2020-05-20 19:50:00

Russian Orthodox Church yet to decide whether Patriarch Kirill will visit Serbia in Oct

Moscow, May 20, Interfax - A decision has yet to be made as to whether Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will visit Belgrade in October 2020 to attend the consecration of the city's Cathedral of Saint Sava, the Russian Orthodox Church said.

"In my opinion, it's still too early to speak about any plans for October. I think it'll be possible to return to planning after the current epidemic situation ends," head of the Synodal Department for Church, Society and Media Relations Vladimir Legoyda told Interfax on Wednesday, when commenting on today's remarks by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic that Patriarch Kirill will be among the participants at the consecration ceremony for the Cathedral of Saint Sava of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

The Cathedral of Saint Sava is one of the world's largest Orthodox churches. Russia has been helping with its interior decoration. Saint Sava (Nemanjic) (approx. 1169-1236) was the first bishop of Serbia and is one of its revered saints.

Construction of the cathedral began back at the end of the 19th century on the square where the Ottomans burned the remains of Saint Sava at the end of the 16th century. Actual construction work was launched in 1935, but was interrupted by World War II. It was resumed in 1986. Although not fully finished, the church was officially opened in 2004. Interior decoration work has been in progress in the cathedral since then.