriarch elected? The Assembly of Bishops of the SPC votes. It elects 3 candidates who win most votes. Their names are written on 3 pieces of paper and placed in the Bible. The oldest of the archimandrites (superior abbot) prays over it the entire night
4-At dawn, one of the 3 pieces of paper are pulled out of the Bible and the new patriarch is randomly elected from the list of three candidates. Religious interpretation is that the Holly Spirit makes the choice of the new Patriarch
5-Two Patriarchs were elected by this method: Very popular Patriarch Pavle in 1990, and the deceased Patriarch Irinej in 2010. Before, the “electoral college” was composed of the Bishops but also laymen allowing the state to weigh even more on the process
6- To respond to the criticism that in 1958 the head of Communist secret police Rankovic selected Patriarch German, the present system was introduced. A close relationship with the regime led many to call German, somewhat unfairly, "the red Patriarch"
7-In 2010, during the election of the deceased Patriarch Irinej, three names made it to the Bible: his, Irinej (Bulovic) Bishop of Bačka and the recently deceased Amfilohije, the metropolitan bishop of Montenegro and the Littoral. The Holly Ghost elected Patriarch Irinej🙂
8-Which three names are likely to make it to the Bible this time around? One is the only one alive of the three said candidates in 2010-powerful and controversial Irinej (Bulovic) the Bishop of Bačka, seen as close to the Russian Church and a hurdle to the ecumenical drive of SPC
9-Another is Porfirije, the Metropolitan of Zagreb and Ljubljana, seen by some as close to Irinej Bulovic, but younger and more modern. The later is rumored to be the preferred choice of the Serbian regime
10-Irinej Bulovic could be a second choice for Vucic, but his election, because of his power, would be a risky business for the Serbian president who could not truly control him. Some articles about him @NedeljnikNIN #VukCvijic
11-The part of the Church critical of the regime (sources say min. 15, max 20, even 25 Bishops) is rumored to support Bishop Joanikije, close collaborator of Amfilohije, and the current administrator of the Metropolitanate of Montenegro AND …
12-Bishop Grigorije, head of the Eparchy of Düsseldorf and all of Germany and a former head of the Eparchy of Zahumlje and Herzegovina, is seen by many as the only chance for a long awaited renewal of the SPC, still desperately trying to catch to modernity
13-In reaction to government’s 1,7mEUR donation for the construction of the Cathedral of Saint Sava in the midst of the #COVID19 pandemic, Grigorije famously said, “I am for churches full of healthy people, not empty churches and hospitals full of people fighting for their lives”
14-The chances that 3 out of 4, very likely Joanikije or Grigorije, and a possible surprise, enter the final ballot of 3 are great. After that, anything can happen. Vucic may be the most powerful man in Serbia, but he is not more powerful than the Holly Spirit🙂
15-What are the stakes of this election? Whomever is elected Patriarch, the attitude of the SPC towards #Kosovo will likely remain the same, which is opposing its independence.
16-On the other hand, SPC remains the only powerful institution in #Serbia not to be entirely captured by the regime in power. Should Vucic’s preferred candidate win we are likely to see, pretty much like until now, a rather malleable SPC
17-If however, one of the bishops critical of the regime is elected, the church is likely to transform itself, somewhat like in #Montenegro, into a force challenging the absolute power of the President, and not only on Kosovo
18-There are other issues too: SPC has been trying to balance in a clash between the Bartholomew I of Constantinople and the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus', which renewed after the ecumenical patriarch granted autocephalous status to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in 2019.
19-Serbian Church did not follow the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece in recognizing the Ukrainian Church but it still needs the ecumenical patriarch to protects its control over independence drive of churches in 🇲🇰 (From 1967) and 🇲🇪, stop 🇷🇴 church from operating in 🇷🇸 ...
20...and generally speaking protect its wider canonical territory (a geographical area seen as belonging to a particular patriarchate or autocephalous Church - also in 🇧🇦🇭🇷🇸🇮 and western 🇷🇴) resisting the attempts to confine it to the borders
21-The Patriarchate of Constantinople has refused to recognise the independence of the Orthodox Church in 🇲🇰 and still considers it part of the Serbian Church. Formally speaking the situation in 🇲🇪 is similar but the separate church there, unlike in 🇲🇰 has very little following
22-Finally there is the long awaited visit of the Pope to Serbia. Until now the majority position of the Church has been against it. Bishop Irinej Bulovic has been a vocal opponent so if he or a weaker Patriarch are elected, it will likely not happen. END slobodnaevropa.org/a/zasto-papa-n…

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