BELGRADE, March 29 (FENA) – Bishop of Valjevo Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC), Milutin Knezevic, died on Sunday night between Sunday and Monday at Belgrade’s Dragisa Misovic Clinic Hospital, where he was received last week due to covid-19, local media reported .
Bishop Milutin (71) is the 14th victim of a coronavirus in Serbia, after the Valjevo Diocese confirmed late last week by a statement that two more of its priests were positive for the coronavirus.
“Bishop Milutin’s coronavirus was obtained by walking and serving in his Diocese as a valuable shepherd, as he has been serving God and kin for more than half a century,” the Diocese said at the time.
Although the health headquarters has not yet officially announced today’s epidemiological outline, the news of the death of a senior SPC major was made public during open controversy in the Serbian public about the need to practice holy communion in religious ceremonies given the stringent measures to combat the pandemic.
The controversy began after a video spread from a courtyard to one of the SPC churches in Novi Sad, where believers received communion using one teaspoon, which sparked public outrage and raised questions and concerns about the risk of spreading the infection .
The Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) said earlier that the Church would not interrupt the liturgy or cease communion with believers “because it is a non-negotiable thing,” but the SPC urged believers to refrain from coming to worship in the coming days and weeks do not put themselves and others at risk.
The SOC has announced that worship will continue in the churches, but believers are advised to follow them through television and radio broadcasts and church websites, and to make timely arrangements with their parish for a “communion in their home.” She described reports as “pure lies” that believers from the same cup are communing and violating measures in the fight against coronaviruses, but also stressed that the state does not engage in or can engage in the content and service of the liturgy.
Vukasin Milicevic, an assistant professor at the Faculty of Theology, however, said in Belgrade media that communion from the same spoon was socially irresponsible, and that such a way was “not the only and binding one”. He said that the Russian Orthodox Church has introduced the obligation to disinfect the communion spoon, while in Romania, due to the epidemic, communion is practiced with a single-use plastic spoon, Hina reports.
So far, since the outbreak of the epidemic on March 6, the deaths of 13 covid-19 people have been officially confirmed in Serbia. there would be a total of 15 casualties.
The headquarters of the Serbian government will publish a new epidemiological section during the day.