The enthronement of the newly elected Holy Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovac Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, was conducted at the end of the conciliar Holy Hierarchal Liturgy at the Cathedral church in Belgrade.

After being elected, Patriarch Irinej said that his election to “this honourable and difficult duty” was “God’s will and the will of the Holy Synod”.

Patriarch Irinej, the 45th Serbian patriarch, said in a speech after the enthronement that the primary goal of the church was to “help our state which is doing all it can to save Kosovo from those who want to grab it away”.

“If we forget Kosovo, Kosovo will forget us,” he said. “Kosovo is our Holy Land, our Jerusalem.”

The new patriarch, Irinej, 80, has served in Kosovo in the past as did his predecessor, Pavle who died in November at the age of 95.

Most of Serbia’s ten million people are Orthodox Christians.