Archbishop of Suceava tests positive for COVID-19

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Archbishop of Suceava and Radauti, His Eminence Pimen, aged 90, has tested positive for COVID-19, the Strategic Communication Group has confirmed on Monday evening.

Pimen has severe symptoms of pneumonia and has been transferred from Suceava to Bucharest, at Matei Bals Institute, by helicopter, together with another patient.

Pimen has a medium form of the infection, according to Monitorul de Suceava newspaper, while the other patient transferred by helicopter have a serious form of coronavirus, being on life support.

Pimen is 90 years old and has been named archbishop of Suceava in 1991.

However, the high-ranking prelate of the Romanian Orthodox Church, has been at the center of many controversies in the past 30 years.

In October 2007, the College of the National Council for Studying Securitate Archives (CNSAS) has decided that Pimen had collaborated with Securitate political police during communism, as he used to report on his colleagues and some members of Diaspora, while he was on mission in the West.

Pimen would have had two code names “Sidorovici” and “Petru”, the first one being use by the Securitate and the second one by the Foreign Intelligence Directorate. Pimen would have had missions in Romania and abroad as collaborator of Securitate and would have written reports against many people, including against high-ranking prelates.

In 2008, Pimen has challenged the decision in court. Initially the Bucharest Court of Appeal has cancelled CNSAS’s decision, but the Council had also referred the High Court and in 2012 the High Court pronounced a final ruling saying that Pimen had been Securitate informer.

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