Bishop Irinej of Bačka, spiritual father of new Serbian Patriarch, tests positive for COVID

Novi Sad, February 22, 2021

His Grace Bishop Lavrentije of Šabac was earlier hospitalized with a bad reaction to the vaccine.     

His Grace Bishop Irinej of Bačka of the Serbian Orthodox Church has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Vladyka Irinej was one of the three chosen candidates in the recent Patriarchal elections in the Serbian Orthodox Church. He is also the spiritual father of the new Patriarch, His Holiness Porfirije. He has been the ruling hierarch of Bačka since December 1990.

According to, Bp. Irinej was not feeling well in the days before and after the Electoral Assembly. As his condition did not improve after several days, he decided to be tested, and was found to be positive for the coronavirus. He was unable to attend the enthronement of his spiritual child as the 46th Patriarch of the Serbian Church.

His Grace has a fever but is not showing any other symptoms or health problems, the Serbian outlet reports. According to, he is under a doctor’s supervision and undergoing treatment at his residence in the diocesan administration.

OrthoChristian reported on Thursday that three other Serbian hierarchs are in the hospital. His Grace Bishop Lavrentije of Šabac was hospitalized in Belgrade after having a negative reaction to the COVID vaccine, reports

The retired Metropolitan Atanasije (Jevtić), formerly of Herzegovina, and His Grace Bishop Maxim of Western America are also sick with the coronavirus.

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