Serbian Orthodox Church elders elected Bishop Porfirije Peric as the new Patriarch on Friday (19.02).
Bishop Porfirije was the Church’s Zagreb-Ljubljana Metropolitan and was viewed as one of the favorites to head the church before the session of the Holy Synod in the crypt of the St Sava Temple in Belgrade.
Some media in Serbia said that Porfirije is openly close to the Serbian authorities and that his view of the independence of Kosovo is not as hardline as that of other bishops.
Porfirije is one of the younger bishops. He was born in 1961 and is a graduate of the Orthodox Seminary University in Belgrade in 1986 a year after he took on the name he goes by today as a monk. He was accepted into the brotherhood of monks by Bishop Irinej Bulovic at the Visoki Decani monastery in Kosovo and was ordained by the late Patriarch Pavle who was Bishop of Raska and Prizen at that time. He did postgraduate studies in Athens and returned home to become abbot of the Holy Archangels monastery in Kovilj outside Novi Sad.
Porfirije was appointed to the Council of the Republic Radio Diffusion Agency by parliament as a representative of all churches and religious communities in 2005 and went on to chair that Council in 2008. He was the military’s head chaplain in 2010-11 and coordinated relations between the church and Serbian military.