Patriarch Irinej of Serbia met the President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, in Belgrade on March 15, 2020.
“We are in a special situation while facing a great problem, which is not only our problem but the problem of the whole world, i.e. appearance of the coronavirus. We have not yet experienced the peak of the negative effects of that virus, but we are certainly on that way. It is a great comfort to us that our country is equipped to deal with this phenomenon and that it will undertake all the measures to resist the negative effects of the terrible virus, which, as we can see, has been threatening people all over the world,” said Patriarch Irinej.
He added, “Our Church will contribute and invite the faithful to observe what is being suggested, to listen to the professional people who follow up the development of this terrible disease. If we obey them, we will surely achieve an effect. The Church will do her utmost to expose to our people the horror that can be caused by the virus, which we can stop with our discipline, responsible behaviour, and observing what is being proposed as a way of defending ourselves against this great ordeal.
I take the opportunity to invite all our faithful to be disciplined and to accept everything that is proposed to them, and to implement that in their life for their own interest. Life is the greatest gift of God that we must preserve. Of course, with caution and implementation of all that is offered to us, we will pray to God believing that prayer can help quite a great deal. In the Church, we will exercise discipline in the behaviour of believers. That, I believe, will have its effect and significance. Let us be disciplined, let us listen to what expert people suggest. This is the only way to resist the present great temptation.”
Source: Serbian Orthodox Church