Metropolitan Varnava of Cheboksary and Chuvashia has died of complications caused by coronavirus.
The Metropolitan died on Monday, the working group under Patriarch Kirill said.
Metropolitan Varnava is the third top clergyman of the Russian Orthodox Church to die after contracting Covid-19. According to earlier reports, Bishop Benjamin of Zheleznogorsk and Lgov (Kursk Region) died of coronavirus on April 26, and former Metropolitan Jonah of Astrakhan died on May 4.
Metropolitan Varnava was 89. He was born in the Ryazan Region to a family of a priest. He served in the St. Sergius Trinity Lavra for some 20 years and was its locum in the early 1970s. He became a bishop in late 1979 and headed up the Chuvash department.
In the 30 years that Metropolitan Varnava ran the diocese, he was directly involved in the restoration of seven monasteries, more than 210 parishes were opened, the Cheboksary Spiritual School was restored, and a missionary center that actively fought against sects was created. The metropolitan was also actively involved in the restoration of the historical part of Cheboksary and the opening of the Road to the Church, which connects the city center to the historical part of the city.
From April 19, 2018, until his death, Metropolitan Varnava was the oldest ruling bishop and metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church.