PARIS: 10 October 2022
Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe participates in the enthronement of Serbian Bishop Justin

On October 9, 2022, the 17th Sunday after Pentecost, when the Holy Church keeps the memory of St John the Theologian together with all the saints who shone forth in the Spanish and Portuguese lands, His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe participated in the enthronement ceremonies of His Grace Bishop Justin (Jeremic), the newly-appointed bishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church for Western Europe.

The solemnities were headed by His Holiness Patriarch Porphyri of Serbia together with some twenty hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Traveling to Paris for the occasion, Bishop Irenei was warmly welcomed by His Holiness and the administration of the Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Western Europe, headquartered at St Sava’s Church in the 18th arrondissement of the French capital. The Patriarchal Divine Services of the Saturday and Sunday were celebrated by Patriarch the local and visiting hierarchs and clergy. The enthronement of Bishop Justin took place at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy.

Congratulating the new head of the Serbian Eparchy in Europe, Bishop Irenei greeted Bishop Justin and all his brethren hierarchs of the Serbian Church on the part of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and its Diocese of Great Britain and Western Europe. Speaking at length with Patriarch Porphyri, as well as the newly enthroned Bishop Justin, Bishop Irenei said the following: "We had the warmest of fraternal relations with the predecessor of Bishop Justin, His Grace Bishop Luka, until the time that the Lord called him to the blessed reward for his long labors. Now we look forward to standing side-by-side with Vladyka Justin as co-ministers in the vineyards of Christ, tending to the flock abiding in these European lands. Not only is this a territory of a longstanding and historical presence of the diaspora of Orthodox faithful from other lands, but it is also a local Orthodox land, with generations that have grown up in the faith and claimed these lands for the Church. And there is great missionary work yet to do, especially in these most challenging days, which we look forward to undertaking with you."

Speaking with the Patriarch, Vladyka Irenei continued, "The relations between the Patriarchate of Serbia and the Church Abroad have, over the past century, been of the closest and most intimate character. Having only recently celebrated the ROCOR’s centenary, we remember the years, at the start of that century, when our Holy Synod was hosted in Serbia, through the love of the Patriarchate, and how together we carried out our mission and fraternally overcame the most severe trials of those hard years. Now again we live in hard times, but we are certain that the spiritual and practical friendship of generations will continue to bind us together and give us strength to overcome all obstacles, in the unity of the faith through the grace of the Church."

Bishop Irenei remained for the festivities following the Divine Services, which included the opportunity to speak with hierarchs from several other of the Local Orthodox Churches who had also arrived for the occasion. In the evening, His Grace departed for London.

Bishop Justin succeeds Bishop Luka (Kovacevic), who reigned over the Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Western Europe from 1997 until his repose in 2021.



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