CEC general secretary Dr Jørgen Skov Sørensen expressed “deep sorrow” over the passing away of His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
“It is with deep sadness that we hear of the falling asleep in the Lord of Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch Irinej,” said Dr Sørensen in his letter to the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
“His Holiness Patriarch Irinej will be remembered by CEC for his involvement in hosting the 2018 General Assembly of CEC in Novi Sad, together with local Bishop of Backa, Irinej (Bulovic) on behalf of the Serbian Orthodox Church. He will remain in the memory of the ecumenical movement as a great contributor to ecumenical dialogue."
"With his blessing, it was the second time in the history of CEC that the Orthodox Church hosted its General Assembly since 1959. The CEC staff and indeed all guests of the Conference of European Churches who participated in the CEC Assembly will always remember his warm hospitality.”
“We are grateful for his contributions and keep him in our thoughts and prayers on the day of his repose,” added Dr Sørensen.
His Holiness Patriarch Irinej passed away on 20 November in the Military Covid Hospital "Karaburma" in Belgrade.