New Patriarch Enthroned For Serbian Orthodox Church After Predecessor Died Of COVID-19

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Jesse Stiller Contributor
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The Serbian Orthodox Church has enthroned a new patriarch after an election resulting from the death of the previous patriarch last year, Reuters reported Friday.

The church held a large ceremony in Belgrade on Friday to mark the enthronement of Porfirije as the new patriarch of the church following the death of his predecessor, Irinej, from COVID-19 in November, according to Reuters.

Porfirije, who now becomes the 46th patriarch in the church’s history, will take over the throne at the Pec monastery in Kosovo in the coming weeks as part of another ceremony, Reuters reported. Porfirije was elected as the new patriarch in an election held yesterday.

The new patriarch held a sermon following his enthronement, Reuters reported, in which he stated that the province of Kosovo would remain the center focus of the church for the time being. Porfirije is seen as a modernist, but it is not clear how his view will impact the activities of the church. (RELATED: Deacon Says Mass Killing Of 800 People Happened At Church In Ethiopia Believed To House The Ark Of The Covenant)

“Kosovo is for us … an umbilical cord that links us with the essence of our identity,” Profirije said, according to Reuters.

Belgrade lost control over Kosovo after NATO’s 1999 bombing campaign to end a counterinsurgency, but the church still regards Kosovo as the “cradle” of their faith, and the province also houses important religious sites, Reuters reported.

The new patriarch will now oversee the church, which reportedly represents around 12 million people in Serbia, the other five former Yugoslav republics, Kosovo, and dioceses in the United States, Australia, and Western Europe, Reuters reported.