On 23 November 2020 the Representative of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Council of Europe and European Union archimandrite Philippe (Ryabykh) extended his condolences to the Consul General of the Republic of Serbia in Strasbourg Ms Anđelka Šimšić upon the death of the Patriarch of Serbia Irinej, who had passed away on 20 November 2020 in Belgrade.

The book of condolences was opened for signing at the Consulate General of Serbia in Strasbourg, however, for the reasons of the ongoing restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemy, condolences had been accepted with letters.

In his letter archimandrite Philippe wrote:

Dear Ms Šimšić,

The Representation of the Russian Orthodox Church in Strasbourg, the clergy and the parishioners of the stavropegial Russian-Orthodox parish of All Saints in Strasbourg express their deepest condolences to the people of Serbia upon the passing of His Holiness Patriarch Irinej, the Archbishop of Peć, Metropolit of Belgrade and of Karlovci and the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, on 20 November 2020.

As the Head of our Sister Church, His Holiness Patriarch Irinej for many years was a wise father and a loving shepherd of his flock - all the faithful of the Serbian Orthodox Church. His thoughts, prayers and deeds were always with God and with the people of Serbia. Throughout his whole life he strived for peace and conciliation in his Motherland while protecting the Christian values not only in Serbia, but all around the world.

May Our Lord Jesus Christ grant His Holiness Patriarch Irinej rest in the bosom of Abraham, may he be numbered among the saints and may his memory be eternal.

In spiritual solidarity and prayer,

Archimandrite Philip Ryabykh,
Representative of Russian Orthodox Church
to the Council of Europe and the European Union,
Rector of the Patriarchal Parish of all Saints