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Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew tests positive for COVID-19

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Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians around the world, has tested positive for COVID-19 and has mild symptoms

ISTANBUL – Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians around the world, has tested positive for COVID-19 and is showing mild symptoms, the Istanbul Patriarchate said on Friday.

A statement from the Patriarchate stated that “his general condition is good”.

Bartholomew, who is 81 and recently had heart surgery, is fully vaccinated and again urged worshipers on Friday to get vaccinated and follow doctors’ recommendations, the statement said.

At the end of October, Bartholomew was hospitalized overnight in the United States and then had a stent installed to open a blocked coronary artery.

Bartholomew is considered the first among his peers among the Eastern Orthodox patriarchs, which gives him the importance but not the power of a Catholic pope.

Large parts of the Eastern Orthodox world are autonomous under their own patriarchs.

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