Heraklion, Crete, Greece, September 28, 2020
Archbishop Irineos of Crete, 87, was admitted to the ICU of the PAGNI University General Hospital in Heraklion yesterday morning, reports the Orthodoxia News Agency.
The Archbishop had difficulty breathing at home on Sunday, and when his health did not immediately improve, he was transferred to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with acute respiratory failure.
According to an announcement from the hospital, the hierarch was initially treated with non-invasive mechanical ventilation, which did not show any positive results. He was then transferred to the ICU and intubated. He remains in critical but stable condition, and doctors are optimistic.
He has been in poor health recently, suffering from chronic illnesses.
After being admitted, Abp. Irineos tested negative for COVID-19. The Archbishop made waves late last month when he stated during a homily that Orthodox Christians should not wear masks in church. In an interview with Creta24 following the service, he reiterated: “We are free in the Church; we are not enslaved. At least when we are in church, we should not wear a face mask. Outside of church, it’s okay.”