Church patriarch dies of Covid-19 after leading open-air funeral for bishop killed by virus

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Irinej, who was 90, conducted an open-casket funeral service for the highest cleric in the church in Montenegro, Metropolitan Amfilohije Radović, on November 1.

Three days later, Irinej was admitted to hospital after testing positive for Covid-19.

Amfilohije’s body had been displayed in an open casket during the service before being buried in the crypt of the church in Podgorica, Montenegro.

A large crowd had gathered in front of the crowded church, with only a few of the participants inside the building wearing masks. Video from the service shows mourners kissing the hands and forehead of the deceased cleric, as is customary.

None of the priests, including Irinej, who performed the liturgy, wore a mask.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic confirmed Irinj’s death on Friday, posting a photo of him on Instagram with the caption: “I was honored to know you. People like you never leave. ”

An earlier statement from the Serbian Orthodox Church said he was intubated after his condition deteriorated on Thursday.

Born Miroslav Gavrilovic on August 27, 1930, Irinej was inducted as the spiritual leader of the Eastern Orthodox Serbs in 2010.

The Serbian Ministry of Health reported on Thursday that 104,097 people have been infected with the coronavirus in the country since the start of the pandemic, with 1,110 deaths.

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