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Church patriarch dies from Covid-19 after leading open-casket funeral of bishop killed by the virus

November 20, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

In this photo taken Sunday, March 15, 2020, Serbian Patriarch Irinej speaks during a statement with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, Serbia. Serbia???s president has pledged to protect Serbs in Montenegro who are allegedly threatened by possible forming of an independent Orthodox Church in the small state as tensions further escalate between the two former allied Balkan countries. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Irinej, died in a Belgrade hospital on Friday after contracting coronavirus, according to a statement from the church.

(CNN)The head 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, led an open-casket funeral service for the church's top cleric in Montenegro, Metropolitan Amfilohije Radović, on November 1.

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

On Friday, Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic confirmed Irinej's death, posting a photo of him on Instagram with the caption: "I was honored to know you.

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

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

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

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