LAST UPDATE: 14:00
The process of the election of the new Patriarch of Serbia begun, following the passing away of Patriarch Irinej last November.
At 9 a.m. a Holy Hierarchal Liturgy was officiated by Metropolitan Hrizostom of Dabar-Bosnia, chairman of the Holy Synod of Bishops, with the concelebration of the hierarchs.
Then the Holy Assembly of Bishops meets at the Saint Sava Memorial Cathedral in the Vracar.
The Electoral Assembly is being held in the crypt of the Memorial Cathedral of Saint Sava in the Vracar district, Belgrade, according to the procedure provided by the Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the canons of the Holy Church.
The meeting of the Holy Assembly of Bishops is chaired by Bishop Vasilije of Srem due to the fact that Bishop Lavrentije of Sabac Diocese and administrator of the Valjevo Diocese is being hospitalized at the Clinical Center of Serbia in Belgrade.
No media presence is planned for this event, and an official press release will be issued after the session.
As orthodoxtimes.com reported earlier, the election will take place in two phases: Initially, the high priests will elect three candidates from among themselves.
Then the names of the three candidates will be placed in envelopes in the Gospel and a monk will pull out one of the envelopes, thus finalizing the final choice.
It is recalled that Blessed Patriarch Irinej of Serbia fell asleep in the Lord after losing battle with COVID-19, on Friday, November 20, 2020.
Serbian Patriarch Irinej himself reposed in the Lord because of the virus as well as the Blessed Metropolitan of Montenegro, while Metropolitan Hrizostom of Dabar-Bosnia, the Locum Tenens of the Serbian Church Patriarchal Throne, and other clergy of the Serbian Church, had contracted the disease.
“There were mistakes. I must admit that we underestimated the coronavirus and did not realize what it brings, that it is a murderous virus that killed our Patriarch Irinej, Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro, Bishop Milutin, dozens of priests, monks, and nuns. What happened may be the cost of our non-compliance with the measures set by the epidemiological services,” Hrizostom said, speaking on a Serbian website.
Upon the passing of the Serbian Patriarch Irinej, the Holy Synod of Bishops decided that Metropolitan Hrizostom of Dabar-Bosnia took over the patriarchal responsibilities in accordance with Article 62 of the Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church and that the Holy Synod was chaired by the Metropolitan of Dabar-Bosnia until the election of a new Serbian Patriarch.