Last week, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia hosted a traditional dinner at the White Palace in Belgrade in honour of the regular annual Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The dinner was attended by His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia with Metropolitans and Bishops of the Church, among others.
The Serbian Orthodox Church is one of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Churches. It is the second oldest Slavic Orthodox Church in the world after the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. The Serbian Orthodox Church comprises the majority of the population in Serbia, Montenegro, and the Republika Srpska entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The church achieved autocephalous status in 1219 under the leadership of St. Sava.
During the dinner, His Royal Highness said:
“We are gathered at the White Palace on the occasion of the Holy Assembly of Bishops. We cherish this traditional event because it gives an example of unity and cooperation for the common good. The church and the crown are the two institutions in our country that bring stability. I know that significant decisions are ahead of you, and I believe that the holy spirit will inspire your work this time, too, because when the shepherds know what they do, the flock is safe. Thank you for the constant support you provide to our people and my family. May God bless our people and our country. I hope that the Lord will bless your efforts and your prayers”.
His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia thanked Crown Prince Alexander for the hospitality and wished good luck to the Royal Family, as well as the peace, justice and salvation to all people of good will. Irinej, the 45th Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, is the spiritual leader of Eastern Orthodox Serbs, since 22 January 2010. He served as the Bishop of Niš between 1975 and 2010.