BELGRADE (Reuters) – A whole bunch of mourners, together with nation’s president, gathered on Sunday for the funeral of the top of the Serbian Orthodox Church, who died aged 90 after contracting COVID-19.
Authorities hoped to keep away from Patriarch Irinej’s funeral changing into a spot the place coronavirus may unfold.
Solely Irinej’s family, clergy and dignitaries, together with President Aleksandar Vucic and Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of Bosnia’s Presidency, had been allowed contained in the St. Sava church. Different mourners watched funeral rites on large screens outdoors.
Most members of the clergy performing funeral rites within the church had been with out masks, in addition to some folks outdoors. Nevertheless, a lot of trustworthy who gathered outdoors wore masks and tried to keep up a distance from one another.
Irinej examined optimistic for coronavirus on Nov. four and died on Friday.
He had attended the Nov. 1 funeral of Metropolitan Amfilohije, the Serbian Orthodox Church’s senior cleric in Montenegro, who additionally died from COVID-19. It isn’t identified if Irinej contracted the virus there, however at that funeral he was indoors for hours amongst crowds, most of whom didn’t put on masks.
Like different European nations, Serbia has seen a spike in coronavirus circumstances in current weeks. Its authorities on Saturday tightened coronavirus restrictions, corresponding to limiting gatherings to 5 folks, beginning subsequent week.
Authorities have been reluctant, nevertheless, to use strict restrictions on the highly effective Church, which has about 12 million followers, primarily in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia.
Serbia, which has a inhabitants of round seven million, has thus far reported 116,125 COVID-19 circumstances and 1,168 deaths.
In a eulogy, Vucic stated Irinej had been involved for Serbia to not recognise the independence of Kosovo.
“He acted rationally and with a cool head, searching for methods for us … to not recognise the independence of Kosovo … whereas on the identical time understanding actuality and all historic errors we made,” he stated.
The Serbian Orthodox Church is firmly against the independence of Kosovo, which is Serbia’s former southern province and is predominantly populated by Albanians.
Fusion Media or anybody concerned with Fusion Media won’t settle for any legal responsibility for loss or injury because of reliance on the knowledge together with information, quotes, charts and purchase/promote indicators contained inside this web site. Please be absolutely knowledgeable relating to the dangers and prices related to buying and selling the monetary markets, it is among the riskiest funding varieties doable.