Massive Attendance at Serbian Patriarch Pavle Funeral

World | November 19, 2009, Thursday // 16:58|  views

The body of Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Pavle is carried in procession from St. Sava church to Rakovica monastery during his funeral in Belgrade, Serbia, November 19, 2009. Throngs from Serbia and neighboring countries paid final tribute to Pavle. Photo by

Tens of thousands of people have lined the streets of Belgrade, capital of Serbia, to pay their last respects to the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Pavle.

The Patriarch, who led the Church from 1990, had died on Sunday, aged 95. He had been admitted to hospital two years ago, suffering from heart and lung conditions.

On Thursday, at his funeral, the open coffin has been carried in silence through the streets leading to the main Orthodox Cathedral, St. Sava.

Patriarch Pavle was known for his personal modesty and humility, and was a respected linguist and theologian.

In his 19 years as Patriarch, he saw the demise of communism and a rise on Serb nationalism, during which time the Church became increasingly influential.

He was criticized in some quarters for failing to restrain hardline clerics during the Balkan Wars that followed the collapse of Yugoslavia. He had also strongly criticized Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia.

Later on Thursday, he will be buried according to his request in the suburban monastery of Rakovica.

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Tags: Patriarch Pavle, Serbian Orthodox Church, funeral, Belgrade, St. Sava, Serbia, Kosovo independence


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