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Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Irinej, who had been hospitalized with COVID-19 in a Belgrade hospital since last Wednesday, has died.

Serbian Patriarch Irinej breathed his last in a Belgrade hospital at the age of 90.

Serbian Patriarch Irinej.
Serbian Patriarch Irinej.

The passing of the Patriarch comes as only last month Metropolitan Amfilohije, the senior Serbian Orthodox Church bishop in Montenegro, died at the age of 82 at the Clinical Centre of Montenegro in the capital Podgorica due to complications with pneumonia and COVID-19.

Patriarch Irinej’s full title was His Holiness the Archbishop of Peć, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci, and Serbian Patriarch Irinej.

He served as the Bishop of Niš from 1975 until January 2010 when he was elected as the 45th Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church after the death of Patriarch Pavle.

The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church is known to have been a supporter of Serbia’s accession into the European Union but also supported the return of Monarchism to his country.

Despite his support for Serbia’s accession into the European Union, he also frequently referred to the Republika Srpska, the Serbian dominated entity of the two entities comprising Bosnia and Herzegovina, as “the youngest Serbian state,” which caused some controversy.

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