x

Church

Head of Serbian Orthodox Church Tests Positive for Virus

January 11, 2022

BELGRADE — Patriarch Porfirije, the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, has tested positive for COVID-19, the church said Tuesday, amid a surge in infections in the country and elsewhere in the Balkan region.

Porfirije has developed “very mild symptoms of the virus infection” and remains in home isolation, said the statement. It added that Porfirije is carrying out administrative duties entirely without problems.

The 60-year-old patriarch became the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church after the previous patriarch, Irinej, died in November 2020 after contracting the coronavirus.

Porfirije on Sunday attended a mass ceremony in Republika Srpska, the Serb-run part of neighboring Bosnia, where few people wore face masks.

Serbia reported nearly 9,000 new infections on Monday in the country of 7 million people. The number of daily new cases has risen sharply after New Year’s celebrations that included open-air concerts and relaxed anti-virus rules.

Experts say the current rise in cases is driven by the fast-spreading omicron variant of the coronavirus and is likely to worsen further. Epidemiologist Predrag Kon on Monday criticized the virus policies of authorities.

“Everything that was organized should not have happened,” Kon said. “Belgrade exploded after New Year’s and now it’s spreading to the rest of Serbia.”

Serbia has recorded over 1.3 million cases of infection since the start of the pandemic while nearly 13,000 people have died of COVID-19.

Infections have been on the rise in neighboring Croatia where authorities further limited gatherings from Tuesday, widened the mandatory use of face masks and urged companies to organize home work when possible.

Croatia on Tuesday reported almost 8,000 new cases in the past 24 hours while authorities said that 38 people died, bringing the COVID-19 death toll in the country to nearly 13,000.

Croatia’s neighbor, Slovenia, on Tuesday reported 5,164 new cases of coronavirus, which the official STA news agency said is the highest daily tally since the start of the pandemic. Slovenia has tightened entry and other rules in face of the omicron wave.

In Bosnia, authorities in part of the country said they recorded a 98% rise in infections in the past week which has led to the tightening of rules on gatherings and testing. Officials said further limitations are possible.

RELATED

Anton "Tony" Mandros, 87, of Portsmouth, RI, passed to his eternal reward on January 19.

Top Stories

Church

BOSTON – The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in its recent meeting dealt with the ecclesiastical coup perpetrated by the Patriarchate of Moscow in its canonical jurisdiction, calling it an “immoral invasion and intrusion.

Church

NEW YORK - Some 21 years after it was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City, the new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church rising in its place is among the most eagerly awaited architectural openings of 2022.

Events

STATEN ISLAND, NY – For yet another year, the community of Holy Trinity-St Nicholas in Staten Island honored couples celebrating 50+ years of marriage with a modest ceremony held at the church immediately following the Divine Liturgy on January 16.

Video

SNF’s Health Initiative Will Support Child and Adolescent Mental Health

ATHENS - When we think about childhood injuries, we usually think of scratches, a few stitches, maybe even a broken bone.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.