At the Holy Bishops’ Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church / SOC / January 22, 2010, His Grace Bishop Irinej of Niš was elected Archbishop of Peć, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovac and Serbian Patriarch.
On January 22, 2010, the bells at the Cathedral Church in Belgrade were answered at 2.15 pm, indicating that the 45th Serbian Patriarch had been elected.
The enthronement of the Archbishop of Peć, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovac and His Holiness the Patriarch of Serbian Irinej was performed on January 23, 2010, at the Holy Bishops’ Liturgy at the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Belgrade, and on October 3, at the Patriarchate of Peć.
The Holy Bishops’ Liturgy was officiated by His Holiness Patriarch Irinej with the intercession of the Bishops, priests and deacons, as well as representatives of the Russian and Greek Church.
The newly elected Patriarch Irinej said at the time that he had been elected to this difficult duty, with the help of the Bishops, with whom he would bear the burden and all the problems together.
His Holiness Patriarch Serbian Irinej / Gavrilović / was born in the village of Vidova near Čačak in 1930. He graduated from high school, then the Theology School in Prizren and the Faculty of Theology in Belgrade.
After graduating from college he went to the army, and upon his return, he was appointed as a superintendent/professor / Prizren seminary. Prior to taking up his professorship in October 1959, at the Rakovica Monastery, he received the monastic rank from His Holiness the Patriarch of Serbian Herman, receiving the monastic name Irinej.
On St. Petka Day, October 27, 1959, he was ordained a priest in the church of Ružica on Kalemegdan. While serving as a professor in Prizren Theology, he was enrolled in postgraduate studies in Athens, and in 1969 he was appointed Warden of the Monastic School at Ostrog Monastery, from where he returned to Prizren and was appointed Rector of Prizren Theology.
In 1974, he was elected Vicar Bishop of His Holiness the Serbian Patriarch with the title of Bishop of Moravia, and a year later in 1975, he was elected Bishop of Niš.