BISHOP IRINEJ OF NIS ELECTED NEW PATRIARCH OF SERBIA
Belgrade, Serbia - In the early morning hours His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral , locum tenens of the Patriarchate throne, served the Holy Hierarchal liturgy at the Cathedral church. His Eminence served with the concelebration of Bishops: Lukijan of Osijek Polje and Baranja, Jovan of Shumadia, Irinej of Australia and New Zealand, Vicar Bishop of Teodosije of Lipljan and Antonije of Moravica.
After the Holy Liturgy Bishops gathered at the Patriarchate court. The session was preceded by consultations before the election procedure. At the Election assembly Bishop Lavrentije of Shabac presided, the oldest bishop in the ordination of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The Holy Assembly of Bishops has 44 members, and 34 bishops met the requirements to be nominated as the new Patriarch of Serbia. By the secret ballot bishops proposed candidates , out of which three bishops were on the shortlist, who received more than half of the votes of the members of the Election assembly. In the first round the candidate for Patriarch became the Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral, in the second round the Bishop Irinej of Nis, and a third candidate was elected in the fourth round, and that was Bishop Irinej of Bachka.
These three candidates have received more that a half votes during the four rounds of voting. The envelope with the name of the Patriarch from the Holy Gospel was chosen by Very Reverend Archimandrite Gavrilo, superior of the monastery of Lepavina (Metropolitanate of Zagreb-Ljubljana).
Immediately after the election a thanksgiving was served and wished unto many years to Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovac and Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, who addressed his brother Bishops pointed out that his election was the will of God and the will of the Holy Assembly of Bishops and that he will work on the Field of God in an association with all the Bishops of the Serbian Church.
Bells at the Cathedral Church rang at about 14 hours and 15 minutes indicating that the 45th Patriarch of Serbia was elected.
Bishop Irinej of Bachka said, at the press conference, that the new Patriarch was elected in accordance with the procedures which was in force in the Serbian Orthodox Church, in canonical and lawful manner. He also said that the election passed harmoniously in an atmosphere of a brotherly love and a mutual understanding of all the bishops at the Assembly.
The Holy Hierarchal Liturgy, during which there will be the enthronement of His Holiness Patriarch Irinej Serbia will begin tomorrow at the Cathedral Church at 9 o'clock, and later, when all the conditions are met, there will be made formal introducing to the throne of the Serbian patriarchs at the Patriarchate of Pec, the historic seat of the chief of the Serbian Orthodox Church.