On Wednesday, 20 May 2020 it has been 30 years since the consecration of Bishop Irinej of Backa.
At the regular session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1989, hieromonk Irinej was elected as Vicar Bishop of the Serbian Patriarch, with a title of Bishop of Moravica, and following the consecration at the Patriarchate of Pec, on 20 May 2020, he was elected Bishop of Backa and was enthroned in Novi Sad, in December of the same year.
His Grace Bishop of Novi Sad and Backa, Sombor and Sezged Irinej, PhD was born on 11 February 1947 by parents Mihailo and Zorka Bulovic in Stanisici, in Backa, receiving baptismal name Mirko. He finished primary school in his birthplace and the grammar school in Sombor in 1965. He graduated in 1969 at the Faculty of Theology of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade.
During his studies, he was tonsured as a monk from his spiritual father, Venerable Justin of Celije, and received a monastic name Irinej. The same year Bishop Pavle of Raska-Prizren (later Serbian Patriarch) ordained him a hierodeacon, and then hieromonk.
During the school year, 1969/1979 hieromonk Irinej taught at the Monastic school in the Ostrog monastery. A decade (1970-1980) he spent in Athens as a postgraduate student at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Athens. In June 1980 he defended his doctoral thesis on the topic The mystery of distinguishing the divine essence and energy in the Holy Trinity according to Saint Mark Eugenikos, Bishop of Ephesus.
After a short study stay in Paris, at the Russian Theological Institute of Saint Sergius, he was elected Assistant Professor of the New Testament at the Department of the Holy Scriptures at the Faculty of Theology in Belgrade in 1981, where he also began teaching New Testament Greek language.
At the regular session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1989, he was elected Vicar Bishop of the Serbian Patriarch, with a title Bishop of Moravica, and then, after the consecration at the Patriarchate of Pec on 20 May 1090, he was elected Bishop of Backa and was enthroned in Novi Sad, in December of the same year.
He published many theological texts, scientific and popular ones, as well as many translations. Ten years long he was editor of Orthodox Missionary (Pravoslavni misionar), a religious bimonthly magazine published by the Holy Synod of Bishops. During his fruitful work as Professor at the Faculty of Theology in Belgrade, he acquired all academic titles, from assistant professor to a regular professor, and in 2006 he was elected dean of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology of the University of Belgrade.
He participated in many national and international theological and scientific gatherings, conferences, symposia as well as in inter-Christian meetings and dialogues, as well as in local and international meetings and dialogues with Jewish and Islamic communities, institutions and organisations.
Source: Serbian Orthodox Church