Slobodan Georgijev takes the measure of the man:
… Pavle was a man with an untainted biography, devoted to the work of the church. As Patriarch, he would travel to work on public transport shunning the luxury trappings and expensive cars that formerly came with the office. “If they drive around in such expensive cars having made a pledge to modesty,” Pavle is reported to have said, “what would have they done had they not made the pledge.”
He was criticized in Liberal circles for not being more resolute in holding back the Church from interference in state affairs, although in the church system he was just the first among equals, and many decisions were made passed by the bishops, without his approval.
A pious man, he was nevertheless always willing to talk to anyone without feeling the need to impose his religious views. His message has been summed up in a sentence: it is better to live for just one day as men, than a whole lifetime as a monster.
Many will remember him for a statement he made in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, during the war: “Budimo ljudi iako smo Srbi”. Loosely, this translates into English as “It’s more important to be a man than a Serb.”
Read Patriarch Pavle, The Man and the Serb on BalkanInsight.com