The Serbian Orthodox Church has elected a relatively young new leader in Porfirije Peric, aged 59 – who in the past has made known his sympathies for Serbia’s government and President.
Bishops of Serbia’s powerful Orthodox Church on Thursday elected Porfirije Peric as their 46th patriarch.
The new Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovac and Patriarch of Serbia had previously, since 2014, been Metropolitan of Zagreb and Ljubljana.
The Assembly of Bishops started on Thursday morning with a liturgy in the cathedral-sized St Sava Temple in Belgrade, and the process of voting started at noon.
According to the rules, candidates for patriarch can be any of the bishops with at least five years of diocesan service. A total of 39 members of the Assembly had the right to vote.
The bishops first choose among themselves until they select three candidates. Then, in the second round, the three names are placed in three envelopes in a Gospel. The one pulled out is a matter of luck, or, to believers, the expression of the will of the Holy Spirit
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