The leader of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Irinej, who was 90 years old, died on Friday.
. – The leader of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Irinej, died in a Belgrade hospital on Friday after contracting coronavirus, according to a statement from the church.
Irinej, who was 90 years old, led the open casket funeral of the church’s chief cleric in Montenegro, Metropolitan Amfilohije Radović, on November 1.
Three days later, Patriarch Irinej was admitted to the hospital after testing positive for covid-19.
Amfilohije’s body had been displayed in an open casket during the service. They then buried him in the crypt of the church in Podgorica, Montenegro.
A large crowd had gathered in front of the packed church, and only a few of the attendees inside the building wore face covers. A video from the service showed people kissing the deceased cleric’s hands and forehead, as is customary.
None of the priests, including Irinej, who performed the liturgy, wore a mask.
On Friday, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic confirmed Irinej’s death. He posted a photo of him on Instagram with the caption: “It was an honor to meet you. People like you never leave.
In an earlier statement, the Serbian Orthodox Church reported that he had been intubated after his condition worsened on Thursday.
Irinej, who was born Miroslav Gavrilovic on August 27, 1930, was enthroned as the spiritual leader of the Eastern Orthodox Serbs in 2010.
The Serbian Ministry of Health reported Thursday that 104,097 people have been infected with coronavirus in the country since the start of the pandemic. 1,110 deaths have been recorded.