Serbian Ambassador to the Vatican Sima Avramovic has stated that Serbia holds great appreciation for the fact that the Holy See “does not recognize the so-called independence of Kosovo” and added that he hoped the Vatican would adhere to this position.
“It is essential to bear in mind that our joint interest is the preservation of Christian heritage, Christian values, and even the survival of Christianity itself. We must use every opportunity to speak of just how threatened [the Serbian] people and the Serbian cultural legacy in Kosovo and Metohija are,” Avramovic said for the Oct. 18 issue of the Politika daily and reminded that said cultural legacy is “a part of Christian and European tradition as a whole.”
The ambassador also stated that “the relations between Serbia and the Holy See are quite good and fair, but [that] there is still significant room for improvement.” According to him, “aside from furthering political cooperation there is much space for collaboration in the areas of culture, research science and education.”
Asked to what extent the Pope’s potential visit to Serbia would be a political and to what extent an ecclesiastical matter – given that the Pope is both a head of state and the leader of the Roman Catholic Church – Avramovic responded that the issue was “without a doubt delicate for both the state and the Church.” “Our state has made its stance abundantly clear through President [Aleksandar] Vucic’s oft repeated statement that he would like to see such a visit [take place],” Avramovic elaborated.
Avramovic further added that the Serbian Orthodox Church has very good relations with the Roman Catholic Church, which “were particularly developed by His Holiness Patriarch Profirije during his tenure as metropolitan of Zagreb and Ljubljana.”