The chief of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Irinej, died of the coronavirus on Friday, in response to the church, three weeks after he attended a packed funeral for a senior bishop who had died after contracting the virus.
Patriarch Irinej, 90, was admitted to a army hospital in Serbia on Nov. 4, simply days after he and hundreds of unmasked folks gathered in neighboring Montenegro to honor the nation’s most senior bishop, Metropolitan Amfilohije Radovic, whose physique lay in an open coffin.
Video from the event confirmed mourners kissing his physique.
The majority of Serbia’s inhabitants of seven million determine themselves as Orthodox Christians, and Patriarch Irinej, born Miroslav Gavrilovic and enthroned as the forty fifth chief of the church in 2010, was a main political pressure in the Balkan nation. He opposed Serbia’s becoming a member of the European Union until the nation’s “culture and religion” had been revered. And he was outspoken in his condemnation of each abortion and homosexual rights. “A woman’s duty is to give birth in order to regenerate the nation,” he as soon as advised a native newspaper.
He was additionally one of the few conservative clerics open to a attainable rapprochement with the Roman Catholic Church to resolve historic animosity.
In 2019, as protests swept throughout Serbia to oppose the autocratic drift of the nation’s president, Aleksandar Vucic, he condemned the tens of thousands who took to the streets.
On Friday, Mr. Vucic paid tribute to Patriarch Irinej on Instagram.
“It was an honor to know you,” Mr. Vucic wrote. “People like you never depart.”
After having largely averted widespread outbreaks of coronavirus in the spring, a number of Balkan international locations, together with Serbia, have confronted a surge in circumstances in latest weeks. Serbia reported a file 6,109 new every day circumstances on Thursday, which doubtless understated the degree of an infection as a result of of sporadic testing.
Last week, Serbia started fining individuals who fail to adjust to the authorities restrictions, which embrace necessary masks sporting.
In Montenegro, the place the virus has additionally been spreading quickly, is midway by way of a two-week in a single day curfew, with folks barred from leaving their houses between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. apart from important work and “medical and humanitarian needs.”
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The Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church dies after presiding over a packed funeral. The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Pehal News.