The Metropolis of the Serbian Church in Montenegro, called the Metropolis of Montenegro and the Littoral, has issued an official statement on the attitude of Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic to the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro. Djukanovic had previously accused Russia of using the SOC to destabilize his country.
“What Milo Djukanovic thinks about church religious rites should be his personal business and a topic that is of no interest to the public and the Church. However, since this citizen is president of our state, we are obliged to speak out as he publicly insults and humiliates the rites performed in our congregations of the faithful,” the SOC diocese stated, according to Russia’s Pravlife newspaper.
At the same time, the SOC metropolis says the president’s political statements, as well as those of the Montenegrin prime minister and other members of government are not in the Serbian Church’s interest, but Djukanovic, they insist, “deeply offends the feelings of many Montenegrins.”
It should be recalled that clashes broke out in Montenegro amid the enthronement of the hierarch of the SOC Metropolis of Montenegro and the Littoral. The Montenegrin president called out the inauguration as forcible. The Serbian metropolitan was brought for the ceremony by helicopter, accompanied by the military, after Montenegrins erected barricades on the roads leading to the site. Earlier, the newly elected Metropolitan of the Serbian Church, Joanikije, threatened Montenegrins with St. Peter’s curse.
The Russian Church today enjoys close relations with the Serbian Church and exploits Serbs as allies in the inter-church arena to attack the OCU and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The Montenegrin government is trying to break off the influence of the Serbian Church as the latter has been actively promoting in Montenegro the interests of Serbia and Russia.
At the end of September this year, the ROC voiced a number of accusations against Montenegrin President Djukanovic for his will to see the Montenegrin Church gain autocephaly.