Bishop Grigorije: Nationalism will pass, we must leave the primitivism

Regardless of how one interprets the Kosovo sacrament, the only way I see the Kosovo sacrament is that one person should protect another – the Bishop of Düsseldorf and All Germany Grigorije said in an interview with Deutsche Welle. Thinking that we will live good lives when we delimitate is a foolish idea. We cannot live side by side even when we delimitate, we will live with each other because our first neighbor is always a part of our lives, he also said.

According to Bishop Grigorije, the Church has a clear and unambiguous position – that the people of Kosovo must be protected, that no one should be endangered, that they should have freedom of movement, religion, life, work, and respect for their differences regardless of their nationality.

„There’s no reason for this not to be accepted or appreciated,“ he said, adding that this is his personal attitude and, according to him, the position shared by the majority of the SOC members.

As a Christian, I can say that no one should endanger anyone and everyone should respect everyone and that is something the church and every Christian should advocate

On the other hand, he also mentioned different ideas that came from the state – such as the delimitation idea.

The Bishop also attended the Synod of the SOC in May when Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic spoke to the clergy, attempting to explain his plan for the solution of the Kosovo issue.

„There was this story about the delimitation plan. In the end, nothing was clearly said or presented about whether there was a plan at all,“ the Bishop said.

When asked about the statement he gave to the Vreme weekly magazine that Vucic had not presented a plan in the Synod, but had instead „accused Bishop Teodosije,“ Bishop Grigorije replied:

„As you understood me at the time – that is what I still think today. I did not hear or understand anything.“

Bishop Grigorije, who spent two decades in Trebinje and later served as the Zahumsko-Herzegovinian Bishop in Mostar, emphasized that he would not like to debate with the President of Serbia through the media, adding that he himself has experience with delimitation.

„You have a border between my Herzegovina and Montenegro and Croatia. There is a border on every corner and it looked like a ‘big accomplishment’. Croats have their own state. Dubrovnik was separated from the ‘barbarians from the east and the north’ and suddenly there were no workers in Dubrovnik, and two or three thousands of young men and women were working in Dubrovnik with the only difference from before is that they now have to cross the border,“ he said.

My main thesis, which I experienced while living in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is that thinking that we will live good lives when we separate is a stupid idea. No, we cannot live side by side even when we separate, we will live with each other because our first neighbor is always a part of our lives

War is always nonsense in which everyone is a loser

He cited the example of lack of borders in Europe as opposed to small countries being divided into smaller parts, due to which people from these states migrate to the west.

„The war is one of the reasons why people are moving from east to west. Isn’t war nonsense? It is always nonsense in which no one is ever the winner. People on both sides always die and no one is ever the winner, houses are burned and destroyed on both sides,” said Bishop Grigorije.

According to him, on the other hand, those who emigrate, despite all the criticisms, still consider the EU to be a good idea, which led to the lasting peace between the French and Germans who have been at war for a long time

 “Respect of your neighbor, respect of another person. This means respecting Eid, and it means respecting Christmas. It means inviting your neighbor for Eid, inviting your neighbor for Easter. That is what Bosnia and Herzegovina has always been like and great people always came out of it. That diversity and wealth in that diversity produced such people,“ the Bishop said, speaking about the best things in the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Only irrational people cannot reach a solution through dialogue

He linked the origin of the intricate Kosovo issue, like other issues in the Balkans, to the historical context – the period of communism but also of the Ottoman Empire. Speaking about both the Balkan and world wars, the Bishop recalled why the Kosovo issue was not resolved.

„Neither the issue of the Serbs nor the issue of the Albanian people have been resolved,“ he added.

In contrast to wars, conversation, dialogue and agreement are what “makes people human” – the Bishop emphasized.

Struggles for media freedom

People were always smart enough to turn to the life and continue to live after the wars. The people should not be blamed at all, but those who control the media should be because they have the greatest influence on the lives of people, their choices and thinking – and in the Balkans, the politicians are the ones with such role. And that’s why these struggles for media freedom are so important – the Bishop underlined.

„As long as people can talk and reach a solution and agreement by talking, these people are reasonable beings. But when they cannot come to a solution through conversation, they are not reasonable,” he said, adding:

„Nationalism will pass. It is always primitivism. One must remove itself out of primitivism, people will realize that this is primitivism and we had that primitivism in Macedonia, Montenegro, BiH, and in all those countries where what had happened in Europe a century earlier had not been experienced.“

In the 21st century, how can we say that delimitation is a groundbreaking discovery?!

Read more:

Bishop Grigorije: Vucic didn’t present a plan during the Synod, Bishop Teodosije attacked



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