Irinej (Gavrilović) of Serbia

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Patriarch Irinej (Патријарх Иринеј born August 28, 1930 in Vidova near Čačak, Kingdom of Yugoslavia) is the 45th Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the spiritual leader of Eastern Orthodox Serbs, since January 23 2010[1][2]. His full title is His Holiness the Archbishop of Peć, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci, Serbian Patriarch Irinej. Between 1975 and 2010, he served as the Bishop of Niš[3].


Early life

Irinej was born Miroslav Gavrilović (Мирослав Гавриловић). After graduating from high school, he enrolled and completed Orthodox seminary in Prizren. He then entered the Theological Faculty in Belgrade, serving in the army after graduating. After military service, he was tonsured a monk in 1959 in Rakovica monastery, receiving the monastic name of Irinej (Irenaeus)[4]. He was a professor at Prizren Seminary, and completed postgraduate studies in Athens. In 1969, he was appointed a head of the monastic school at Ostrog monastery. He later returned to Prizren, where he was appointed Rector of the Prizren Seminary in 1969.[4]

As a religious leader

In May 1974, Irinej was elected Vicar Bishop of Moravica and consecrated by Patriarch German. In May 1975, he was elected Bishop of Niš and enthroned in the Holy Trinity Cathedral on June 15 1975.[4][5] Irinej headed the Niš eparchy for the next 35 years.

On January 22, 2010, he was elected the 45th Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church[6][7], after the death of previous Patr. Pavle. He was one of the three candidates with the most votes from the 45 bishops eligible in the Serbian Orthodox Church, along with former locum tenens (interim leader) Amfilohije Radović and Irinej Bulović.[8] In the final phase, his name was pulled from a sealed envelope. In this way, the Serbian Orthodox Church believes the patriarch is elected by divine intervention, sidelining human interests.[9] He was enthroned on January 23, 2010 in St. Michael's Cathedral.[10]

Irinej has been considered, both abroad and at home, as a moderate traditionalist, open to global inter-religious dialogue.[11] In an interview, Irinej indicated he would not oppose the first-ever visit by the Roman Catholic Pope to Serbia in 2013 as part of celebrations of the 1,700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, the law under which Roman emperor Constantine, who was born in Niš, ended the persecution of Christians. Irinej said that "there is the wish of the Pope" for a meeting in Niš and that it would be a chance "not just for a meeting, but for a dialogue".[2][12] [13]


  1. Vladika niški Irinej novi patrijarh
  2. 2.0 2.1 Profile: Serbia's new Patriarch Irinej, a Traditionalist and Diplomat
  3. Eparchy of Niš: Нишка Епархија од пада у Турско ропство до данас
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Episkop niški IRINEJ (Gavrilović)publisher Serbian Orthodox Church(Serbian)
  6. Bishop Irinej Is New Serbian Orhodox Patriarch Barlovac, Bojana 22 January 2010 Balkan Insight
  7. Bishop of Nis elected new Serbian patriarch January 22 2010 The Sofia Echo
  8. {Irinej, a moderate, elected as Serbian Orthodox Church leader Stojanovic, Dusan 22 January 2010, The Canadian Press
  9. Serbian church promotes Bishop Irinej to new patriarch
  10. Enthronement of Patriarch Irinej of Serbia access date 22 January 2010
  11. Moderate bishop Irinej elected as Serbian Orthodox Church leader January 22 2010 Daily News and Economic Review Turkey
  12. Irinej: Papa u Srbiji 2013. godine?
  13. Pope's visit would be welcomed by the SPC Beta, Tanjug. Retrieved 26 January 2010


External links

Succession box:
Irinej (Gavrilović) of Serbia
Preceded by:
Patriarch of Serbia
Succeeded by:
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