Orthodox Church & Covid-19


Covid-19 continues a massive death spiral.



  1. Coronavirus & The Church



Serbia Orthodox Church

Passed Thus Far

  1. Bishop Amfilohije
  2. Bishop Irinej
    • Irinej, 90, died Friday, three weeks after attending Amfilohije’s funeral in neighboring Montenegro, during which mourners kissed his remains in an open casket.

A Bit Ill

  1. Bishop David of Kruševac
    • Bishop David of Kruševac who led Irinej’s funeral service tested positive for COVID-19 following the funeral.
    • Bishop David is one of the four current members of the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church.


Words Attributed

  1. Bishop Amfilohije
    • Amfilohije described large religious gatherings as “God’s vaccine.
  2. Predrag Kon
    • A ban of more than five people is in place, but we could not and did not ban the funeral of the patriarch. It is clear there will be new infections. We will know this in a week.
  3. President Aleksandar Vucic
    • 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. People like you never depart.


Health Risks

  1. The infections have raised concerns that the Orthodox Church — the largest religious grouping in the Balkans — is helping to spread the virus with its doctrine that true believers can’t get infected during communion and other church services.
  2. Both Irinej and Bishop Amfilohije, who also died of COVID-19, had downplayed the dangers of the pandemic and avoided wearing masks in public.

Bishop Irinej

  1. On Sunday, thousands of people attended Irinej’s funeral in the massive St. Sava Temple in the Serbian capital, Belgrade. Many mourners and most of the priests did not wear masks or adhere to social distancing inside the church, kissing the glass shield covering Irinej’s remains and even using a single spoon during communion.
  2. Serbian epidemiologists said there was no way they could ban the traditional funeral prayers.


In Images

Bishop Irinej

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)




Greece Orthodox Church

Passed Thus Far

  1. Metropolitan Bishop Ioannis of Lagadas
    • Passed at 62 years old
    • Northern city of Thessaloniki in Greece


Words Attributed

  1. Church’s governing body, the Holy Synod
    • The church’s governing body, the Holy Synod, hit out at critics who had warned that communion could spread the coronavirus.
    • “Certain aspiring leaders of public opinion are insisting in a neurotic manner on concentrating exclusively on Holy Communion,” the Synod said in a statement. “They cite unscientific correlations with the spread of the coronavirus, in defiance of epidemiological evidence.”
    • In the spring, the Greek government ordered all places of worship, including churches, to shut down during the country’s first lockdown after the synod declined to order a shutdown itself. At the time, the church said that suggestions of coronavirus transmission through communion were blasphemy.
    • The priest had urged parishioners to defy the ban, saying, “You’re either with Christ or the coronavirus.
  2. Greek health experts
    • Greek health experts have mostly avoided commenting on church practices, but have noted that the World Health Organization guidelines list saliva droplets as a leading means of infection.

In Their Own Words

Amfilohije Radović



  1. In a telegram of condolences, Belgrade Chief Mufti Mustafa Jusufspahić paid his respects to the late metropolitan, recalling the events during the nationalist protests in Belgrade during May 2004, when the Bajrakli Mosque was attacked, and when only Metropolitan Amfilohije stood in front of the unbridled mass defending the sanctuary, “defending good from evil in all of us“.
  2. He donated his last pension to a poor priest who was working on several books in Belgrade.




  1. Oecumenism
    • In May 2019, Pope Francis stated that Irinej had helped in the reflection in the Catholic Church about the canonization of World War II Croatian Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac, which the Serbian Orthodox Church opposes due to his role in the Nazi-allied Independent State of Croatia (NDH). “I sought advice and I saw that I need to seek help from Irinej. He is a great patriarch. Irinej helped, we created a joint historic commission, and we cooperated,” said the Pope. “The truth is both mine and Irinej’s only interest.”
  2. Homosexuality
    • In 2017, when Ana Brnabić was appointed the Serbian prime minister, the first openly gay person to serve in the office, Irinej did not openly criticise the choice of Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić: “The Serbian Orthodox Church does not peek through other people’s windows and does not deal with the private lives of state officials,” a press release stated. “It is extremely irresponsible to present scandalous details or someone’s personal temptations to the media and thus expose people to potential danger. The church never condemns. It condemns only sin, only evil, and pities man.
  3. European Union
    • Regarding the possible accession of Serbia to the European Union, Irinej said that: “Serbia should not look with suspicion at the EU, if the EU respects the Serbian identity, culture and religion. We believe that we are an historical part of Europe, and we want to be in this comity of nations. In the accession we will accept everything, that is not in contradiction with our cultural and historical identity.



This is a great plague.

Furthermore, these are men and women we need.

Leaders with spiritual and administrative gifts.

May our holy father continue to keep our head covered in the Day of Battle ( Psalm 140:7 ) [ Link ]



  1. CNN
    • Church patriarch dies from Covid-19 after leading open-casket funeral of bishop killed by the virus
  2. LA Times
    • Senior Orthodox Church leaders downplayed COVID-19. Their deaths are causing alarm
  3. Wikipedia
    • Amfilohije Radović
    • Patriarch Irinej of Serbia


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