Montenegro’s independence will shake position of unrecognized Montenegrin Orthodox Church - Metropolitan Amfilohije
Moscow, June 8, Interfax - Montenegro’s independence will noticeably shake the position of the self-styled Orthodox Church in that country, believes Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and Primorje, Serbian Orthodox Church.
‘These self-consecrators (clergy of the so-called Montenegrin Orthodox Church - IF) have been in fact used by some politicians to obtain Montenegro’s independence. Now when the independence is already there, they will hopefully refuse the support of this pseudo-religious organization’, Metropolitan Amfilohije said in a talk with journalists.
He thinks the Montenegrin leaders are well aware that this ‘church’ does not enjoy any support in the Orthodox world.
In this connection, the head of the Montenegro diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church informed the journalists that the organization that claims to be Montenegrin Orthodox Church has only three or four self-consecrated priests, and it is headed by so-called ‘Metropolitan’ Miras Dedeic, who previously was a married priest in Italy. As for the Montenegrin Church’s property, it amounts only to one or two churches in Montenegro, which were taken away from the canonical Church some time ago and have not been returned as yet.
The ‘Montenegrin Orthodox Church’ itself was founded in 1993 by Serbian-born Archimandrite Antonij Abramovic, who had been a cleric of the Orthodox Church in America, Metropolitan Amfilohije said.
He also reminded the journalists that the Metropolia of Montenegro was closely bound up with the Serbian Church for 800 years. In 1766, when the throne of the Patriarchs of Pec was eliminated, the dioceses of the Serbian Church were incorporated in the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Metropolia of Montenegro had in fact preserved its autonomy. But in the 20th centuries 20s when an opportunity presented itself for all the individual Serbian autonomies to unite again, the Metropolia of Montenegro was the first to decide to unite with the Metropolia of Serbia.
In this way, Metropolitan Amfilohije summed up, ‘the Metropolia of Montenegro enjoyed autonomy but never asked for autocephaly, i.e. independence’.