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Friday, January 15, 2021

Head of Serbian Orthodox Church Hospitalized with COVID-19 After Attending Bishop’s Funeral

Head of the Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Irinej has been hospitalized with COVID-19 after leading the large public funeral of Bishop Amfilohije Radovic who died of the same virus.

Head of the Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Irinej has been hospitalized with COVID-19 after leading the large public funeral of Bishop Amfilohije Radovic who died of the same virus.

According to a joint statement by the church and the Serbian Ministry of Defense last Nov. 5, Patriarch Irinej, 90, was admitted to a military hospital in Belgrade for testing positive for COVID-19. The statement also said that he was “asymptomatic and generally feeling well.”

Patriarch Irinej’s hospitalization comes after attending the funeral of Bishop Radovic, who avoided wearing a mask and said that pilgrimages are “God’s vaccine,” last Nov. 1 in Podgorica, Montenegro where mourners gathered without masks despite a surge in cases in both countries and warning from authorities that the event was a public health risk.

Many of those who attended kissed the body of the bishop, who died last Oct. 30, as it lay in an open coffin.

Many of the attendees have reportedly contracted the virus, including Bishop Joanikije, who succeeded Bishop Radovic as acting head of the church.

Serbian President Aleksander Vucic and Prime Minister-designate Zdravko Krivokapic of Montenegro also attended the funeral.

Montenegro has reported 2,543 new cases in the days after the funeral, bringing the total number of cases to 21,533.

Meanwhile, Serbia has reported 7,273 new cases in the days after the funeral, bringing the total number of cases to 55,676 cases.

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